WSR 03-17-044



[ Order 422 -- Filed August 15, 2003, 1:58 p.m. ]

Date of Adoption: August 15, 2003.

Purpose: Currently, house-banked card rooms open with $25 betting limits. After six months of operation, betting limits may be increased to $100 if the operator successfully passes a Phase II review by staff and is formally approved by the commission. Initially, our agency and the industry were new to the activity. Phase II was designed to ensure house-banked card rooms were in compliance before increasing their betting limits. It also allowed staff the opportunity to learn more about regulating house-banked activities.

Phase II reviews no longer serve a regulatory purpose. Therefore, this rule package removes the formal Phase II review and allows card rooms to open with $100 betting limits. Applicants for house-banked card room licenses will continue to come before the commission for initial approval. However, they will no longer come before the commission for a formal Phase II review. Staff does not have any regulatory concerns with card rooms opening with $100 betting limits. This amendment streamlines agency processes.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 230-40-803; and amending WAC 230-40-825 and 230-40-120.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 9.46.070.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 03-13-137 on June 18, 2003.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 2, Repealed 1.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 2, Repealed 1.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 2, Repealed 1; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

August 15, 2003

Susan Arland

Rules Coordinator



     The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
WAC 230-40-803 Phase II wager limits -- Restrictions -- Procedures.


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 403, filed 6/19/01, effective 7/20/01)

WAC 230-40-120   Limits on wagers in card games.   Social and public card room licensees shall not allow wagering limits set by the commission to be exceeded in any card game. The number and value of wagers in card games are limited as follows:

Nonhouse-banked card games.

(1) Poker:

(a) There shall be no more than five betting rounds in any one game;

(b) The maximum number of wagers in any betting round shall be four, comprised of an initial wager plus three raises; and

(c) The maximum amount of a single wager shall not exceed twenty-five dollars.

(2) Games based on achieving a specific number of points - each point shall not exceed five cents in value.

(3) An ante, except for panguingue (pan), shall not be more than the maximum wager allowed for the first betting round for any game. The ante may, by house rule, be made by one or more players, but the total ante may not exceed the maximum wager allowed for the first betting round. An ante, by house rule, may be used as part of a player's wager.

(4) Panguingue (pan) - the maximum value of a chip for a payoff shall not exceed ten dollars. An ante will not exceed one chip. Doubling of conditions is prohibited. Players going out may collect not more than two chips from each participating player.

House-banked card games.

(5) ((Licensees authorized to conduct house-banked card games shall not allow a single wager to exceed twenty-five dollars;

(6))) Licensees authorized to conduct ((Phase II)) house-banked card games shall not allow a single wager to exceed one hundred dollars;

(((7))) (6) A single wager may be made on each separate element of chance. In addition, for blackjack, an additional wager may be placed for doubling down or splitting pairs; and

(((8))) (7) Bonus wagers for house-banked progressive jackpots shall not exceed one dollar. Bonus wagers with a predetermined prize amount based upon a separate element of chance within the same game shall not exceed the authorized maximum table limits as described in subsection((s)) (5) ((and (6))) of this section.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.070. 01-13-091 (Order 403), 230-40-120, filed 6/19/01, effective 7/20/01; 00-09-052 (Order 383), 230-40-120, filed 4/14/00, effective 5/15/00; 94-13-098 (Order 252), 230-40-120, filed 6/15/94, effective 7/16/94. Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.220(4), [34.05].230 and 9.46.070 (11) and (14). 90-05-032 (Order 205), 230-40-120, filed 2/14/90, effective 3/17/90. Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.070 (8), (11) and (14). 89-15-039 (Order 194), 230-40-120, filed 7/18/89, effective 8/18/89. Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.050(3) and 9.46.070 (1), (2) and (11). 86-15-025 (Order 159), 230-40-120, filed 7/14/86. Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.070 (1), (2) and (11) and 9.46.110. 85-21-046 (Order 154), 230-40-120, filed 10/14/85. Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.020 (20)(d) and 9.46.070(11). 82-23-050 (Order 125) and 83-01-045 (Order 125A), 230-40-120, filed 11/15/82 and 12/13/82. Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.070(11). 82-04-010 (Order 118), 230-40-120, filed 1/22/82; 81-19-073 (Order 112), 230-40-120, filed 9/15/81. Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.070(10). 80-03-059 (Order 98), 230-40-120, filed 2/25/80; Order 80, 230-40-120, filed 12/28/77; Order 51, 230-40-120, filed 4/30/76; Order 48, 230-40-120, filed 3/23/76; Order 23, 230-40-120, filed 9/23/74.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 418, filed 4/16/03, effective 7/1/03)

WAC 230-40-825   Closed circuit television system -- House-banking.   Critical activities related to the operation of house-banked card games shall be closely monitored by the use of a closed circuit television (CCTV) system and recorded using analog and/or digital recording equipment. Each house-banked card room licensee shall install and maintain a CCTV system that meets the following requirements.

Camera coverage.

(1) The following areas are required to be viewed by the CCTV system:

(a) All gaming at each table including, but not limited to, the following:

(i) Cards;

(ii) Wagers;

(iii) Chip tray;

(iv) Drop box openings;

(v) Card shoe;

(vi) Shuffling devices; and

(vii) Players and dealers.

(b) All activity in the pits.

(c) All activity in the cashier's cage including, but not limited to, the:

(i) Outside entrance;

(ii) Fill/credit dispenser;

(iii) Customer transactions;

(iv) Cash and chip drawers;

(v) Vault/safe;

(vi) Storage cabinets;

(vii) Fill or credit transactions; and

(viii) Floor.

(d) All activity in the count room including, but not limited to, the:

(i) Count table;

(ii) Floor;

(iii) Counting devices;

(iv) Trolley;

(v) Drop boxes;

(vi) Storage shelves/cabinets; and

(vii) Entrance and exits.

(e) The movement of cash, gaming chips, and drop boxes.

(f) Entrances and exits to the card room.

Camera requirements.

(2) The CCTV system shall consist of light sensitive cameras including those with pan, tilt, and zoom (PTZ) capabilities having the ability to determine card and chip values and the configuration of wagers at each gaming table. Each video camera shall be capable of having its images displayed on a video monitor and recorded. Cameras shall be installed in a manner that will prevent them from being readily obstructed, tampered with, or disabled by patrons or employees. PTZ cameras shall be placed behind a smoked dome, one-way mirror or similar materials that conceal the camera from view. Installed cameras shall cover the areas required by this rule and shall include at a minimum:

(a) At least one fixed camera focused over each gaming table covering the entire layout;

(b) A sufficient number of fixed and/or PTZ cameras permanently programmed for the purposes of monitoring players and dealers at each gaming table. The PTZ cameras must be capable of viewing each patron and dealer at each gaming position at least once every five minutes;

(c) A sufficient number of PTZ cameras for the purpose of determining the configuration of wagers and card values at each gaming table. Any time a winning wager, including jackpot or bonus payouts in excess of five hundred dollars are won, surveillance shall utilize this camera to verify the winning hand, the amount of the wager, and the player who won the prize. Each licensee shall have documented procedures in their internal controls stipulating the manner in which this will be carried out;

(d) A sufficient number of fixed and/or PTZ cameras in the cage(s);

(e) A sufficient number of fixed and/or PTZ cameras in the count room; and

(f) Any other location as deemed necessary by commission staff.

Video recording equipment requirements.

(3) Video recording equipment shall meet the following requirements:

(a) Analog recording, including audio recording where required, using a video cassette recorder, shall comply with the following requirements:

(i) Images shall be recorded at a rate of not less than twenty frames per second on standard VHS format; and

(ii) Recorded images shall accurately reflect the time and date of the video recording. If multiple time and date generators are used, they shall be synchronized to the same time and date; or

(b) Digital recording, including audio recording where required, using a hard drive storage system, shall comply with the following requirements:

(i) All images shall be recorded on a hard drive;

(ii) Recording systems shall be locked by the manufacturer to disable the erase and reformat functions to prevent access to system data files;

(iii) The system must provide uninterrupted recording of surveillance, this shall include during playback or copying;

(iv) Recording systems shall be capable of copying original images maintaining the original native format;

(v) Images shall be stored at a rate of not less than twenty-five images per second;

(vi) Resolution shall be 640 x 480 or higher;

(vii) Images shall be stored in a format that is readable by commission computer equipment;

(viii) Images shall be stored in a format that contains a method to verify the authenticity of the original recording and copies;

(ix) Recorded images shall include the accurate time and date the video was originally recorded;

(x) Previously recorded material may be overwritten after seven continuous days of gaming; and

(xi) Recording systems shall be equipped with an uninterruptible power source to allow a proper system shutdown.

Use of multiplexing and quad recording devices.

(4) Multiplexing/quad recording devices may only be used for external surveillance, movement of drop boxes between tables and the count room, and on entrances and exits: Provided, That split screen devices may be utilized for areas not required to have surveillance coverage.

Recording of illegal or suspicious activities.

(5) Illegal or suspicious activities within the monitored portion of the licensed premises shall be reported to commission staff, pursuant to WAC 230-40-815 (3)(a)(v) through (vi). Additionally, licensees shall ensure two copies of the entire recorded image sequence are made reflecting the questioned activity. One copy shall be provided to commission staff or other law enforcement representatives upon demand and the other copy maintained by the licensee for a period of thirty days.

Activities to be recorded.

(6) Video signals from all cameras shall be recorded when:

(a) Gaming tables are in operation;

(b) Drop boxes or chip trays are stored on the gaming tables;

(c) Drop boxes are being transported; or

(d) Drop box contents are being counted.

Video monitors.

(7) The CCTV system shall include a sufficient number of video monitors to simultaneously view multiple gaming tables, the cashier's cage, and count room activities.

Surveillance room.

(8) The licensee shall maintain one or more surveillance rooms with the following minimum requirements:

(a) The surveillance room shall have controlled access and be used solely by the employees of the surveillance department assigned to monitor activities: Provided, That this restriction does not apply to owners or approved supervisory or management personnel.

(b) Commission agents and law enforcement personnel shall be provided immediate access to the surveillance room upon request.

(c) Entrances to surveillance rooms shall not be readily observable from the gaming operation area.

(d) The licensee shall ensure a surveillance employee is present in the surveillance room and monitoring the activities of the operation, via the surveillance room equipment, any time the card room is open to conduct gaming and during the count process: Provided, That the licensee may allow the surveillance room to operate without staff for a period not to exceed thirty minutes per shift for the purpose of routine breaks.

((Surveillance staff not required.

(9) Licensees that are licensed for five or fewer tables and not operating under Phase II limits, shall not be required to maintain a staffed surveillance room.

Surveillance activity log.

(((10))) (9) The licensee shall maintain a record of all surveillance activities in the surveillance room. A surveillance log shall be maintained by surveillance personnel and shall include, at a minimum, the following:

(a) Date and time of surveillance;

(b) Person initiating surveillance;

(c) Time of termination of surveillance;

(d) Summary of the results of the surveillance; and

(e) A record of any equipment or camera malfunctions.

Employee sign-in log.

(((11))) (10) A surveillance room sign-in log shall be maintained to document the time each surveillance employee monitors the card room. The surveillance sign-in log shall be available for inspection at any time by commission staff or law enforcement personnel.

Labeling and storing video and audio recordings.

(((12))) (11) Video and audio recordings shall be marked to denote the activity recorded and retained for a period necessary to afford commission staff or law enforcement personnel reasonable access. The following minimum retention periods apply to recordings:

(a) Recordings shall be retained for a minimum of seven complete gaming days;

(b) Recordings of evidentiary value shall be maintained as requested by commission staff; and

(c) Tapes documenting jackpot payouts over three thousand dollars shall be retained for at least thirty days; and

(d) Commission staff may increase any of the retention requirements noted in this section by notifying the licensee.

Dispute resolution.

(((13))) (12) In the event there is not sufficient clarity due to violations of the above requirements, the burden will be on the licensee to prove any action taken was warranted. Otherwise, all disputes shall be resolved in favor of the player: Provided, That a review by commission staff may be requested if the licensee feels circumstances warrant, for example, cheating has occurred.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.070. 03-09-076 (Order 418), 230-40-825, filed 4/16/03, effective 7/1/03; 01-13-091 (Order 403), 230-40-825, filed 6/19/01, effective 7/20/01; 00-09-052 (Order 383), 230-40-825, filed 4/14/00, effective 5/15/00.]

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office