WSR 05-09-065



[ Filed April 19, 2005, 1:33 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 05-06-032.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 230-02-505 Recreational gaming activity -- Defined.

Hearing Location(s): LaConner Maple Hall, 108 Commercial Street, LaConner, WA 98257, on June 10, 2005, at 9:30 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: June 10, 2005.

Submit Written Comments to: Susan Arland, Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 42400, Olympia, WA 98504, e-mail, fax (360) 486-3625, by June 1, 2005.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Shirley Corbett by June 1, 2005, TTY (360) 486-3637 or (360) 486-3447.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: A recreational gaming activity (RGA) is not a gambling activity and its purpose is purely entertainment, not fund-raising. Participants are each given the same number of chips and the chips have no value (scrip). Additional scrip cannot be purchased. The only cost to participants is to defray costs of food, entertainment, and/or hiring a fund-raising event equipment provider (FRE provider). Sponsoring organizations may hire a licensed FRE provider to bring in professional gambling tables, and/or staff to operate the games. All prizes are donated and players may bid on them at the end of the evening, using scrip collected during the event. RGAs are often sponsored by companies as a way to get employees together to socialize (for example, a company may sponsor an RGA during a holiday party.) In 1997, rules were adopted creating RGAs in response to requests to allow gambling equipment to be used at nongambling events. The permit is our way of tracking the gambling equipment. During the past five years, the commission has issued an average of thirty permits each year. Permit fees are $54 for charitable/nonprofits and $55 for commercials. RGAs can be held without a permit, if professional gambling equipment is not used. Organizations must be in existence for at least six months before sponsoring an RGA and they can sponsor two RGAs each year. This limit was intended to discourage organizations from forming solely for the purpose of offering the activity. Only members and guests of the sponsoring organization may participate in the RGA. Only activities authorized at fund-raising events (FREs) are allowed at RGA. Poker is no allowed at FREs; therefore, it's not allowed at RGAs.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The growing popularity of poker has brought this rule change to the commission at the request of several FRE equipment providers. Staff reviewed these requests and do no have regulatory concerns with: (1) Poker be allowed; (2) ability for organizations to sponsor more than two RGAs each year; and (3) no longer require sponsoring organizations to be in existence at least six months.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 9.46.070.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: Washington State Gambling Commission, governmental.

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: Neal Nunamaker, Deputy Director, Lacey, (360) 486-3452.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The amendment will not impose additional costs on licensees.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. Amendment does not impose additional costs to licensees.

April 18, 2005

Susan Arland

Rules Coordinator

AMENDATORY SECTION [(Amending Order 224, filed 7/17/91, effective 8/17/91)]WAC 230-02-505   Recreational gaming activity -- Defined.   A recreational gaming activity is a nongambling activity ((utilizing)) using poker tables and/or gambling devices authorized for use in fund raising events((, conducted no more than two times per year, by or on behalf of an organization that has been in existence for at least six months)). Only members and guests of the sponsoring organization may participate and ((such)) the activity ((shall be)) is subject to the requirements of WAC 230-25-330.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 9.46 RCW. 91-15-040 (Order 224), 230-02-505, filed 7/17/91, effective 8/17/91.]

Reviser's note: The bracketed material preceding the section above was supplied by the code reviser's office.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office