The New Ins and Outs of Innisfil’s OLG Cash

At the same time that OLG is restructuring ‘gaming’ in Ontario, Innisfil is putting a new structure in place to manage this variable and unpredictable income source.

Up to now, a municipality received 5% per cent of the gaming facility’s gross slot machine revenue from the first 450 machines, and 2% per cent from any added ones above that number. The new revenue sharing agreement between Innisfil and the OLG is not affected by the number of slot machines. Innisfil will receive 5.25% from the first $65 million in revenues, 3% of the next $135 million, and 2.5% of any additional $300 million. Slots at Georgian Downs will be increased from 1,000 to 1,200.

Previously, about half of the Town’s $4.6 million annual slots revenue (OLG Annual Report, 2010/11) was committed for 10 years to pay for construction of the recreation complex. About $100,000 a year was allocated to the Community Reinvestment Fund and the same amount was put into a Council Discretionary Reserve and disbursed by Council through Community Assistance Grants. Both funds supported activities of local organizations.

Council has approved “in principle”, (subject to further discussion and review) a new community funding model based on the strategic objectives of Inspiring Innisfil 2020. Equivalent lottery revenue ($200,000/year) will be allocated to four funds as described in a Staff Report to Council:

Innisfil Community Foundation Fund (new)
50% – $100,000/year for 10 years
Purpose: “a sizeable endowment for a future Innisfil Community Foundation as a self-sustaining fund for the community. This fund would remain untapped until the principal amount of $1 million is reached.”

Council Discretionary Purposes (same as existing)
10% – $20,000/year
“Council could utilize these monies to assist community groups with issues such as facility rentals, permit fees, etc … any unspent funds from the Council Discretionary Purposes allocation at the end of the fiscal year would be directed to the Innisfil Community Foundation Fund.”

Inspiring Innisfil Fund (formerly the Community Reinvestment Fund)
25% – $50,000/year + 70% of 2 designated events
This fund would also receive 70% of proceeds from two community events – the Mayor’s Gala and the Mayor’s Golf Tournament. “Similar to the current CRF program, … a citizen Committee would be established to receive and consider applications for the Inspiring Innisfil Fund.”

Economic and Community Development Fund (new)
15% – $30,000/year + 30% of 2 designated events
This fund would receive 30% of proceeds from the Mayor’s Gala and the Mayor’s Golf Tournament. It is “a fund to seed new ideas and strategies associated with both economic development as well as heritage preservation.  The proposal would see the two Council advisory committees—Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) and the Innisfil Municipal Heritage Committee—take the lead roles in developing and submitting proposals for the use of funds within the community … Funds would be disbursed for projects that meet specific business plan objectives and are consistent with the intent of the goals of Inspiring Innisfil 2020 and endorsed by Council.”

Innisfil’s existing Alternative Revenue Source (ARS) reserve fund currently holds $93,600 of undistributed funds from previous years. Town staff have recommended that this amount be distributed in the same proportions as outlined to help initiate the four proposed Funds.

Slot revenues from Georgian Downs are not disclosed. I estimate them to be about $120 million per year, which if approximately accurate, would suggest Innisfil’s revenue share could potentially increase by about $400,000 a year under the new arrangement, provided that the facility continues to attract visitors in the same numbers.

Meanwhile, some organizations have decided to ban 50/50 draws among their member chapters on the basis that they are illegal. These have been common small fundraisers at many local events and are, in fact, quite legal. Click to view the clarification provided by another Innisfil blogger.

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