Department of administrative services
Division of Professional Regulation
Gaming Control Board, Bingo, Charitable Gambling and Raffles
Pursuant to 29 Del.C. §10118 and 28 Del.C. §1503, the Delaware Gaming Control Board ("Board") hereby issues this Order, adopting a proposed amendment to the Board's Bingo Rules. Following notice and a public hearing held on August 5, 2004 on the proposed Rule, the Board makes the following findings and conclusions:
Summary Of Evidence
1. The Board posted public notice of the proposed rule revision in the May 1, 2004 Register of Regulations and in two Delaware newspapers of general circulation. The proposal contained a proposed amendment to Bingo Regulation 2.3 to provide that all bingo applications, original and supplemental, shall be filed at least six weeks before the scheduled event.
2. The Board received no comments from the public either in writing or at the public hearing.
Findings Of Fact
3. The public was given notice and an opportunity to provide the Board with comments in writing and by testimony at the public hearing regarding the proposed rule amendment. The Board received no public comments.
4. The Board finds that the proposed amendment to Bingo Regulation 2.3 should be adopted in its proposed form.
5. The proposed rule amendment was promulgated by the Board in accord with its statutory duties and authority as set forth in 28 Del.C. §1503. The proposed rule will provide for clear guidelines for the submission of all bingo applications and allow the Board sufficient time to review all applications at its regularly scheduled meetings.
6. The Board deems these rules as proposed to be necessary for the effective enforcement of 28 Del.C. chapter 11 and for the full and complete regulation of bingo.
7. The Board concludes that the promulgated amendment to Bingo Regulation 2.3 will be adopted and will now provide as follows:
8. The effective date of this Order shall be ten (10) days from the publication of this order in the Registrar of Regulations on October 1, 2004.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 2nd day of September, 2004.
Frank Long, Chairman
John Mancus, Vice-Chairman
Thomas R. Trader
[See page 534]
401 Regulations Governing Bingo
“Bingo” A game of chance played for prizes with cards bearing numbers or other designations, five or more in one line, the holder covering numbers as objects similarly numbered are drawn from a receptacle and the game being won by the person who first covers a previously designated arrangement of numbers on such a-card.
“Bingo Statute” The statutory law concerning bingo, as contained in 28 Delaware Code, Section 1101 et. seq.
“Board” The Delaware Gaming Control Board.
“Color Coded” A different color for each of the five letters of the word "BINGO."
“Cookie Jar Bingo” A game of chance in which players pay a set fee into a cookie jar or other container and receive a number which entitles the player to entry into a later drawing for the total funds deposited by all other players in the cookie jar or container.
2 DE Reg. 1224 (1/1/99)
“Districts” Those districts mentioned in Article II, 917A of the Delaware Constitution.
“Equipment” The receptacle and color coded numbered objects to be drawn from it, the master board upon which such objects are placed as drawn, the cards or sheets bearing numbers or other designations to be covered and the objects used to cover them, the boards or signs, however operated, used to announce or display the numbers or designations as they are drawn, public address systems, tables, chairs, and other articles essential to the operation, conduct and playing of bingo.
“Game” The game of bingo.
“Instant Bingo” A game of chance played with sealed or covered cards which must be opened in some fashion by the holder such that the cards reveal instantly whether the holder has won a prize. This type of game includes but is not limited to games commonly known as “rip-offs” or “Nevada pull-tabs.”
2 DE Reg. 1224 (1/1/99)
“Member in Charge” A bona fide, active member of the "Qualified Organization" in charge of, and primarily responsible for the conduct of the game on each occasion.
“Occasion” A single gathering or session at which a series of successive bingo games (regular, special, or otherwise) is played, not to exceed forty (40) in number.
“Proceeds” The gross income received from all activities engaged in or on occasion when bingo is played, less only, such actual expenses incurred as are authorized in the Bingo Statute and these Rules and Regulations.
“Qualified Organization” A volunteer fire company, veterans organization, religious or charitable organization, or fraternal society that is operated in a manner so as to come within the provisions of Section 170 of the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.
2.0 Applications For Bingo License.
2.1 original applications shall be filed upon:
2.1.1 the first application of an organization for a license;
2.1.2 after the first application and upon a subsequent change in the organization's charter or bylaws; or
2.1.3 in the event of a subsequent application after a prior refusal, suspension, or revocation by the Board.
2.2 Supplemental applications for bingo licenses shall be filed in all instances except those covered by the original application. All promotional give-away events, as defined under 28 Del.C. §1139(h)(2), must be listed on an applicant's application for licensure, giving the dates of the promotional give-away events. If the event is not listed on the application, no promotional give-away event can be conducted.
2.3 All original and supplemental applications shall be filed with the Secretary of the Board at least six (6) weeks prior to the date of the occasion. All supplemental applications shall be filed fifteen (15) days prior to the first date of the occasion.
2.4 No applications (original or supplemental) shall be accepted unless the applicant, at the time of the filing, attaches a check or money order for the full amount of the fees payable by law for each occasion requested. In the event an application is refused by the Board, the application fees shall be refunded in full to the applicant. There shall be a license fee of $15 for each occasion on which bingo is conducted under a license.
2.5 No application shall be received by the Commission unless it clearly shows that the applicant is located in and seeks to conduct the game in a district which has approved the licensing of bingo by referendum, and on premises owned or regularly leased by the applicant. If the applicant desires to conduct games on premises specially leased for the occasion, a separate written request therefor (together with supporting reasons) shall accompany the application. The Board reserves the right to accept or reject any application for the conduct of games on specially leased premises. Organization conducting a Function shall prepare and have available on the premises a list of all persons taking part in the management or operation of the Function. Such list shall be maintained as part of the licensees, records of the Function and shall be made available to any member or agent of the Board or law enforcement officer.
2 DE Reg. 1224 (1/1/99)
3.0 Bingo Licenses
3.1 Upon receiving an application, the Board shall make an investigation of the merits of the application. The Board shall consider the impact of the approval of any license application on existing licensees within the applicant's geographical location prior to granting any new license. The Board may deny an application if it concludes that approval of the application would be detrimental to existing licensees.
3.2 The Board may issue a license only after it determines that:
3.2.1 The applicant is duly qualified to conduct games under the State Constitution, statutes, and regulations.
3.2.2 The members of the applicant who intend to conduct the bingo games are bona fide active members of the applicant and are persons of good moral character and have never been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.
3.2.3 The bingo games are to be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the State Constitution, statutes, and regulations.
3.2.4 The proceeds are to be disposed of as provided in the State Constitution and statutes.
3.2.5 No salary, compensation or reward whatever will be paid or given to any member under whom the game is conducted. If the findings and determinations of the Board are to the effect that the application is approved, the Secretary shall execute a license for the applicant.
3.3 The license shall be issued in triplicate. The original thereof shall be transmitted to the applicant. Two copies shall be retained by the Commission for its files.
3.4 If the findings and determinations of the Commission are to the effect that the application is denied, the Secretary shall so notify the applicant by certified mail of the reasons for denial, and shall refund any application fees submitted.
3.5 In the event of a request for an amendment of a license, the request shall be promptly submitted to the Commission in writing, and shall contain the name of the licensee, license number, and a concise statement of the reasons for requested amendment. The Commission may grant or deny the request, in its discretion, and may require supporting proof from the licensee before making any determination. The Commission may require the payment of an additional license fee before granting the request. The licensee shall be notified of the Commission's action by appropriate communication, so that the licensee will not be unduly inconvenienced.
3.6 No license shall be effective for a period of more t an one year from the date it was issued.
3.7 No license shall be effective after the organization to which it was granted has become ineligible to conduct bingo under any provision of Article II, §17A of the Delaware Constitution.
3.8 No license shall be effective after the voters in any District designated in Article II, §17A of the Constitution have decided against bingo in a referendum held pursuant to that section and subchapter II of the Bingo Statute.
3.9 No bingo licensee licensed prior to July 14, 1998, shall conduct more than ten (10) bingo events in any calendar month and no bingo licensee licensed after the enactment of 71 Del. Laws, 444 (July 14, 1998) shall conduct more than one (1) bingo event per week. A bingo licensee who was licensed prior to July,14, 1998 whose license lapses for six (6) months or more due to non-renewal or suspension or any other reason shall, upon licensing thereafter, be considered a licensee licensed after the enactment of 71 Del. Laws 444 (July 14, 1998).
3.10 The license application shall contain a full and fair description of the prize and the appraised value of the prize. In lieu of submitting an appraisal, the applicant or licensee may submit the full retail value of the prize. In cases where the applicant or licensee purchases the prize from a third party, the Board may require that the applicant or licensee arrange for an independent appraisal of the value of the prize from a person licensed to render such appraisals, or if there is no person licensed to render such appraisals, from a person qualified to render such appraisals.
2 DE Reg. 1224 (1/1/99)
3 DE Reg. 1692 (6/1/00)
4 DE Reg. 334 (8/1/00)
4.0 Conduct of Bingo.
4.1 The officers of a licensee shall designate a bona fide, active member to be in charge of and primarily responsible for the conduct of the game of chance on each occasion. The member in charge shall supervise all activities on the occasions for which he is in charge and shall be responsible for the making of the required report thereof. The member in charge shall be familiar with the provisions of the Bingo Statute, and these rules and regulations.
4.2 The room where any game is being held, operated, or conducted, or where it is intended that any game shall be held, operated, or conducted, or where it is intended that any equipment be used, shall at all times be open to inspection by the appropriate law enforcement officers and agents of the District in which the premises are situated, and to the Board and its agents and employees. Bingo games shall not be commenced prior to 1:30 p.m. and the operation of a function shall be limited to six hours. Instant bingo is permitted during any event sponsored by the organization that is licensed to conduct it, regardless of the day or time.
4.3 No person under the age of eighteen (18) shall be permitted in any bingo game, the prize for which is money. No person under the age of 18 shall be permitted to participate in any instant bingo game. No person under the age of sixteen (16) shall participate in any game of bingo nor shall such person conduct or assist in the conduct of the playing of any game of bingo, except that persons no younger than the age of fourteen (14) may act as waiters and waitresses in the handling of food or drinks at an occasion on which a licensee conducts bingo.
4.4 No organization licensed prior to enactment of 71 Del. Laws 444 (July 14, 1998), may hold, operate, or conduct bingo more often than ten (10) days in any calendar month. No bingo licensee licensed after the enactment of 71 Del. Laws 444 (July 14, 1998) shall conduct more than one bingo event per week. A bingo licensee licensed prior to the enactment of 71 Del. Laws 444 (July 14, 1998), whose license lapses for six (6) months or more due to nonrenewal or suspension or any other reason shall, upon licensing thereafter, be considered a licensee licensed after the enactment of 71 Del. Laws 444 (July 14, 1998).
4.5 The Board and its duly authorized agents and employees may examine the books and records of any licensee, so far as those books and records relate to any transaction connected with the holding, operating, and conducting of the game of bingo, and may examine any manager, officer, director, agent, member, employee, or assistant of the licensee under oath in relation to the conduct of the game of bingo.
4.7 No prize greater in an amount or value than $250 shall be offered or given any single game and the aggregate amount or value of all prizes offered or given in all games played on a single occasion shall not exceed $1,000. All winners shall be determined and all prizes shall be awarded in any game played on any occasion within the same calendar day as that upon which the game is played. The value of any promotional giveaways, which shall be no more than $500 per annum to be distributed at an organizational anniversary date and no more than three (3) holiday dates per year, shall not be counted towards the dollar amounts described in this section. However, a licensee may offer inducements, including but not limited to cookie-jar bingo games that do not exceed $500 per game per night, free refreshments, and free transportation of players to and from bingo events, to attract bingo players to the bingo event, provided that the fair market value of inducements is limited to 15% of the total amount of all other prizes offered or given during the bingo event.
4.7.1 Any amounts in any cookie-jar bingo games shall not be included in the limitations of this section or in any prize money limitations. A bingo licensee may not have more than two $500 cookie jar bingo pots at any one time which are to be awarded to players. The licensee must award the first cookie jar bingo pot before it may start a third cookie jar bingo pot. In the event that a licensee has a first cookie jar bingo pot of $500 and then accrues a second cookie jar bingo pot of $500, the licensee must award the first cookie jar pot to a player on the occasion at which the second cookie jar pot reaches the $500 limit. On such occasion, if the first cookie jar pot is not awarded by the end of the occasion, the licensee shall conduct a final special bingo game of "full card" or "black out" bingo using a separate, single card, and the first $500 cookie jar shall be won by the player or players who first covers all spaces on their entire card.
4.8 Two or more organizations may not hold games of bingo at the same place on the same day. Unless a bingo licensee has been licensed prior to the enactment of 71 Del. Laws 444 (July 14, 1998), only one licensed organization may hold bingo games in a licensed organization's building during any given week.
4.9 No alcoholic beverages shall be permitted in the room from the time the bingo hall opens until the conclusion of the last bingo game of the occasion.
4.10 All games shall be conducted with equipment that is owned absolutely by the licensee or that is leased for fees not in excess of those allowable under the Schedule of Rental for leasing of equipment on file with the Board. Equipment shall include playing cards. If the licensee uses cards that are for more than one session of playing bingo, these cards should be identified as the property of the licensee.
4.11 All winners shall be determined and all prizes shall be awarded in any game played on any occasion within the same calendar day as that upon which the game is played.
4.12 When more than one player is found to be the winner on the call of the same number in the same game, the designated prize shall be divided equally as possible; and when division is not possible, substitute prizes, whose aggregate value shall not exceed that of the designated prize, shall be awarded; but such substitute prizes shall be of equal value to each other.
4.13 The equipment used in the playing of bingo and the method of play shall be such that each card shall have an equal opportunity to be a winner. The objects drawn shall be essentially equal as to size, shape, weight, and balance, and as to all other characteristics that may control their selection, and all shall be present in the receptacle before each game is begun. All numbers shall be announced so as to be visible or audible to all players present.
4.14 The particular arrangement of numbers required to be covered in order to win the game shall be clearly described and announced to the players immediately before each game is begun.
4.15 No arrangement of numbers shall be required to be covered in order to win the game other than the following:
4.15.1 one unspecified horizontal row;
4.15.2 one unspecified vertical row;
4.15.3 one unspecified full diagonal row;
4.15.4 one unspecified row (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal);
4.15.5 Two or more of the foregoing, forming a specified arrangement;
4.15.6 The entire card;
4.15.7 Four corners;
4.15.8 Eight spaces surrounding the free space.
4.16 Within the limits contained in 28 Del.C. §1132(b), alternate prizes may be offered depending upon the number of calls within which bingo is reached, provided the application for the bingo license and the license so specify.
4.17 Any player shall be entitled to call for a verification of all numbers drawn at the time a winner is determined, and for a verification of the objects remaining in the receptacle and not yet drawn. The verification shall be made in the immediate presence of the member designated to be in charge on the occasion, but if such member is also the announcer, then in the immediate presence of an officer of the licensee.
4.18 No licensee shall conduct more than forty (40) games on a single occasion.
4.19 In the playing of bingo, no person who is not physically present in the room where the game is actually conducted shall be allowed to participate as a player in the game.
4.20 Within the limits contained in 28 Del.C. §1132(6), the prizes offered may be varied depending upon the number of people who attend the occasion, provided the application for bingo license and license so specify. If a licensee avails itself of the provisions of this rule, it must announce at the beginning of each game the number of people present and the prizes to be awarded.
4.21 The entire proceeds of the games of bingo must be used solely for the promotion or achievement of the purposes of the licensee.
4.22 Any local rules adopted by the licensee that affect the conduct of the players or the awarding of prizes shall be prominently posted in at least four locations within the area where the bingo games are conducted.
4.23 The licensee shall be permitted to reserve seats within the area where the bingo games are conducted to provide for the special needs of handicapped persons, and the licensee shall ensure that the remaining seats are made available to the players on an equal basis.
4.24 A licensee may charge an admission fee to a game event in any room or area in which a game is to be conducted. The admission fee shall entitle the game player (a) to a card enabling the player to participate without additional charge in all regular games to be played under the license at the event, or (b) to free refreshments. The licensee may charge an additional fee to a game player for a single opportunity to participate in a special game to be played under license at the event.
4.25 No person shall conduct or assist in conducting any game except an active member of the organization to which the license is issued.
4.26 No item of expense shall be incurred or paid in connection with the conduct of the game except shall be incurred or paid in connection with the conduct of the game except such as are bona fide items of a reasonable amount for merchandise furnished or services rendered which are reasonably necessary for the conduct of the game.
2 DE Reg. 1224 (1/1/99)
2 DE Reg. 1761 (4/1/99)
5.0 Reports After Games
5.1 When no game is held on any date when a licensee is authorized to hold such game, a report to that effect shall nonetheless be filed with the Secretary of the Board.
5.2 If a licensee fails to file a report within the time required or if a report is not properly verified, or not fully, accurately, and truthfully completed, no further license shall be issued to it and any existing license shall be suspended until such time as the default has been corrected.
6.0 Suspension and Revocation of Licenses
6.1 Proceedings to suspend or to revoke a license shall be brought by notifying the licensee of the ground thereof and the date set forth for a hearing thereon. The Commission may stop the operation of a game pending hearing, in which case the hearing must be held within five (5) days after such action.
6.2 When suspension or revocation proceedings are begun before the Commission, it shall hear the matter and make written findings in support of its decision. The licensee shall be informed of the decision and of the effective date of the suspension or revocation.
6.3 When a license is suspended or revoked, the licensee shall surrender up the license to the Board on or before that effective date set forth in the notice of decision. In no case shall any license be valid beyond the effective date of suspension or revocation, whether surrendered or not.
6.4 Upon finding of the violation of these rules and regulations or the Bingo Statute, such as would warrant the suspension or revocation of a license, the Board may in addition to any other penalties which may be imposed, declare the violator ineligible to conduct a game of bingo and to apply for a license under said law for a period not exceeding thirty (30) months thereafter. Such declaration of the ineligibility may be extended to include, in addition to the violator, any of its subsidiary organizations, its parent organization and any other organization having a common parent organization or otherwise affiliated with the violator, when in the opinion of the Board, the circumstances of the violation warrant such action.
If any provision of these Regulations or the application of such provision to any person or circumstances shall be held invalid, the validity of the remainder of these Regulations and the applicability of such provisions to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
2 DE Reg. 1224 (1/1/99)