WSR 11-23-161



[ Filed November 22, 2011, 10:29 a.m. ]

     Original Notice.

     Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 11-15-102.

     Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 230-15-040 Requirements for authorized card games.

     Hearing Location(s): Grand Mound Great Wolf Lodge, 20500 Old Highway 99 S.W., Grand Mound, WA 98531, (360) 273-7718, on February 9 or 10, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. NOTE: Meeting dates and times are tentative. Visit our web site at and select public meeting about ten days before the meeting to confirm meeting date/location/start time.

     Date of Intended Adoption: February 9 or 10, 2012. NOTE: Meeting dates and times are tentative. Visit our web site at and select public meeting about ten days before the meeting to confirm meeting date/location/start time.

     Submit Written Comments to: Susan Arland, P.O. Box 42400, Olympia, WA 98504-2400, e-mail, fax (360) 486-3625, by February 1, 2012.

     Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Gail Grate, executive assistant, by February 1, 2012, TTY (360) 486-3637 or (360) 486-3453.

     Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The proposed amendment would:

Allow all players in the card room placing "envy" or "share the wealth" wagers to receive the prize even if they are playing a different game (as long as the game they are playing has the "envy" wager). For example, a licensee could offer "envy" wagers on different games, such as Lucky Ladies, Fortune Pai Gow, Emperor's Challenge, etc. and anyone playing the "envy" wager would win the "envy" prize;
Define "envy" and "share the wealth" as bonus features;
Allow other game features that do not require a separate wager to be considered bonus features;
Allow bonus features and progressive jackpots to be combined; and
Allow progressive jackpot prizes for "envy" and "share the wealth" wagers.

     Reasons Supporting Proposal: The petitioners state in their petition, that:

The change is needed because of the increased number of approved games since the "envy" bonus was first introduced. From a handful of games provided by just a few companies approximately thirteen years ago, there are now one hundred forty-five approved card games in Washington represented by twenty-five companies. The increased variety of games in each establishment could better be supported if the "envy" or "share the wealth" bonus feature were permitted to extend to more than one approved game.
By expanding the "envy" bonus feature across various approved card games, the petitioner believes the effect of this rule change will generate additional interest by players. This likely will result in increased activity and revenue for the commercial operators which in turn would protect or potentially expand employment and city, county and state tax revenues.

     Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 9.46.070, 9.46.0282.

     Statute Being Implemented: Not applicable.

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

     Name of Proponent: Rockland Ridge Corporation, a licensed gambling service supplier, and Galaxy Gaming, Inc., a licensed manufacturer, 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 was not prepared because the rule change would not impose additional costs on any licensees. Licensees are not required to expand the bonus envy wager feature.

     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.

November 21, 2011

Susan Arland

Rules Coordinator


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Orders 656 and 656-A, filed 8/14/09 and 8/18/09, effective 9/14/09 and 9/18/09)

WAC 230-15-040   Requirements for authorized card games.   (1) In order for a card game to be authorized, the card game must:

     (a) Be played with standard playing cards or with electronic card facsimiles approved by the director or the director's designee; and

     (b) Offer no more than four "separate games" with a single hand of cards. However, no more than three of the "separate games" may offer a wager that exceeds five dollars each. ((We consider bonus features and progressive jackpots separate games. If a player does not have to place a separate wager to participate, we do not consider it a separate game. An example of this is an "envy" or "share the wealth" pay out when another player achieves a specific hand; and))

     (i) Separate game - Each individual objective to be achieved within a card game that requires a separate wager and results in a distinct and separate payout based upon that outcome. We consider "bonus features" and progressive jackpots separate games unless a separate wager is not required. Bonus features and progressive jackpots may be combined with other bonus features, progressive jackpots and prizes, provided that, the total amount of the wager does not exceed the limits established in this subsection and in WAC 230-15-140.

     (ii) Bonus feature - An added prize and/or variation in the predetermined specific hand required to obtain a prize. Examples include, but are not limited to, "envy" and "share the wealth" bonus features; and

     (c) Not allow side bets between players.

     (2) Card game licensees may use more than one deck of cards for a specific game. They also may remove cards to comply with rules of a specific game, such as Pinochle or Spanish 21.

     (3) Players must:

     (a) Compete against all other players on an equal basis for nonhouse-banked games or against the house for house-banked games. All players must compete solely as a player in the card game; and

     (b) Receive their own hand of cards and be responsible for decisions regarding such hand, such as whether to fold, discard, draw additional cards, or raise the wager; and

     (c) Not place wagers on any other player's or the house's hand or make side wagers with other players, except for:

     (i) An insurance wager placed in the game of Blackjack; or

     (ii) ((An)) "Envy" ((or)) and "share the wealth" wagers ((which allows a player to receive a prize if another player wins a jackpot or odds-based wager)); or

     (iii) A tip wager made on behalf of a dealer.

     (4) Mini-Baccarat is authorized when operated in the manner explained for Baccarat in the most current version of The New Complete Hoyle, Revised or Hoyle's Encyclopedia of Card Games, or similar authoritative book on card games we have approved. However:

     (a) Card game licensees may make immaterial modifications to the game; and

     (b) Subsection (3) of this section does not apply; and

     (c) The number of players is limited under WAC 230-15-055.

     (5) A player's win or loss must be determined during the course of play of a single card game.

     (6) "Envy" and "share the wealth" bonus features shall be operated as follows:

     (a) If a player makes a wager that qualifies for an envy payout, they are entitled to receive a prize if another player's hand achieves the predetermined specific hand. If a player is playing more than one wagering area or if a hand they are playing is split into two or more hands and any one of their hands achieves the predetermined specific hand, their other hand(s) with a qualifying wager is (are) entitled to receive a prize.

     (b) If a player makes a wager that qualifies for a share the wealth payout, they are entitled to receive a prize if either their hand(s) or another player's hand achieves the predetermined specific hand.

     (c) "Envy" and "share the wealth" specific hand(s) may occur on different authorized card games and/or on multiple tables in a card room and all qualifying players are entitled to a prize. Prior to offering an "envy" or "share the wealth" prize on multiple games and/or tables, card game licensees must first submit to us for approval their internal controls detailing the methods and controls they will use to assure the integrity of these bonus features including, but not limited to:

     (i) Identifying who has the winning hand;

     (ii) How other tables offering "envy" or "share the wealth" wagers are notified that the prize has been won;

     (iii) Identifying which payout table would be used to payout prizes on different games; and

     (iv) Verifying winners of the "envy" or "share the wealth" prize throughout the card room.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.070 and 9.46.0282. 09-17-076 and 09-17-105 (Orders 656 and 656-A), § 230-15-040, filed 8/14/09 and 8/18/09, effective 9/14/09 and 9/18/09. Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.070. 08-21-086 (Order 632), § 230-15-040, filed 10/14/08, effective 1/1/09; 07-09-033 (Order 608), § 230-15-040, filed 4/10/07, effective 1/1/08.]

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