Three Corbin-based bingo charities are under scrutiny by the Kentucky Office of Charitable Gaming, and state officials say organizers of the charities may have broken state laws.
Officials issued emergency suspensions on Dec. 3 of gaming licenses for bingo charities that benefit the Sportman’s Network (formed in 1991 as an “advocacy group for sportsmen), formerly located at 501 S. Kentucky Ave.; Children of Domestic Violence Inc. (incorporated in June 1996 to aid child victims of domestic violence), at the same location, and The Saint Camillus Academy Alumni Association, Inc.
Following an emergency administrative appeal hearing Monday, only one of the Corbin-based charities will be allowed to continue.
“The parties have come to some terms on a settlement agreement and we are in the process of trying to finalize those right now,” said Chris Stallings an attorney and public information officer for the Kentucky Office of Charitable Gaming.
“I can’t directly speak to the content of those terms until they are finalized.”
Stallings did pinpoint the charity for the Saint Camillus Academy Alumni Association as the one that would be allowed to continue under “certain conditions and restrictions.”
The charities are part of a group administered by Peter O. Samples – a detective in the Pendleton County Attorney’s office, former Corbin resident and a 1963 graduate of St. Camillus Academy.
Charitable gaming records show that the three charities, plus a fourth that helps fund the Kentucky Multi-County Task Force on Child Abuse and Exploitation Prevention, Inc., sold $16.3 million in bingo cards and pull-tab games from Jan. 2002 to March 2004. After payoffs and expenses, the charities earned $633,717. They are all administered out of an office in Dry Ridge.
The suspensions came on the heels of a bankruptcy court filing by the Sportsman’s Network in January. The filing included an affidavit signed by Samples and others that officials say proves administrators of the charities “conspired to violate charitable gaming laws.”
The Sportsman’s Network filed for bankruptcy when Corbin bingo supply wholesaler JB Distributing filed a lawsuit against it in Whitley Circuit Court claiming it was owed nearly $40,000 for attorney’s fees and unpaid bingo supplies.
State law requires that charities must use at least 40 percent of their adjusted gross receipts from any gaming – money left over after payouts and expenses are deducted – on the stated charitable purpose. The state average is about 59 percent.
In the lawsuit, the Sportman’s Network objected to the claim it owed $40,000 by saying that it agreed only to pay for bingo supplies provided the bill did not exceed a certain amount – making it easier for the Network to get under the 40 percent requirement since its expenses would have been capped. JB Distributing said it would write off purchases over that specific amount as donations, but only as long as the charity held bingo in buildings owned or controlled by Danny Rains, who owned several bingo halls in the area and also owned JB Distributing.
Officials say that agreement was a violation of charitable gaming laws. Distributors are forbidden from making donations to groups that run bingo for charity.
Stallings said JB Distributing surrendered its gaming license about a year ago. He added that Rains hasn’t been a licensed bingo hall operator for “several years” and no longer legally owns any bingo halls in the Corbin area.
Officials would not say whether criminal charges are imminent against Samples, Rains or anyone else involved with the charities or JB Distributing, but did not rule out the option either.
“As to whether any other activities from the office may happen, that’s under review right now.”
- Public Records
- Contact Us
- Subscribe Now!
- Community Directory