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AN URGENT MESSAGE FROM OUR NATIONAL COMMANDER

 

An urgent message about coronavirus

Dear American Legion Family and Friends,

The enemy we are facing isn’t hiding in the bush. Nor has it buried a roadside bomb unbeknownst to us. Yet the enemy is just as dangerous and deadly.

The coronavirus has been classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. The number of people who will test positive for the potentially fatal COVID-19 remains unknown, but there are steps we can take, and must take, to protect ourselves and help our fellow veterans and citizens.

I encourage you to use extreme caution and adhere to the best practices put forth by the health experts. Namely properly wash your hands frequently, use antibacterial rubs and practice “social distancing.”

Coronavirus is particularly dangerous for those over the age of 50 who contract it so please be cognizant of the risks when planning post activities and functions.

At the same time, this is an excellent opportunity to perform Buddy Checks. Check in with older veterans in your communities to make sure they have the supplies they need, are feeling healthy and help them acquire the resources they need. Of course, Buddy Checks can be done with phone calls and emails so as not to risk spreading or contracting coronavirus.

The coronavirus situation will be changing rapidly so we have to be nimble in our approach to serving our communities, states and nation. Among the best resources to follow are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov) and the World Health Organization (who.int).

Let’s also keep our thoughts and prayers with our servicemembers especially those overseas, our National Guardsmen, first responders and others who will be taxed in coming months. They need our support now more than ever.

We have faced down enemies, foreign and domestic, throughout our nation’s history. While this threat is ominous, we will once again work together to overcome it.
 

 

 

Since many posts have gambling operations, this message is from the

Executive Director of the Gambling Control Board

*** MINNESOTA GAMBLING CONTROL BOARD ALERT ***

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Updates – Information Your Organization Needs to Know

Notify your Compliance Specialist if you are unable to immediately comply with these requirements.

Site Closure

If your site is closing down:

  • Remove all cash from the site, including starting cash banks, and deposit that money into the gambling account within four business days (leave no cash at the site).  When you resume the conduct of gambling, you’ll withdraw the starting cash bank amounts from the bank.
  • Close and audit any games in play and take the closed games to your storage location.  Do not leave tickets at the site for games that are in play.
  • Remove all inventory from the premises.
  • Conduct your month-end physical inventory of all games, bingo paper, etc. at the site.  If the site doesn’t reopen by March 31, you’ll have this done without having to go back to the site.
  • Conduct an inventory of all of your permanent gambling equipment located at the site (paddlewheels, bingo ball selection devices, etc.).
  • Immediately communicate with your lessor on how to arrange access to the site during the closure.
  • If you have any perishable merchandise prizes stored at the site (such as meat packages for your meat raffles), donate these items to a local food shelf or sell them at cost and deposit the proceeds into the gambling account.
  • Upon reopening of the site, take another inventory to compare to the one that was taken when the site closed to make sure all inventory is still there.

Notify your Compliance Specialist if you are unable to immediately comply with these requirements.

Contacting Your Specialist

To comply with recommendations to maintain a “social distance”, some board staff will be teleworking rather than reporting to the office.  If you have questions or information for your specialist, please contact staff by email rather than by phone during this time.

Canceling an Organization Monthly Meeting

We’ve learned that several organizations are postponing or canceling their next monthly meeting due to the Coronavirus and the official encouragement to postpone or cancel gatherings of more than 50 persons or gatherings of more than 10 people where the majority of participants are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 (older adults and those with medical issues).

The Gambling Control Board will give organizations a one-month waiver on requiring expenditures to be pre-approved by your membership at a regular monthly meeting.  Instead, your organization’s CEO and gambling manager can approve any necessary expenditures for the upcoming month without prior membership approval.  Then, the next month the membership can approve those expenditures retroactively.

If possible, your organization should make the gambling report available to members electronically rather than presented at a meeting.

April Gambling Manager Seminar

The Gambling Manager Seminar scheduled for April 8-9 has been canceled.  Gambling managers who needed to attend the April seminar to retain their gambling manager’s license should contact their Licensing Specialist for additional information.

Paying Employees During Shutdown

If your organization decides to pay its gambling employees some or all of their regular wages while gambling activity is shut down, this compensation would be considered an allowable expense.  The compensation paid should be no more than the rates or amounts paid to the employee in recent pay periods.  For example, if a pull-tab booth seller typically works 20 hours per week at $10 per hour, compensation for a week that your booth is shut down should not exceed $200.

Another option during a shutdown is to have your employees do other gambling-related projects.  For example, previously closed games could be re-audited for accuracy, storage areas could be cleaned out, bingo balls washed, booths repainted, new house rules signs made, etc.

Postponed or Relocated Raffle Drawings

If your licensed organization is currently selling raffle tickets and you need to postpone the drawing date, please send a letter or email to your Compliance Specialist requesting permission to postpone.  Normally, you would need to tell the Board the specific date when your raffle drawing will be held.  However, for the foreseeable future, the Board’s director will approve an indefinite postponement provided that the drawing takes place no more than one year later than the original date.

Be sure to publicize a notification that the raffle date has been postponed.  Failure to do so could jeopardize your permit/s.

When your organization determines a specific new drawing date, contact your Compliance Specialist so that the information can be added to our records.

If your licensed organization wants to conduct the raffle drawing on the original date, but move it to a different location, please contact your Compliance Specialist.

Matt Gettman, Executive Director

 

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