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Column: Pari-mutuel gambling measure would help small nonprofits

Why would a non-profit gymnastics organization support a bill connected to horse racing when other charities are asking it to be voted down? Here are few reasons why, and we hope our legislators will consider them as well.We are a smaller organiz...

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Why would a non-profit gymnastics organization support a bill connected to horse racing when other charities are asking it to be voted down? Here are few reasons why, and we hope our legislators will consider them as well.

We are a smaller organization that currently operates two charitable gaming sites in the state. We also are an organization that has been operating charitable pari-mutuel gaming in North Dakota for over 10 years by hosting simulcast horse racing.

Senate Bill 2221 would allow charities to offer currently lawful charitable pari-mutuel gaming to our customers using the latest technology including historic horse racing at a lower operating cost.

This would allow significant resources to charities like us, and give North Dakota residents the option to choose this form of entertainment while supporting smaller charities like ours.

As a non-profit involved in charitable gaming, why would we support a limit on how many sites can offer it in the state? We feel SB 2221 takes a responsible approach in regulating this new technology by limiting the number of locations where the charitable pari-mutuel gaming can be offered versus allowing the market to be flooded with this new product.

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Other notable positives in this bill: it provides portions for taxes to the state, counties and cities; projects increased revenue to the state and political subdivisions, funding for the compulsive gambling fund, and will go a long way in helping North Dakota's farmers, breeders and riders who provide occupations to thousands of residents.

We hope our legislators will look at all facts in deciding on SB 2221 and not base their decisions on a few so that thousands of families in our community can continue to receive the benefits of our organization's mission.

Thornton is the executive director of American Gold Gymnastics.

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