Tax on New Bingo Operations Provokes Complaints in Randolph Co.

POCAHONTAS, AR - Some bingo operators say the tax on charitable bingo is too excessive and the money would be better spent on community causes rather than state administrative costs to oversee bingo.

Charitable bingo became legal in Arkansas last summer.  Under the new law, groups must pay a 1-cent tax on each bingo game card sold.  In addition, charities must pay $25 for a one-time bingo or raffle license, or $100 for a regular annual bingo and raffle license.

Katy Dust of Pocahontas, who coordinates weekly bingo games at St. Paul the Apostle Church, said she was collecting signatures on a petition asking the Legislature to reduce the tax.  She said she has collected about 500 signatures and has asked other groups operating bingo games to participate.  She said she plans to present the petitions to lawmakers and the governor later this year.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)