It raised two key issues, one being that to maintain tax-exempt status as a fraternal or veterans' organization, it must operate exclusively to provide social and recreational activities for members, and care must be taken to limit access to non-members.
"While the provision of social and recreational facilities to members is an appropriate activity, providing such facilities to the general public is not," it states.
The other issue was that the faux fraternal was not reporting gross receipts as required on its 990 form, but instead the retailer's share of LVL profits. In the example given, that allowed the retailer to reduce $100,000 of gross receipts to $24,500, allowing it to lowball the required contribution of revenues to charitable purposes.
Speaking of Lottery, the administration's six-year budget outlook prepared by the state Budget Office assumes that an eight-year decline in Lottery revenues, caused by competition from competing casinos opening in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland will level off next year, settling at about $314 million of annual revenue thereafter.
I thought that was way optimistic, given the specter of a $965 million MGM Grand casino complex coming to National Harbor, just south of Washington, D.C. (Maryland's casino licensing board awarded the license to MGM last month.)
According to the Washington Post, the mega casino anticipates $700 million a year in gaming revenues, $350 million coming from northern Virginia residents.
Which bodes ill for Charles Town's Hollywood Casino, which currently outperforms West Virginia's four other casinos combined, and relies on Virginia as its single largest market. Maryland Live! in Arundel Mills has already cut into the Charles Town's casino business by about 15 percent, drawing away a lot of players from Maryland.
I asked Musgrave about the projections for Lottery revenues, and he admitted that Lottery officials simply assume revenues will be flat over the long-term, because they have no accurate way to calculate the impact a new border state casino will have on state revenues (other than not positive ...).
"There's not any way we can tell a year out or two," he said. "We don't have a crystal ball."
Finally, some blasts from the not-too-recent past in the House of Delegates: Dan Kimble, who had been chief of staff to former Speaker Rick Thompson, returned to House chambers Thursday to give the invocation. Kimble's now with the Monongalia Chamber of Commerce.
Meanwhile, Joe Koval, who retired in November with 26 years in state government, most recently as computer/technology director for the House, is back as a per-diem employee in his customary role of announcing bill titles during floor sessions.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.