OUR VIEW: Gaming grants: Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

There seems to be a stigma attached to gambling and yet gambling is a source of revenue for provincial coffers that is funding a lot of local groups.

The Province of B.C.’s community gaming grants are derived from profits from such things as any of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s (BCLC) lotteries – including Lotto Max, Lotto 6/49 and Sports Action – as well as slot machines, table games at casinos and horse racing.

During the current round of grants, $32 million in community gaming grants were handed out to 1,700 groups across the province and it was announced that $75,400 was granted to groups in the Grand Forks area – the Boundary Women’s Coalition, Sunshine Valley Child Care Services, the Boundary Community Hospice Association and the Whispers of Hope Benevolence Association.

According to the province, the total amount of grants for the human and social services sector for 2010-11 amounts to nearly $62 million and it has also budgeted $120 million for community gaming grants in 2010-11 in all.

Other groups have benefitted from gaming grants as well, such as local minor hockey, the Grand Forks Border Bruins, the local Special Olympics team as well as various parent advisory councils for the area’s various schools.

The services that the eligible groups offer – including the ones that the Boundary Women’s Resource Centre, the Sunshine Valley Child Care Service, Boundary Community Hospice Association and the Whispers of Hope Benevolence Association provide – are valuable to the community and seeing as the groups that are eligible for the grants are non-profit, the grants are essential to their operation.

One of the criteria for eligibility is that the organization operates primarily for the benefit of the community.

In some instances, the grants are monies that help run a majority of the operation and in the case of the non-profits, are the life-blood.

Gambling may have negative connotations with addiction and the like but many people in Grand Forks, and across the province for that matter, are not addicted to gambling and buy lottery tickets.

Besides, with costs rising locally for utilities, non-profit organizations need to get money whenever and wherever they can.

– The Grand Forks Gazette