WSR 09-06-022



[ Filed February 23, 2009, 1:59 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 09-02-004.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Amending WAC 230-15-475 Tips from players and patrons to card room employees.

Hearing Location(s): Red Lion Hotel, 2300 Evergreen Park Drive, Olympia, WA 98502, (360) 943-4000, on April 10, 2009, at 9:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: April 10, 2009.

Submit Written Comments to: Susan Arland, P.O. Box 42400, Olympia, WA 98504-2400, e-mail, fax (360) 486-3625, by April 1, 2009.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Gail Grate, executive assistant, by April 1, 2009, TTY (360) 486-3637 or (360) 486-3453.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The petitioner requests that poker managers at house-banked card rooms be prohibited from accepting tips from players or patrons.

Gambling commission staff note: In the past, there were no rules that addressed whether or not poker supervisors or managers were allowed to accept tips from players or patrons. A rule interpretation was created approximately five years ago to clarify that poker supervisors were allowed to accept tips from players or patrons. During the gambling commission's rules simplification project (RSP), this rule interpretation was inadvertently left out of the new rules. The proposed change would be consistent with current practice.

WAC 230-15-475 prohibits employees at house-banked card rooms directly concerned with management, supervision, accounting, security or surveillance to ask for, accept, or share any tips originating from players or patrons. The way this rule is written, "house-banked card game licensees," it also applies to poker games at house-banked card rooms. This was an inadvertent change made during the RSP. This rule needs to be changed so poker supervisors at house-banked card rooms are allowed to receive tips.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: See above.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 9.46.070.

Statute Being Implemented: Not applicable.

Name of Proponent: Erin Louis, petitioner, private.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Susan Arland, Rules Coordinator, Lacey, (360) 486-3466; Implementation: Rick Day, Director, Lacey, (360) 486-3446; and Enforcement: Mark Harris, Assistant Director, Lacey, (360) 486-3579.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. A small business economic impact statement has not been prepared pursuant to RCW 19.85.025 because the change would not impose additional costs on businesses.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. The Washington state gambling commission is not an agency that is statutorily required to prepare a cost-benefit analysis under RCW 34.05.328.

February 23, 2009

Susan Arland

Rules Coordinator


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 617, filed 10/22/07, effective 1/1/08)

WAC 230-15-475   Tips from players and patrons to card room employees.   (1) House-banked card game licensees may allow selected employees to accept tips from players or patrons.

(2) If licensees allow house-banked card game dealers to accept tips, licensees must ensure that tips are controlled so that only authorized employees receive tips, that tips are properly accounted for, and that tips are maintained separately from all other gambling funds.

(3) Cage cashiers may accept tips. They must locate their tip containers outside the cage enclosure. Players or patrons must deposit the tips directly into the container. A shift or floor supervisor, security, or an accounting manager who does not work as a cashier must verify the tips cage cashiers receive.

(4) Employees directly concerned with management, supervision, accounting, security, or surveillance must not ask for, accept, or share any tip originating from players or patrons; however, this restriction does not apply to poker "floor supervisors."

(5) House-banked card game licensees must:

(a) Establish and implement procedures for the accounting of tips received by authorized card room employees.

(b) Fully document the procedures in their internal controls and describe in detail any methods used to allocate tips.

(c) Establish procedures necessary to ensure that the floor supervisor and surveillance observe card room employees accepting tips. Procedures must include an overt display of received tips, for example tapping the table with the tip before placing it in the tip container.

(6) Employees must:

(a) Drop all tips into a locked tip container which prevents the removal of tips except by unlocking the container. Tips may be accumulated on the table, exchanged into higher denomination chips, and then deposited into the tip container. Tip containers must remain under camera coverage of the closed circuit television system at all times; and

(b) Keep all tips received or pool them with tips of all card room employees according to the licensee's internal controls; and

(c) Redeem all tips received under surveillance at the cashier's cage; and

(d) Accurately report all tips to their employer as described in the licensee's internal controls.

(7) Licensees may determine whether employees must retain or pool tips among employees. Employees must redeem all pooled tips under surveillance at the cashier's cage, count room, or a gaming table.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.070. 07-21-116 (Order 617), 230-15-475, filed 10/22/07, effective 1/1/08.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office