Saturday, March 25, 2023

Claremont Chamber hauls in $186K in charitable gambling

Organizations in both Steele and Dodge counties are benefiting from nearly $186,000 of charitable gambling operated by the Claremont Chamber of Commerce.

Charitable gambling totaled $186,097 at four locations in 2022, down about $40,000 from the previous year, according to reports released by Dean Schuette, president of Claremont Area Chamber. In 2021, the Chamber’s gambling hit about $229,000.

Gambling takes place at J&H Liquor in Blooming Prairie and three locations in Dodge County—Claremont Pub, Dodge Center Country Club and Dodge Center Legion.

Of the four charitable gambling venues, the Claremont Pub led the way with $70,477 followed by Dodge Center Country Club at $49,600, Dodge Center Legion at $37,941 and J&H Liquor at $27,079. The charitable gambling comes from bar bingo, pull tabs, e-tabs and sponsor raffles, Schuette said, adding e-tabs currently make up two-thirds of the Chamber’s gambling profits.

Schuette said each gambling venue is allowed to determine which organizations they want the profits to benefit. “We give them the ability to help fund projects that are near and dear to their hearts,” he said.

He has found that there is great need throughout the area for the charitable gambling donations. “People are more willing to indulge because they know the good it is doing,” Schuette said.

No less than 61 organizations in both Steele and Dodge counties received funds from Claremont Chamber in 2022. There were 28 organizations ranging from nonprofits to personal benefits and food shelves that split the proceeds earned at the Claremont Pub last year.

“We fund things that can’t be paid for with taxes,” Schuette said. “We are filling the gaps.”

Schuette said the impact that Claremont Chamber has had on the area since it began charitable gambling in 1998 is “not a well-publicized story.” Over the past 25 years, Schuette said “all but the last 10 years were modest amounts.”

The worst year in recent memory was 2020 when COVID hit. The Chamber only brought in $58,000 in 2020, Schuette said.

Schuette, who serves as a board member for Allied Charities of Minnesota (ACM), is concerned about current talk at the legislature about curtailing e-tabs, which he says will definitely cut into the profits of gambling in rural Minnesota. “That will have a big impact on local charities that we help support,” he said.

Currently, Minnesota collects about $189 million in taxes from charitable gambling, according to Schuette. That leaves, he said, about $89 million for charitable giving across the state.

“Every $1 wagered, we get 1 cent for charity giving,” Schuette said, adding “taxes are unbelievable,” and charitable gambling organizations are seeking tax relief.

His experience on the ACM board has “opened my eyes to what charitable gambling does all across the state.”

For Schuette, charitable gambling is “all about giving back to the community.”


2022 Claremont Chamber Donations

Total charitable gambling: $186,097

Claremont Pub


Benefits: Brian Bohlman, Tyler Maas, Kirk Aronson

Churches: Rice Lake, Presbyterian, Faith Lutheran

City of Claremont (fire and first responders)

Dodge County Food Shelfs

Owatonna VFW Baseball

Various others


Dodge Center Country Club

      Triton Post Prom
      DC FundraiserTriton High School
      Triton T.E.A.M
      Fairview Care Center
      City of Dodge Center (fire and ambulance)
      Triton School District

Dodge Center American Legion

      City of Dodge Center (fire and ambulance)
      Triton Youth Wrestling
      Riverside Cemetery
      Classic Car Show for Veterans
      American Legion Baseball
      American Legion Softball
      American Cancer Society
      Brian Bohlman Benefit
      Friends of Oxbow Park
      American Legion Emblem Sales
      Dodge County Corn Growers


Dodge County Independent

Dodge County Independent
Dodge County ADvantage
301 S. Mantorville Ave.
Plaza 57 • Suite 200
Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
301 S. Mantorville Ave.
Plaza 57 • Suite 200
Kasson, MN 55944