WSR 02-01-097

PROPOSED RULES

GAMBLING COMMISSION


[ Filed December 17, 2001, 1:06 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 01-21-063.

Title of Rule: Bingo, amending WAC 230-20-244 Electronic bingo card daubers -- Definition -- Operating restrictions -- Standards, 230-20-246 Manner of conducting bingo, and 230-20-249 Three number speed bingo -- Operational procedures -- Restrictions.

Purpose: The proposed amendment clarifies that bingo players may only use one electronic bingo card dauber at a time to prevent a player from utilizing numerous electronic bingo card daubers at one time and possibly having a winning advantage over other players. Currently, winning bingo cards must be verified by a bingo employee and at least one neutral player. The proposed amendment would allow an alternative method to determine winning players for electronic daubers. This amendment would allow a bingo employee to verify the winning card, without verification by a neutral player. However, after verification, the employee must then broadcast the winning card on a video screen for all players to view. Furthermore, any player can request to view the card. Finally, a proposed amendment would increase the maximum price to purchase a three number speed bingo card from $2 to $7. Furthermore, the proposed amendment would allow three number speed bingo games to accrue progressive jackpots.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 9.46.070.

Summary: See Purpose above.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: See Purpose above.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Susan Arland, Lacey, (360) 486-3466; Implementation: Rick Day, Lacey, (360) 486-3446; and Enforcement: Bob Berg, Lacey, (360) 486-3452.

Name of Proponent: Staff, governmental.

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

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: See Purpose above.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: See Purpose above.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Proposal is exempt under RCW 19.85.025(2), therefore a small business economic impact statement is not required.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. This agency does not choose to make section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995 apply to this rule adoption.

Hearing Location: WestCoast Hotel Olympia, 2300 Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98502, (360) 943-4000, on February 15, 2002, at 9:30 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Shirley Corbett by February 1, 2002, TDD (360) 486-3637, or (360) 486-3447.

Submit Written Comments to: Susan Arland, Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 42400, Olympia, WA 98504-2400, (360) 486-3466, fax (360) 486-3625, by February 1, 2002.

Date of Intended Adoption: February 15, 2002.

December 14, 2001

Susan Arland

Rules Coordinator

OTS-5339.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 381, filed 3/22/00, effective 7/1/00)

WAC 230-20-244   Electronic bingo card daubers -- Definition -- Operating restrictions -- Standards.   The commission deems that any device, apparatus, or scheme that allows a player in any gambling activity a material advantage over other players is against public policy and restriction of such is in the public's interest. Electronic bingo card marking devices or daubers are deemed to provide a player a material advantage unless operated in accordance with subsection (2) of this section. For purposes of this title, the following definitions, restrictions, and standards apply to such devices:


Definition.


(1) Electronic bingo card daubers are defined as electronic appliances used by players to identify bingo cards that contain numbers or symbols input by a player. These devices electronically store preprinted bingo cards purchased by a player, provide a means for players to input numbers or symbols called by the operator, compare the numbers or symbols input by the player to bingo cards previously stored in an electronic data base, and identify to the player those stored bingo cards that contain the numbers or symbols input by the player: Provided, That player-owned devices, which are not directly interfaced with or connected to equipment used to conduct bingo games or the electronic data base in which electronically generated bingo cards are stored in any manner, are not "electronic bingo card daubers" for purposes of this title;


Operating restrictions.


(2) Electronic bingo card daubers will not be deemed to provide players a material advantage and may be used by players in bingo games when operated in the following manner:


Player responsibilities.


(a) The player must perform at least the following functions:

(i) Input each number or symbol called by the operator into the memory of the dauber unit by use of a separate input function for each number symbol. Automatic or global marking of numbers or symbols is prohibited;

(ii) Notify the operator when a winning pattern or "bingo" occurs by means that do not utilize the dauber unit or the associated system; and

(iii) Identify the winning card and display the card to the operator;


Maximum number of cards to be played during each game.


(b) ((Each player using an electronic dauber is limited to playing a maximum of sixty-six cards with the assistance of an electronic dauber during any game;)) Each electronic dauber unit shall not allow a player to play more than sixty-six cards at one time.

(c) Each player shall not use more than one electronic dauber at any point in time. Provided, That a player can play an unlimited amount of disposable or hard bingo cards in addition to using one electronic dauber unit.


Reserving electronic bingo card daubers.


(((c))) (d) Operators shall not reserve electronic daubers for any player. An operator must devise and disclose to players a scheme for assignment of dauber units to players during each session. Such schemes shall allow all players an equal opportunity to utilize the available dauber units. If a drawing is used to assign dauber units to players, the operator shall ensure that each player participating in the drawing has an equal chance to win: Provided, That operators that offer electronic dauber units shall reserve at least one device for players with disabilities that would restrict their ability to mark cards and such disabilities are consistent with definitions set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If there are no requests for use of this unit prior to fifteen minutes before the scheduled start of the session, it may be made available for use by any players;


Fees.


(((d))) (e) If operators charge players a fee for use of the electronic daubers, such fees must be a flat fee and shall not be based on the number or dollar value of cards purchased. Fees charged shall be treated as rental income and may be used to reduce any expenses of operating these devices for compliance with net income requirements. Rental fees shall be considered bingo receipts for purposes of WAC 230-12-020: Provided, That players with disabilities that would restrict their ability to mark cards and such disabilities are consistent with the ADA shall not be required to pay a rental fee or to comply with minimum purchase requirements imposed on all players utilizing electronic daubers. Such players are required to comply with any minimum purchase requirement imposed on all players by an operator;


Card requirements.


(((e))) (f) Each player utilizing an electronic dauber must have in their possession cards that meet all requirements of WAC 230-20-240 and ((230-20-101(3))) 230-20-106. Electronic images of cards or faces stored in such devices are for player convenience only and are not bingo cards for purposes of this title;


Leasing by an operator.


(((f))) (g) If the electronic daubers are leased to an operator, the lease cannot be based in whole or part on the amount of bingo card sales or rental income derived from such devices; and


Discounts and marketing schemes.


(((g))) (h) The use of electronic daubers is prohibited when a licensee utilizes any marketing scheme for cards that results in a decrease in the per unit price of each card as the number of cards purchased increases: Provided, That a single discount level is authorized for each type of card sold if:

(i) The licensee has a minimum purchase requirement;

(ii) The discount applies to all additional cards purchased; and

(iii) "All you can play" schemes are prohibited;


Standards.


(3) Electronic bingo card daubers must meet the following standards:

(a) Be manufactured by licensed manufacturers;

(b) Be sold, leased, and serviced by licensed distributors or manufacturers: Provided, That operators may perform routine maintenance on devices under their control;

(c) Not be capable of accessing the electronic computer system in any manner that would allow modification of the program which operates and controls the dauber units or the cards stored in the electronic data base; and

(d) Be capable of complying with applicable requirements of WAC ((230-20-101(3))) 230-20-106.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.070. 00-07-140 (Order 381), 230-20-244, filed 3/22/00, effective 7/1/00; 94-17-090 (Order 255), 230-20-244, filed 8/16/94, effective 9/16/94.]

OTS-5340.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 369, filed 12/1/98, effective 1/1/99)

WAC 230-20-246   Manner of conducting bingo.   In addition to all other requirements set forth in this Title, the following limitations and procedures shall be utilized for conducting bingo games:


Location of game.


(1) For purposes of this Title, a bingo game shall be deemed conducted at the premises at which cards are sold and winners are determined;


Cards to be sold on premises only.


(2) All sales of bingo cards shall take place upon the licensed premises during or immediately preceding the session for which the card is being sold;


Payment for bingo cards.


(3) Bingo cards shall be sold and paid for prior to selection of the first symbol or number for a specified game or specified number of games: Provided, That cards may be sold after the start of a game, or number of games, if the late sale does not allow any player an advantage over any other player. Hard cards purchased or exchanged after the first symbol or number is selected may only be used during subsequent games. Any sales method that allows a player to select a specific disposable or throwaway card shall be deemed to allow the player an advantage;


Reserving cards not allowed - exception for braille.


(4) No operator shall reserve, or allow to be reserved, any bingo card for use by players: Provided, That braille cards or other cards for use by visually impaired or disabled players may be reserved. Visually impaired players may use their personal braille cards when a licensee does not provide such cards. The licensee shall have the right to inspect, and to reject, any personal braille card. A visually impaired or disabled person may use a braille card or reserved hard card in place of a purchased throwaway;


Price and appearance of cards.


(5) All cards sold to participate for a specific prize or set of prizes shall be sold for the same price and be distinct and readily distinguished from all other cards in play: Provided, That similar cards used to participate for the same prize or set of prizes may be sold at a discount which is based solely on volume if each separate discount price is recorded using a separate sales identification code and records provide for an audit trail;


Number/symbols to be selected on premises.


(6) All symbols or numbers shall be selected on the premises and in the presence of players paying to participate in the game. Immediately following the drawing of each ball in a bingo game, the caller shall display the symbol or number on the ball to the participants: Provided, That this subsection does not apply to games being played for a linked bingo prize, as long as the drawing of the balls can be viewed by all participants;


Calling the number/symbol.


(7) The symbol or number on the ball shall be called out prior to the drawing of any other ball;


Posting number/symbol on flashboard.


(8) After the symbol or number is called, the corresponding symbol or number on the licensee's flashboard, if any, shall be lit for participant viewing. In a game where a symbol or number on the ball is not applicable to the game being played, it is not necessary to call that symbol or number to the participants before placing it for viewing on the flashboard;


Determining winners.


(9) A game ends when a specific pattern has been achieved by a player or a specific number of symbols or numbers has been called. Each game shall be played using a separate selection process: Provided, That the same or a continuing selection process may be used to play the following games:

(a) Interim or "on-the-way" games, including "instant winner" games in which winners are determined by matching a predetermined number of symbols or numbers to balls called, or by matching a predetermined pattern within an established number of calls;

(b) Games for which cards are sold for different prices and players win a different prize depending on the price they pay to play; and

(c) Bonus games which are games played concurrently with other bingo games and the winner is determined by a player calling a valid bingo which includes a predetermined or preselected number or symbol;


Prizes available.


(10) No bingo game shall be conducted to include a prize determined other than by the matching of symbols or numbers on a bingo card with symbols or numbers called by the licensee, except as authorized by WAC 230-20-242. All persons who have paid to participate in the game are competing for a specific prize or a portion of a prize pool.


Multiple winners.


(11) If a prize pool has been designated and more than one player achieves a winning pattern at the same time, all such players shall be considered the winner and a portion of the prize pool shall be equally divided among all players achieving the same winning pattern;


Establishing prizes.


(((11))) (12) The minimum amount of an individual prize, prize pool, or portion of a prize pool available for each bingo game shall be established and disclosed to bingo game players prior to their purchase of a chance to participate in a bingo game. The minimum prize may be increased by the gambling manager before the start of a game or through the following schemes during the game:

(a) Schemes using standard bingo equipment and cards such as:

(i) Number of symbols or numbers called before a player achieving a winning combination;

(ii) The specific symbol or number called;

(iii) The specific letter called;

(iv) Position of winning combinations on the card;

(v) Position of the card on the sheet of cards;

(vi) Odd or even symbol or numbers; and

(vii) The number of symbols or numbers matched within a specific number of calls;

(b) Schemes preprinted on disposable cards that rely on a number or symbol called during a game; or

(c) Second element of chance schemes authorized by WAC 230-20-242(4).


Winner verification.


(((12))) (13) Immediately upon a bingo player declaring a winning combination of symbols or numbers, the winning card shall be verified using one of the three methods listed below:

(a) The card or electronic dauber card image is inspected by ((a game)) an employee of the bingo operation and at least one neutral player((:));

((Provided, That)) (b) The card or electronic dauber card image is verified by an employee of the bingo licensee. The bingo licensee's employee must immediately enter the bingo card number into an electronic verifier and broadcast the winning card on video screen(s) for all players to view. If this method is used, any player can request to see the actual winning card and must be given the opportunity to do so;

(c) Games played as "instant winners" and awarding fifty dollars or less do not need to be verified by a neutral player if an audit trail is maintained including a method which identifies the winning combination of numbers, symbols, or patterns and the numbers, symbols, or patterns called((;)).


Additional ball to be called.


(((13))) (14) Upon a bingo player declaring a winning bingo, the next ball out of the machine shall be removed from the machine prior to shutting the machine off and shall be the next ball to be called in the event the declared winning bingo is not valid;


Awarding prizes.


(((14))) (15) After a winning bingo is validated, the prize shall be awarded using the following procedures:

(a) Each winner shall be required to provide proof that they have purchased the winning bingo card. The licensee shall review the prize winner's income receipt and determine that the player has properly purchased all cards played during the games, including the winning card;

(b) Each prize winner shall be positively identified. The licensee shall require such proof of identification as is necessary to establish the prize winner's identity prior to paying any prize. The winner is responsible for furnishing proof to the licensee that all information required by this rule is true and accurate. Prizes may be withheld until the winner has provided adequate identification;

(c) The prize shall be awarded and a record made by completing a prize receipt as required by WAC 230-08-080 and 230-20-102. A complete address and tax payer identification number should be recorded for each prize valued at $1,200 or more;

(d) All prizes for a particular game must be available prior to starting the game and shall be awarded by the end of the related session: Provided, That linked main and bonus prizes must be paid within forty-eight hours;

(e) All merchandise offered as prizes to bingo players shall have been paid in full, without lien or interest of others, prior to the merchandise being offered as a prize: Provided, That the licensee may enter into a contract to immediately purchase the merchandise when it is awarded as a prize, with the contract revocable if prize winners are allowed to exercise an option to receive a cash prize or the prize is no longer offered; and


Games shall be run fairly.


(((15))) (16) No operator shall engage in any act, practice, or course of operation as would operate as a fraud to affect the outcome of any bingo game.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.070. 98-24-090 (Order 369), 230-20-246, filed 12/1/98, effective 1/1/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.070 (1), (8) - (11), (14), (20). 96-13-067 (Order 293), 230-20-246, filed 6/18/96, effective 7/19/96. Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.070. 94-18-013 (Order 257), 230-20-246, filed 8/25/94, effective 9/25/94; 93-13-062 (Order 240), 230-20-246, filed 6/17/93, effective 7/18/93. Statutory Authority: Chapter 9.46 RCW. 91-21-053 (Order 228), 230-20-246, filed 10/15/91, effective 11/15/91. Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.070. 90-24-005 (Order 218), 230-20-246, filed 11/26/90, effective 12/27/90. Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.070 (11) and (14). 89-17-056 (Order 196), 230-20-246, filed 8/15/89, effective 9/15/89. Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.020 (1) and (10) and 9.46.070 (3), (11) and (14). 86-09-036 (Order 157), 230-20-246, filed 4/11/86. Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.030 (2) and (3) and 9.46.070 (11) and (14). 83-19-024 (Order 136), 230-20-246, filed 9/13/83.]

OTS-5341.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 364, filed 9/23/98, effective 1/1/99)

WAC 230-20-249   Three number speed bingo -- Operational procedures -- Restrictions.   Licensees may play "speed bingo" if the conditions set forth in this section are followed:


Definition.


(1) For purposes of this section, "three number speed bingo" is defined as a bingo game that:

(a) Is played using a reduced number of balls and special cards with less than twenty-five spaces;

(b) The rate of calling numbers is faster than normal;

(c) The price to play includes an "ante," which is retained by the licensee, and a wager that begins at three units and decreases by one for each number covered on a player's card; ((and))

(d) Players compete against all other players for a pool of prizes that varies according to the numbers covered by players during the game;

(e) An "ante" is the fee retained by the licensee which allows a patron to play speed bingo; and

(f) A wager is the total dollar value of chips used to cover the numbers on a player's card;


Restrictions.


(2) The following restrictions apply to speed bingo:

(a) The price to play speed bingo, including wagers, shall not exceed ((two)) seven dollars per card, per game;

(b) The price to play shall be the same for each card;

(c) The licensee shall not retain any part of players' wagers and all wagers not covering a called number on a player's card shall be paid to winners. If there is more than one winner, wagers shall be equally split among all winners: Provided, That licensees may develop a scheme for splitting odd numbers of chips between winners; ((and))

(d) Gross gambling receipts for speed bingo shall be only the amount of fees collected from players for tickets to participate and excludes wagers and prizes paid to players((.));

(e) A progressive jackpot or accrued prize fund is authorized if:

(i) Requirements of WAC 230-20-102(7) are followed;

(ii) The prize fund or jackpot is funded solely from the "ante" collected by the licensee;


Rules of play.


(3) Speed bingo shall be played as follows:

(a) The game shall be played using thirty numbered balls, with numbers one through seventy-five available for use;

(b) Special cards that have three spaces imprinted with numbers that correspond to the numbers on the balls utilized for play;

(c) The licensee may elect to collect fees by charging a set amount for each card for the entire session or an amount per card for each game;


Additional ticket receipting requirements.


(d) The ticket receipting method set forth in WAC 230-20-105 shall be used to receipt for income received to play games. In addition, the following requirements shall be met:

(i) All tickets sold and collected must be canceled by stamping the calendar date on the ticket at the time of sale or permanently defacing the tickets when collected;

(ii) All tickets sold for per session fees shall be accounted for using the combination receipting method set forth in WAC 230-20-108;

(iii) Tickets sold and collected from players shall be reconciled to cash for each session;


Wager limits.


(e) Wagers shall be made and prizes paid using wagering chips. Wagers may be valued at any price as long as the total value of wagers and fees does not exceed ((two)) seven dollars per card, per game. ((The requirements of WAC 230-40-070 shall be followed for wagering chips and banking services.)) For licensees charging a flat fee per session to participate, the fee per game shall be determined by dividing the fee per session by the minimum number of games to be played;


Standards for chips.


(f) The bingo licensee shall furnish all chips in connection with the bingo game conducted on its premises. All chips shall be of generally conventional size and design, and include safeguards that maximize the integrity of the bingo games. The licensee shall furnish chips that meet the following standards:

(i) The bingo licensee's logo or name;

(ii) The chip value clearly denoted;

(iii) Be produced by a licensed manufacturer; and

(iv) Be purchased from a licensed manufacturer or distributor;


Bank services.


(g) The licensee shall sell its chips to all players desiring to buy them and redeem all chips for the value for which they were sold. The licensee shall collect the money taken in on chips sold and fees collected and shall keep these funds separate and apart from all other money received by the licensee;


Player to pay with ticket.


(((f))) (h) Each player pays the licensee one ticket for each bingo card played for each game: Provided, That when the licensee charges a per session fee, the player's ticket and cash register receipt must remain visible and on the table at all times during the game;


Player's beginning wager.


(((g))) (i) Each player's beginning wager is three chips for each bingo card played during any single game. A player must have three chips for each card being played prior to the beginning of the game;


Wagering during the game and winner verification.


(((h))) (j) During play of the game, players place a wagering chip on each number on their cards that is matched with called numbers. Once a wagering chip is used to cover a valid number, it is retained by the player and no longer available to be won by the game winner(s). Wagering chips must remain on the number on the card until all losing wagers are collected from players by the licensee. The bingo worker collecting wagers must verify that covered numbers are valid;

(((i))) (k) The first player to cover all three numbers on any card is the winner;

(((j))) (l) After the winning card is verified, all unprotected chips are collected from all players and paid to the winner((.));


Rules not applicable to speed bingo.


(4) The following WAC sections are not applicable to speed bingo:

(a) WAC 230-20-010 (1)(b) requiring all prizes available to be disclosed to players prior to their paying to participate: Provided, That licensees shall disclose the per-card cost to play and the amount of wagers required to play a single card;

(b) WAC 230-20-240(2) requiring that seventy-five balls, numbered one through seventy-five, be used to conduct games;

(c) WAC 230-20-240 (4)(a) requiring bingo cards to have twenty-five spaces;

(d) WAC 230-20-240(5) requiring Class F and above licensees to use disposable or electronically-generated bingo cards;

(e) WAC 230-20-101 regarding the ticket receipting method;

(f) WAC 230-20-246(6) requiring the symbol or number to be displayed to players: Provided, That the symbol or number must be displayed by use of a flashboard required by WAC 230-20-240(3) and the flashboard and audio system shall be fully functional; and

(g) WAC 230-08-080(2) and 230-20-102 regarding records for prizes awarded.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.070. 98-19-131 (Order 364), 230-20-249, filed 9/23/98, effective 1/1/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.070, 9.46.0209, 9.46.0237, 9.46.0205 and 9.46.075. 96-24-008 (Order 303), 230-20-249, filed 11/21/96, effective 12/22/96.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office