WSR 12-09-045



[ Filed April 13, 2012, 11:56 a.m. ]

     Original Notice.

     Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 12-05-065.

     Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 230-15-040 Requirements for authorized card games and 230-15-685 Restrictions on progressive jackpots.

     Hearing Location(s): DoubleTree Guest Suites - SouthCenter, 16500 Southcenter Parkway, Seattle, WA 98662, (206) 575-8220, on July 12 or 13, 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: July 12 or 13, 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 July 1, 2012.

     Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Gail Grate, executive assistant, by July 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 petitioners want to connect "envy" and "share the wealth" "bonus features" between different card games and different tables within a single house-banked card room. At their February 2012 meeting, the commissioners denied a similar request by the petitioners based on regulatory and policy concerns. The petitioners submitted this new petition addressing areas they believe led to the denial of their first petition. The petitioners' new proposal uses staff's alternative from the February 2012 commission meeting as a starting point. The petitioners resubmitted proposed amendment limits shared prizes to fixed payouts (no odds based payouts) and requires certain electronic features to be used on tables offering "envy" and "share the wealth" "bonus features." The amendment would require the electronic features, when offered on more than one table, to:

Detect and record the player's bonus wager,
Provide an alert notification system of a winning triggering event, and
Include a system for displaying all winning bonus hands.

     Reasons Supporting Proposal: See above.

     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.

April 13, 2012

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 or "bonus feature" to be authorized((, the card game)) it must be approved by the director or the director's designee and 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,)) and 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)) Additionally, the following definitions and limitations apply to this section:

     (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 the 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 based on achieving the predetermined specific hand required to win the 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" ((wager which allows a player to receive a prize if another player wins a jackpot or odds-based wager)) "bonus features"; 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, and as further described in the commission-approved game rules posted on the gambling commission's web site. 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 and only one player may place a wager per wager area.

     (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" "bonus feature" are notified that the prize has been won;

     (iii) Identifying which payout table would be used to pay out 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.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 608, filed 4/10/07, effective 1/1/08)

WAC 230-15-685   Restrictions on progressive jackpots.   House-banked card game licensees operating progressive jackpots must follow these restrictions and procedures:

     (1) Progressive jackpot funds must accrue according to the rules of the game; and

     (2) At each gambling table, licensees must prominently post the amount of the progressive jackpot that players can win; and

     (3) Licensees must record the beginning amount of each progressive jackpot offered, including explanations for any increases or decreases in the prize amount offered. Licensees must keep this documentation with the progressive jackpot records; and

     (4) Licensees may establish a maximum limit on a progressive jackpot prize. If licensees establish a limit, they must make the amount equal to, or greater than, the amount of the jackpot when they imposed the limit. They must prominently post a notice of the limit at or near the game; and

     (5) Licensees may connect progressive jackpots offered on the same card game on multiple tables within the same licensed location.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.070. 07-09-033 (Order 608), § 230-15-685, filed 4/10/07, effective 1/1/08.]

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