We could go on, but that's pretty representative of the 990s.
2. While the fraternals technically are supposed to be open to dues-paying members and accompanied guests only, the fake fraternals are open to the public, and Bane said that at least one Northern Panhandle fraternal has a sign stating, "Everyone Welcome."
Likewise, Bane said it violates IRS regulations for the fake fraternals to charge a nominal membership fee, if the only purpose for membership is to play the LVL machines.
(There's a legal train of thought that it's OK to admit non-members, so long as revenue they provide is reported separately as taxable income.)
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Bane has found a legislative advocate in the form of Sen. Larry Edgell, D-Wetzel. Edgell is a member of the Moose Club in New Martinsville, and said he's been concerned that the club's finances have been squeezed by two faux fraternals in town.
As a test, he said his wife and sister went to both establishments, were welcomed in, allowed to play LVL, with no questions raised about their membership status.
During legislative interim meetings last week, Edgell said he planned to raise his concerns with Lottery Commission director John Musgrave -- a discussion that apparently proved fruitful.
Late last week, Musgrave said he's placing those establishments under close scrutiny.
"We've had issues with fraternals not being in compliance to be a fraternal," he said. "We're taking a hard look at complaints we've had with a number of fraternal organizations. I've asked our inspectors to take a hard look at how they're operating."
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Finally, Lottery revenues are continuing an 8 to 9 percent plunge, and Hollywood Casino in Charles Town -- by far the largest and most profitable in the state -- is losing huge chunks of business to the new Maryland Live! casino in nearby Anne Arundel County.
Meanwhile, a reader notes that the Baltimore Sun reported that the Charles Town casino's parent company -- Penn National Gaming -- is in a bidding war for a license to build a $700 million casino in Prince George's County, Md., just outside of Washington, D.C.
Not only would that be the death knell for Charles Town (and for state Lottery revenues), but in bidding for the casino license, Penn National is offering to give Maryland and the county 100 percent of the casino's profits for 15 years, an estimated haul of $320 million.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.