Saskatchewan Charitable Gaming Grants Drop Significantly from Pre-Pandemic Levels

The government of Saskatchewan has announced that groups and organizations that conduct charitable gaming activities are benefiting from more than $900,000 in grants from its charitable gaming grant program.

That represents a significant decrease from the amount given in the same period in 2019, the last year before the gaming industry was hit by the effects of the pandemic.

From April 1 to June 30 in 2019, the government gave out close to $2.7 million in charitable gaming grants, reports CBC.

Groups that raise funds through licensed charitable gaming (bingo, raffles, breakopen ticket sales, Texas Hold ’em poker, and Monte Carlo events) receive a quarterly grant equal to 25 per cent of net proceeds raised through these activities. Groups that conduct licensed charitable gaming activities and events do not have to apply for the charitable gaming grant. Charitable gaming reports submitted by groups and organizations are used by the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) to calculate grants.

Among the grants provided by SLGA during the most recent quarter, Moose Jaw and surrounding area received $113,462, Humboldt and surrounding area got $110,931, Swift Current and surrounding area received $65,847, Estevan/Weyburn and surrounding area was given $51,190, and Lloydminster and surrounding area were the beneficiaries of $45,239.

“Charitable gaming grants provide a financial boost to volunteer groups and organizations across the province,” Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority Jim Reiter said. “Their work helps to enhance local communities in many different ways and our government is proud to provide this additional support to more than 300 groups and organizations.”

David Morris, the manager for communications and public education for the SLGA, admitted the pandemic did have an effect on charitable gaming.

“There were a lot of sports teams that didn’t play because of the pandemic, so that impacted charitable gaming,” he said. He noted that there are generally fluctuations from quarter to quarter depending on when the groups decide to hold their games, but the pandemic also meant many events like bingo nights had to be cancelled.

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