Casino fundraiser cancelled during Emo Fair

An oversight in paperwork has cost the Emo Meals on Wheels committee their chance to hold a casino fundraiser during the Emo Fall Fair.
Late last Wednesday they received a letter from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) denying the organization approval to hold the Las Vegas-style event, which would have helped raise money for repairs to the handi-van.
“We have a very big problem [and] I am just baffled,” a somber Patti Labbe, committee member, noted when she called the Times that afternoon after reading the letter.
“As far as we understood, we only needed a charity number and [the gaming commission] says we also need a gambling licence,” said Labbe. Emo Meals on Wheels is a registered charity.
Molly Crozier, committee member, said plans to submit the proper paperwork to the AGCO in order have the event approved for a later date, are on hold indefinitely. But final decision on the issue has yet to be made, as the organization is busy with other fundraisers.
“It knocked us all for a loop,” Crozier admitted yesterday. “We thought that because there was no money [changing hands] that we didn’t have to have a gaming licence [to hold the casino night].
“But according to the [AGCO]—yah, we have to have one and send in our tax forms and income statements—the whole bit. We didn’t expect it to be as big [a deal] as this and by the sounds of things we may not even carry on, but we still have to have a meeting about that,” Crozier added.
Ab Campion, spokesperson for the AGCO, advised that organizations like Emo Meals on Wheels who want to hold casino night fundraisers, should make sure they qualify under the AGCO rules and if so, apply and be approved for the right licences before doing any promotion.
“From the information we have received, it does not appear the [Emo Meals on Wheels] event is a licensable one and we will not approve it [as it stands],” he confirmed Monday from the AGCO office in Toronto.
“It is unfortunate that they promoted the event without getting the proper lottery licence and did so before checking out their eligibility to get a lottery licence,” he said.
“If we knew what they wanted to do we could give them some advice [and] we would be more than happy to help move things along,” Campion noted. “We run a fairly tight and regulated system because across the province millions of dollars are raised for charitable purposes every year,” he stressed.
The 10-year-old handi-van, with more than 300,000 km on the odometer, was pulled off the road earlier this spring due to excessive wear and tear.
It was an essential transportation tool for district seniors who needed rides to medical appointments in Fort Frances. The handi-van also provided transportation to special-needs children to attend Donald Young School in Emo and Crossroads School in Devlin.
Emo Meals on Wheels is hosting a supper during Chapple Days in Barwick on Sunday (Aug. 1) from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the Arena.
The supper will include summer sausage, coleslaw, baked beans, and dessert slices. Hot dogs will be available for the kids.
Tickets for the supper are $7 for adults and $2 for kids who want just a hot dog.
Proceeds from the event will go to the handi-van project.