Lottery boost
City bumps up costs for licences

by Mark Sproxton
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 02/97) - Non-profit groups could soon see slimmer margins from fund-raising activities in the city.

Fees for lottery licences increased yesterday when the city assumed control of licensing from the territorial government. The licences cover bingos, nevadas, casinos and raffles.

"By raising the fees it reduces the amount of money (groups) earn at the other end," said Roy Desjarlais, a long-time volunteer fund-raiser in the city. "Bingos are not guaranteed to make you money.

"Now we have higher operating costs and you don't get any back if you lose (money on a bingo)."

But Mayor Dave Lovell argues the slight fee increases will help the entire community.

Revenue generated from the licences will go to covering the approximately $50,000 in administration costs.

The additional money will be put into a reserve fund for major community facilities such as the swimming pool and ball diamonds, Lovell said.

"The money stays in the community," he said.

Some of the increases come on the percentage of bingo prize money paid out.

  • Groups now will pay six per cent instead of five on regular games with a total prize over $10,000.

  • Games with total prizes over $2,500 but less than $10,000 have a fee of three per cent, up from two.

  • Fees for tables or wheels at a casino increase to $55 from $50 and the fees for raffles with total prizes of $1,250 or less move to $30 from $25.

The city assumed responsibility for licensing after council initially rejected the idea, Lovell said.

"The GNWT said it was getting out and if it didn't go to the city, I don't know who it would go to," he said.

The territorial government wants to be out of lottery licensing across the NWT by the end of 1997.

Desjarlais said he now fears that fees for licensing will be increased without input from the users.

Lovell said there are no immediate plans to change the fee structure. Someone may be hired by the city to, among other duties, administer lottery licensing, he added.