We need your help immediately!!! Please read the email below and let your legislators know we need them to support House Bill 2044 and Senate Bill 5918. Please contact your district legislators as well as the 18th district legislators letting them know that you work in their district and you need them to support House Bill 2044 and Senate Bill 5918. If you live and work in district 18 be sure you tell them that.
Electronic Gaming for House-Banked Card Rooms
WE’RE GOING ALL IN … Here’s how to get in the game and back the strongest hand our industry has ever had!
The Recreational Gaming Association and its members have been working hard for months to make the strongest case ever for authorizing electronic machine games in house banked card rooms.
Now, we’re dealing you in!
Two identical bills have been introduced in the State Legislature: House Bill 2044 and Senate Bill 5918. Briefly, here is what these bills do:
· Allows the same machines that tribes offer in non-tribal house banked card rooms
· Limits them to existing house-banked card rooms. 200 machines per location. 7,875 machines total. Future venues must have been in operation 5 years.
· State takes 35% of net win, returns 65% to card rooms as agent compensation.
· State shares 5% with local governments, distributes the remainder to Education, Human Services, Public Safety. 0.5% goes to problem gambling programs.
RGA has launched a media blitz, and there is a lot of “buzz” in Olympia about our proposal. Now, to keep one or both of these bills moving through the legislature, we need your help!
Here’s our Call to Action: Here’s what you must do:
• Contact your legislators. Click on the link to find your legislators, and send them an e-mail. The site tells you how.
• Call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 and follow the instructions.
Our MESSAGE to Legislators is simple:
“Please support House Bill 2044 and Senate Bill 5918 .Electronic gaming in house-banked card rooms will bring $190milion a year or more to state and local treasuries. It saves and creates jobs. It helps sustain local programs and services. It’s the fair thing to do by ending the tribal monopoly on electronic gaming.”
• Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, or comment on a blog. A contact list with direct links to blog and newspaper opinion pages is attached to this e-mail. Letters should be done by e-mail. Just follow the simple instructions for submittal provided by each publication.
Keep the letters short. Keep them direct with these key points in your own words:
• It’s about revenues for needed state and local services. Electronic gaming in house-banked card rooms can bring $190 million a year or more to state and local treasuries.
• It’s about jobs and local economies. Card rooms have provided nearly 10,000 well-paying jobs—about the same number as the Boeing Plant in Renton. Our taxes help fund critical local programs and services, and our businesses have proven themselves to be valued community partners.
• It’s about fairness and equity. The tribes pay no taxes on their more than $1.7 billion annual gaming revenue. We do. Yet we’re not allowed to offer our patrons the games they want. It’s time to end the tribal monopoly on gaming.
• These bills deserve a fair hearing and serious consideration. The numbers are real, and, unlike some budget proposals, they are sustainable. This proposal limits the footprint of non-tribal electronic gaming, and limits the number of machines. A recent poll shows that voters support this approach by more than 62%.
Ask your employees, patrons, friends, neighbors,
and Facebook or other social media friends to do the same
LEGISLATIVE CONTACT INFORMATION FOR DISTRICTS 15, 17, 18, 19 AND 49
District Last Frontier and New Phoenix Businesses
Covers parts of Clark, Cowlitz and Lewis Counties
SENATOR JOSEPH ZARELLI
REPRESENTATIVE ANN RIVERS
REPRESENTATIVE ED ORCUTT
Covers parts of Clark, Klickitat, Skamania and Yakima Counties
SENATOR JIM HONEYFORD
REPRESENTATIVE BRUCE CHANDLER
REPRESENTATIVE DAVID TAYLOR
Covers parts of Clark County
SENATOR DON BENTON
REPRESENTATIVE TIM PROBST
REPRESENTATIVE PAUL HARRIS
Covers parts of Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Pacific and Wahkiakum Counties
SENATOR BRIAN HATFIELD
REPRESENTATIVE DEAN TAKKO
REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN BLAKE
Covers parts of Clark County
SENATOR CRAIG PRIDEMORE
REPRESENTATIVE JIM JACKS
REPRESENATIVE JIM MOELLER
IF YOU NEED HELP FINDING YOUR DISTRICT GO TO THE FOLLOWING WEB ADDRESS AND FOLLOW THE LINK TO “FIND YOUR LEGISLATOR” www.leg.wa.gov
Political / Media Blogs/Editorial Contacts
• http://blog.seattlepi.com/Seattlepolitics (Strange Bedfellows)
• www.theolympian.com/politicsblog/index.html (The Politics Blog, Olympian)
• http://blog.thenewstribune.com/politics/ (Political Buzz)
• http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politicsnorthwest/ (Politics Northwest)
• www.heraldnet.com/section/BLOG13 (The Petri Dish, Everett Herald)
• www.washingtonstatewire.com/home (Washington State Wire)
• www.waledge.com (The WA Ledge, Austin Jenkins, NPR)
Letters to the Editor (Usually no more than 200 words)
(These are source addresses with instructions for each publication’s submittal rules and e-mail address)
• http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/letters (Seattle Times)
• www.seattlepi.com/letters (Seattle P.I.)
• https://secure.thenewstribune.com/opinion/letters (Tacoma News Tribune. Requires Sign-up, Log-in)
• www.spokesman.com/letters (Spokane Spokesman Review)
• www.columbian.com/news/opinion/letters (Vancouver Columbian)
• www.heraldnet.com/section/OPINION02 (Everett Herald)
• www.tri-cityherald.com/letters (Tri-City Herald, Richland)
• www.yakima-herald.com/page/editorial (Yakima Herald)
• http://union-bulletin.com/page/letters (Walla Walla)
• http://tdn.com/news/opinion/ (Longview Daily News)
• www.wenatcheeworld.com/news/letters-to-the-editor/ (Wenatchee World)
• www.thedailyworld.com/content/letter_editor (Aberdeen, The Daily World)
• www.kitsapsun.com/news/opinion/letters-to-editor/ (Kitsap Sun)
• http://ptleader.com/main.asp?SectionID=5&TM=46357.32 (Port Townsend Leader)
MY LETTER TO MY REPS:
I am writing you asking you to vote in favor of House Bill 2044 and Senate Bill 5918. These Bills will give the State of Washington untold millions in increased revenues exactly when the State needs them the most. Passage of these Bills will allow the State to continue to provide the essential services so many of us Washingtonians rely on. It has been my position that the Tribal casino’s have had an unfair advantage over the private card room establishments. Passage of these bills will not only level the playing field, but will undoubtedly allow these establishments to hire more employees, thus putting more people back to work when they need it most. It is also my position that the argument that allowing these machines into these smaller establishments will increase the numbers of those who are struggling with gambling addiction issues, is unmerited and will ultimately be proven false. These people are already going to the Tribal Casino’s and this change will have no effect on the situation as a whole. Once again, I urge you to vote in favor of these Bills. It is vital to the growth of our local economy and a no vote by you, will weigh heavily at your next election cycle.