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The Centennial Youth Hockey Association in Lino Lakes has also fared well. It had gross charitable gambling receipts of $9.3 million in fiscal 2013, up from $7.8 million in 2012, when it was fourth in the state.
A new nonprofit, Blaine’s Blazin’ Fourth, affiliated with Blaine Jaycees, recently joined the charitable gambling scene and grossed $4.4 million at two sites in fiscal 2013, its first full year.
“Many of our customers are tired of thinking the world is going to fall apart. We want to enjoy ourselves again,” said Linda Brausen, gambling manager for Blaine’s Blazin’ Fourth, who has been in the pulltab business for 23 years.
Nonprofits cite strong locations as a factor in success, and Anoka County had four of the state’s top 10-grossing gambling sites in fiscal 2013: a pair of restaurants in Blaine, one in Fridley and one in Ramsey.
Payouts, expenses, proceeds
Of the $101 million in gross gambling receipts in Anoka County this fiscal year, about $85 million was paid out in prizes and $3.1 million went to the nonprofits, according to Gambling Control Board data. The rest covered taxes, fees and expenses.
Blaine Youth Hockey paid out about $10 million of the $12 million it brought in, and after expenses, taxes and fees, about $780,000 went to the nonprofit. The association shares the wealth, donating to youth baseball and Blaine High School hockey. For Blaine Blazin’ Fourth, the net is about $162,000, some of which will pay for the Blaine midsummer festival.
The uptick in gambling means some cities have more money to play with, too. Blaine is one of 63 Minnesota cities that take a 10 percent cut of gambling proceeds (after payouts and expenses), as allowed by state law. The city will collect $92,000 in 2013. It will give $40,000 to the homeless shelter Alexandra House, $27,500 to local food shelves, $10,000 to the Blaine Historical Society and lesser amounts to other nonprofits.
Blaine officials say its fund has grown faster than expected and the city is happy to share the money with charities.
“People just have more spendable incomes,” said the city’s finance director, Joe Huss. “It seems to run so hand in hand with the economy and unemployment numbers.”
Shannon Prather • 612-673-4804