MO Expands Bingo Gambling

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines gambling as “to bet money on the outcome of a game, contest, or other event. To take a risk in the hope of gaining an advantage. To expose to hazard, to risk. An act of undertaking of uncertain outcome.'”  Today gambling takes on many forms: lotteries, scratch off tickets, slot machines, punch cards, bingo, raffle tickets, card games, shooting dice, keno, sweepstakes chances, numbers, pari-mutual wagering, wagering on sporting events, buying sweepstakes tickets, matching for cokes, pitching for pennies, even online gambling over the internet. The amount that you gamble does not excuse nor negate the fact that it still constitutes gambling.

If indeed protecting the people of Missouri is the prime directive of government, then how can the state be complicit with the gambling industry? Officials will tell you that it is all about revenue streams.  That is no excuse. Even when it comes to regulating “small potatoes” bingo operations, this entry level “game” is certainly a gateway to greater stakes and risk-taking that cultivates covetous attitudes and poor stewardship of resources–something in which the state is also complicit.  Gambling expansion in any form is a poor use of state resources and a mistrust of guarding the welfare of Missourians.

HCS SB 940 passed the Missouri legislature by the 2010 session’s end.  It modifies various provisions relating to bingo and expands bingo gambling. Here are some of the provisions:

HCS/SB 940 – This act changes the restrictions on different types of bingo license holders, including when they can hold bingo games and various restrictions on advertising. In addition, this act changes reporting requirements and records retention schedules for licensees.

An abbreviated bingo license holder is allowed to conduct up to 15 bingo games annually, rather than four. The act requires all licensed organizations to pay annual license fee of $50. Current law had allowed certain organizations to pay an annual license fee of $10.

The Gaming Commission is authorized to set the aggregate retail value of all prizes and merchandise awarded in a single day, except awards by pull-tab cards and progressive bingo games. A bingo licensee cannot require a player to purchase more than a standard pack of bingo cards in order to participate in a game. The act authorizes a licensee to conduct bingo games two days per week, rather than one day per week.

The act increases the amount that may be expended on advertising from 2% to 10% of the total amount expended from bingo receipts. The act removes a provision of law that prohibited a licensee from referencing the aggregate value of bingo prizes in an advertisement. Currently, no bingo games can be operated between midnight and 10:00 a.m. This act provides that no bingo game can be operated between 1:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.

Games are permitted to be conducted by electronic bingo card monitoring devices that are approved by the commission.

Every bingo licensee that conducts games on more than three occasions in any calendar year shall submit quarterly, rather than annual reports to the gaming commission.

The act requires each licensee to keep a complete record of bingo games conducted in the previous two, rather than three years, except for records stipulated as one-year retention by regulation.

Applicants for suppliers’ licenses and manufacturers’ licenses are required to pay for the cost of a criminal history investigation. This act would also increase the maximum amount the commission can charge for a manufacturer’s license from $1,000 to $5,000 and would increase the possible charge for an annual renewal fee from $500 to $1,000.

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One Response

  1. […] under: Law,casinos,economics,gambling — danielhite @ 8:34 am Gov. Jay Nixon signed SB940 (see related post MO Expands Bingo Gambling-5/16/10) saying it should help boost revenues for non-profits “serving” their communities. The […]

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