senate Bill S2550

Includes charity poker as a game of chance that charitable organizations may conduct at local option and provides regulation thereof

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 18 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO RACING, GAMING AND WAGERING
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO RACING, GAMING AND WAGERING

Summary

Includes charity poker as a game of chance that charitable organizations may conduct at local option and provides regulation thereof.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S2550
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Racing, Gaming And Wagering
Law Section:
General Municipal Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§186, 189, 191, 195-o & 195-q, add §195-qq, Gen Muni L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2550

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the general municipal law, in relation to charity poker

PURPOSE:
This bill authorizes charitable organizations to conduct poker games
that are similar to poker games conducted on television such as
"Celebrity Poker", the "Texas Hold 'em Tournament", and "ESPN World
Series of Poker".

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Amends General Municipal Law section 186(3) to add charity
poker as an authorized games of chance.

Section 2: Amends General Municipal Law section 186 by adding three
new subdivisions to define Charity Poker. "Charity Poker" shall mean
playing poker in a tournament style so that it is played like other
games of chance games which are legal under the New York State
Constitution. In such tournament, the admission fee shall be no more
than $50. Each player may be-issued poker chips, but such chips will
be of no monetary value. The chips may be used to determine which
individual has won an individual hand, series of poker games or the
ultimate winner of the tournament. The grand prize for any tournament
shall be no more than $2,000, which is the same statutory limit set
for bingo winnings.

Section 3 - 10: These sections amend the General Municipal Law to add
technical changes that need to authorize the conduct of charitable
poker as a new games of chance.

Section 11: Effective Date

EXISTING LAW:
Under current law, roulette, black jack, craps, and bell jars are
legal games of chance that can be conducted by charitable
organizations. However, poker games, played in a tournament style,
are not defined under the law as an authorized games of chance.

JUSTIFICATION:
The popularity of playing poker in homes has increased recently due to
the broadcast of television shows such as "Celebrity Poker", "Texas
Hold 'em Poker Tournament, and ESPN World Series of Poker". This bill
allows charitable organizations to conduct similar tournaments at
Veteran, Fraternal Benevolent Organization, and church halls for the
entertainment of its members and to raise funds for the support of
their charitable activities.

Under current law, such poker games are not an authorized game of
chance. The bill does place limits on the amount of money that can be
bet on such games and the prizes that can be won.

With the expansion of other gaming venues in this State and the
prohibition of smoking in all indoor areas open to the public, the


amount of money generated by games of chance operations to support
various charitable organizations has declined by approximately 30
percent since 2000. Enacting this bill will give our State's
charitable organizations another tool in which to raise much needed
money to support their worthwhile charitable purposes.

The purpose of this bill is to facilitate the playing of the game of
poker in a tournament style. However, it is done in a way that
encourages fun and social fellowship, but does not allow for any high
stakes poker games that can increase the incidence of compulsive
gambling habits or adversely affect family finances.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S421-A of 2007/2008
S3002-A of 2005/2006

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the one hundredth and eightieth day
after it shall have become law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  2550

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 18, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  LARKIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Racing, Gaming and  Wager-
  ing

AN ACT to amend the general municipal law, in relation to charity poker

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 186 of the general municipal  law,
as  amended  by  chapter  531 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as
follows:
  3. "Games of chance" shall mean and include only the  games  known  as
"merchandise wheels", "coin boards", "merchandise boards", "seal cards",
"event  games",  "raffles",  [and]  "bell jars", AND "CHARITY POKER" and
such other specific games as may be authorized by the  board,  in  which
prizes  are  awarded  on  the  basis  of  a designated winning number or
numbers, color or colors, symbol or symbols determined  by  chance,  but
not  including  games  commonly  known  as  "bingo  or  lotto" which are
controlled under article fourteen-H of this chapter and also not includ-
ing "bookmaking", "policy or numbers games" and "lottery" as defined  in
section  225.00 of the penal law. No game of chance shall involve wager-
ing of money by one player against another player.
  S 2. Section 186 of the general municipal law is amended by  adding  a
new subdivision 3-f to read as follows:
  3-F.  "CHARITY  POKER" SHALL MEAN A TOURNAMENT CONDUCTED IN ACCORDANCE
WITH RULES AND REGULATIONS ADOPTED BY THE BOARD IN  WHICH  A  NUMBER  OF
CONTESTANTS  COMPETE  FOR PRIZES AWARDED BY A LICENSED AUTHORIZED ORGAN-
IZATION FOLLOWING A SERIES OF ELIMINATION-STYLE POKER GAMES APPROVED  BY
THE  BOARD  IN WHICH ONLY NON-VALUE TOURNAMENT CHIPS SHALL BE USED. SUCH
TOURNAMENT CHIPS, WHICH SHALL NOT BE REDEEMABLE FOR CASH, MERCHANDISE OR
FOR ANY OTHER THING OF VALUE, SHALL BE  USED  EXCLUSIVELY  TO  ESTABLISH
POINT  TOTALS  REPRESENTATIVE  OF  EACH  PLAYER'S ACCUMULATED TOURNAMENT
CHIPS THAT, IN TURN, SHALL DETERMINE THE CONTESTANTS' PLACEMENT AND RANK

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD07070-01-3

S. 2550                             2

IN A TOURNAMENT, AND THE FINAL WINNER OR  WINNERS  THEREIN.  NO  CHARITY
POKER  GAME  APPROVED BY THE BOARD SHALL AUTHORIZE THE WAGERING OF MONEY
BY ONE PLAYER AGAINST ANOTHER PLAYER.
  S  3.  Subdivision  14 of section 186 of the general municipal law, as
amended by chapter 531 of the laws  of  2011,  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  14.  "One  occasion"  shall  mean the successive operations of any one
single type of game of chance which results in the awarding of a  series
of  prizes  amounting  to  five  hundred dollars or four hundred dollars
during any one license period, in  accordance  with  the  provisions  of
subdivision eight of section one hundred eighty-nine of this article, as
the  case may be. For purposes of the game of chance known as a merchan-
dise wheel or a raffle, "one occasion" shall mean the  successive  oper-
ations  of  any one such merchandise wheel or raffle for which the limit
on a series of prizes provided by subdivision six of section one hundred
eighty-nine of this article shall apply. For purposes  of  the  game  of
chance  known  as  a  bell jar, "one occasion" shall mean the successive
operation of any one such bell jar, seal card, event game,  coin  board,
or merchandise board which results in the awarding of a series of prizes
amounting  to  three  thousand  dollars. For the purposes of the game of
chance known as raffle "one occasion" shall mean a calendar year  during
which successive operations of such game are conducted. FOR THE PURPOSES
OF  THE  GAME  KNOWN  AS  CHARITY  POKER,  "ONE OCCASION" SHALL MEAN THE
CONDUCT OF A SINGLE LICENSE PERIOD AS PRESCRIBED IN SECTION ONE  HUNDRED
NINETY-FIVE-B OF THIS ARTICLE.
  S 4. Subdivisions 5 and 6 of section 189 of the general municipal law,
subdivision 5 as amended by chapter 455 of the laws of 2012 and subdivi-
sion  6  as  amended  by chapter 302 of the laws of 2010, are amended to
read as follows:
  5. No single prize awarded by games of chance other than raffle  shall
exceed  the  sum  or  value  of  three  hundred dollars, except that for
merchandise wheels, no single prize shall exceed the sum or value of two
hundred fifty dollars. No single prize awarded by  raffle  shall  exceed
the  sum  or value of one hundred thousand dollars. NO SINGLE PRIZE IN A
CHARITY POKER TOURNAMENT SHALL EXCEED TWO THOUSAND  DOLLARS.  No  single
wager  shall  exceed  six  dollars  and  for  bell jars, coin boards, or
merchandise boards, no single prize shall exceed  five  hundred  dollars
provided, however, that such limitation shall not apply to the amount of
money or value paid by the participant in a raffle in return for a tick-
et  or  other receipt. For coin boards and merchandise boards, the value
of a prize shall be determined by its costs to the authorized  organiza-
tion or, if donated, its fair market value.  NOT MORE THAN FIFTY DOLLARS
SHALL BE CHARGED AS AN ADMISSION FEE ENTITLING A PERSON TO ENTER A CHAR-
ITY POKER TOURNAMENT, WHICH SHALL BE RETAINED BY THE LICENSED AUTHORIZED
ORGANIZATION AS PROFIT; NOT MORE THAN FIFTY DOLLARS SHALL BE CHARGED FOR
A  BUY-IN  WHICH, IN ITS ENTIRETY, SHALL BE APPLIED TO THE CHARITY POKER
TOURNAMENT PRIZE POOL AND SHALL ENTITLE A PERSON FIRST PAYING AN  ADMIS-
SION  FEE  TO  A  SPECIFIED NUMBER OF NON-VALUE CHARITY POKER TOURNAMENT
CHIPS; AND NOT MORE THAN TWO ADDITIONAL BUY-INS, EACH OF WHICH SHALL NOT
EXCEED TEN DOLLARS, SHALL BE CHARGED TO ENTITLE A PERSON FIRST PAYING AN
ADMISSION FEE AND AN INITIAL BUY-IN TO PURCHASE ADDITIONAL CHARITY POKER
TOURNAMENT CHIPS.  ALL PROCEEDS DERIVED FROM ADDITIONAL BUY-INS  EXCEED-
ING  THE  AMOUNT OF THE MONIES APPLIED TO THE SPECIFIED TOURNAMENT PRIZE
POOL SHALL BE  RETAINED  BY  THE  LICENSED  AUTHORIZED  ORGANIZATION  AS
PROFIT.

S. 2550                             3

  6.  No authorized organization shall award a series of prizes consist-
ing of cash or of merchandise with an aggregate value in excess  of  ten
thousand dollars during the successive operations of any one merchandise
wheel,  and  three  thousand dollars during the successive operations of
any  bell  jar,  coin  board,  or merchandise board. No series of prizes
awarded by raffle shall have  an  aggregate  value  in  excess  of  five
hundred  thousand  dollars. NO SERIES OF PRIZES AWARDED DURING A CHARITY
POKER OCCASION SHALL EXCEED FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS. For coin  boards  and
merchandise boards, the value of a prize shall be determined by its cost
to the authorized organization or, if donated, its fair market value.
  S  5.  Subdivision  8  of section 189 of the general municipal law, as
amended by chapter 455 of the laws  of  2012,  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  8.  Except for merchandise wheels [and], raffles AND CHARITY POKER, no
series of prizes on any one occasion  shall  aggregate  more  than  four
hundred  dollars when the licensed authorized organization conducts five
single types of games of chance during any one  license  period.  Except
for  merchandise  wheels,  raffles and bell jars, no series of prizes on
any one occasion shall aggregate more than five hundred dollars when the
licensed authorized organization conducts less than five single types of
games of chance, exclusive of merchandise wheels,  raffles  [and],  bell
jars  AND  CHARITY  POKER,  during any one license period. No authorized
organization shall award by raffle prizes with  an  aggregate  value  in
excess of two million dollars during any one license period.
  S  6.    Paragraph  (a) of subdivision 1 of section 191 of the general
municipal law, as amended by section 15 of part LL of chapter 56 of  the
laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
  (a)  Issuance of licenses to conduct games of chance. If such clerk or
department shall determine that the applicant is duly  qualified  to  be
licensed  to conduct games of chance under this article; that the member
or members of the applicant designated  in  the  application  to  manage
games  of  chance  are bona fide active members of the applicant and are
persons of good moral character and  have  never  been  convicted  of  a
crime,  or,  if convicted, have received a pardon, a certificate of good
conduct or a certificate of relief from disabilities pursuant to article
twenty-three of the correction law; that such games are to be  conducted
in accordance with the provisions of this article and in accordance with
the  rules  and  regulations  of  the board and applicable local laws or
ordinances and that the proceeds  thereof  are  to  be  disposed  of  as
provided  by  this article, and if such clerk or department is satisfied
that no commission, salary, compensation, reward or recompense  whatever
will  be  paid  or  given to any person managing, operating or assisting
therein except as in this article otherwise provided; it shall  issue  a
license to the applicant for the conduct of games of chance upon payment
of a license fee of twenty-five dollars for each license period; OR UPON
PAYMENT OF A LICENSE FEE OF ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR EACH LICENSE PERIOD,
IT  SHALL  ISSUE  A  LICENSE TO THE APPLICANT FOR THE CONDUCT OF CHARITY
POKER.
  S 7. Subdivision 2 of section 191 of the  general  municipal  law,  as
amended  by  chapter  574  of  the  laws  of 1978, is amended to read as
follows:
  2. On or before the thirtieth day of each month, the treasurer of  the
municipality in which the licensed property is located shall transmit to
the  state  comptroller  a  sum equal to fifty percent of all authorized
games of chance lessor license fees [and], the sum  of  fifteen  dollars
per  license  period  for the conduct of games of chance, AND THE SUM OF

S. 2550                             4

SIXTY DOLLARS PER LICENSE PERIOD FOR THE CONDUCT OF EACH  CHARITY  POKER
TOURNAMENT  collected  by  such  clerk  or  department  pursuant to this
section during the preceding calendar month.
  S 8. The section heading and subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of section
195-o of the general municipal law, the section heading and subdivisions
2, 3, and 4 as added by chapter 309 of the laws of 1996 and subdivisions
1 and 5 as amended by chapter 637 of the laws of 1999, are amended and a
new subdivision 1-b is added to read as follows:
  Distributor  of  bell  jars  AND  CHARITY POKER EQUIPMENT; reports and
records.   1. Distribution; distributors. Any  distributor  licensed  in
accordance  with  section  one  hundred eighty-nine-a of this article to
distribute bell jar tickets shall purchase bell jar  tickets  only  from
licensed  manufacturers  and may manufacture coin boards and merchandise
boards only as authorized in subdivision one-a of this section. Licensed
distributors of bell jar tickets shall sell such tickets only  to  [not-
for-profit,  charitable  or  religious  organizations  registered by the
board] LICENSED AUTHORIZED  ORGANIZATIONS.    LICENSED  DISTRIBUTORS  OF
CHARITY POKER EQUIPMENT SHALL SELL OR LEASE CHARITY POKER EQUIPMENT ONLY
TO  DISTRIBUTORS  LICENSED  BY  THE  BOARD  OR  AUTHORIZED ORGANIZATIONS
LICENSED TO CONDUCT CHARITY POKER OCCASIONS.  Any  licensed  distributor
who  willfully  violates  the provisions of this section shall: (a) upon
such first offense, have their license suspended for a period of  thirty
days;  (b)  upon  such  second  offense,  participate in a hearing to be
conducted by the board, and surrender their license for such  period  as
recommended by the board; and (c) upon such third or subsequent offense,
have their license suspended for a period of one year and shall be guil-
ty  of  a  class  E felony. Any unlicensed distributor who violates this
section shall be guilty of a class E felony.
  1-B. CHARITY POKER EQUIPMENT. DISTRIBUTORS OF CHARITY POKER  EQUIPMENT
SHALL  MANUFACTURE,  SELL OR LEASE SUCH EQUIPMENT ONLY IF SUCH EQUIPMENT
IS APPROVED BY THE BOARD AND SHALL HAVE PERMANENTLY  AFFIXED  TO  IT  AN
IDENTIFICATION  PLATE OR LABEL SETTING FORTH ALL INFORMATION REQUIRED BY
THE BOARD AND, IF REQUIRED BY THE BOARD, A BAR CODE  SETTING  FORTH  ALL
INFORMATION THAT THE BOARD REQUIRES.
  2.  Business  records. A distributor shall keep at each place of busi-
ness complete and accurate records for that place of business, including
itemized invoices of bell jar tickets held and purchased, AND ALL CHARI-
TY POKER EQUIPMENT SOLD OR LEASED.  [The] IN THE CASE OF BELL JAR  TICK-
ETS, COIN BOARD, SEAL CARD AND MERCHANDISE BOARDS, records must show the
names  and  addresses  of purchasers, the inventory at the close of each
period for which a return is required, all bell jar tickets on hand, and
other pertinent papers and documents relating to the purchase, sale,  or
disposition of bell jar tickets as may be required by the board.  IN THE
CASE  OF  CHARITY  POKER  EQUIPMENT,  RECORDS  MUST  REFLECT  THE NAMES,
ADDRESSES, BOARD IDENTIFICATION  NUMBERS  AND  LICENSE  NUMBERS  OF  ALL
PURCHASERS AND LESSEES, AND ALL OTHER INFORMATION REQUIRED BY THE BOARD.
Books,  records,  itemized  invoices,  and  other  papers  and documents
required by this section shall be kept for a period  of  at  least  four
years  after  the  date  of  the  documents,  or the date of the entries
appearing in the records, unless the board authorizes in  writing  their
destruction  or  disposal at an earlier date. A person who violates this
section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
  3. Sales records. A distributor shall maintain a record  of  all  bell
jar  tickets AND CHARITY POKER EQUIPMENT that it sells. The record shall
include, but need not be limited to:

S. 2550                             5

  (a) the  identity  of  the  manufacturer  from  whom  the  distributor
purchased the product;
  (b) the serial number of the product;
  (c)  the name, address, BOARD-ISSUED IDENTIFICATION NUMBER and license
[or exempt permit] number of the AUTHORIZED  organization  or  BOARD-LI-
CENSED  DISTRIBUTOR,  INCLUDING THE NAME OF THE person to which the sale
was made;
  (d) the date of the sale;
  (e) the name of the person who ordered the product;
  (f) the name of the person who received the product;
  (g) the type of product;
  (h) the serial number of the product;
  (i) the account number identifying the sale from the  manufacturer  to
distributor  and  the  account  number  identifying  the  sale  from the
distributor to the licensed organization; and
  (j) the name, form number, or other identifying information  for  each
game.
  4.  Invoices.  A distributor shall supply with each sale of a bell jar
AND CHARITY POKER product an itemized invoice showing the  distributor's
name and address, the purchaser's OR LESSEE'S name, address, BOARD IDEN-
TIFICATION NUMBER and license number, the date of the sale OR LEASE, the
account number identifying the sale from the manufacturer to distributor
and  the account number identifying the sale from the distributor to the
licensed organization, and the description of the deals,  including  the
form  number,  the  serial number and the ideal gross from every deal of
bell jar or similar game.
  5. Reports. A distributor shall report quarterly to the  board,  on  a
form prescribed by the board, its sales of each type of bell jar deal or
tickets  AND  ITS  SALE  OR  LEASE OF ALL CHARITY POKER EQUIPMENT.  This
report shall be filed quarterly on or before the twentieth  day  of  the
month  succeeding the end of the quarter in which the sale was made. The
board may require that a distributor submit  the  quarterly  report  and
invoices  required by this section via magnetic media or electronic data
transfer.
  S 9. The section heading and the opening paragraph of section 195-q of
the general municipal law, the section heading as added by  chapter  309
of  the laws of 1996 and the opening paragraph as amended by chapter 337
of the laws of 1998, are amended to read as follows:
  Bell jar AND CHARITY POKER compliance and enforcement.  In the case of
bell jars AND CHARITY POKER, the licensee, upon filing financial  state-
ments of bell jar AND CHARITY POKER operations, shall also tender to the
board a sum in the amount of five percent of the net proceeds as defined
in  this  paragraph,  from  the CONDUCT OF CHARITY POKER AND THE sale of
bell jar tickets, seal cards, merchandise board,  and  coin  boards,  if
any,  for  that portion of license period covered by such statement. For
the purposes of this section, BELL JAR "net  proceeds"  shall  mean  the
difference  between  the ideal handle from the sale of bell jar tickets,
seal cards, merchandise boards, and coin boards less the amount of money
paid out in prizes and less the purchase price of  the  bell  jar  deal,
seal  card  deal,  merchandise  board  deal,  or  coin board deal. Addi-
tionally, a credit shall be  permitted  against  the  net  proceeds  fee
tendered to the board for unsold tickets of the bell jar deal as long as
the  unsold tickets have the same serial number as the tickets for which
the fee is rendered. Such unsold tickets must be kept  on  file  by  the
selling  organization  for  inspection  by the board for a period of one
year following the date upon which the relevant financial statement  was

S. 2550                             6

received by the board.  FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, CHARITY POKER "NET
PROCEEDS"  SHALL  MEAN  THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE MONEYS COLLECTED FROM
ADMISSION FEES, PLUS BUY-INS, IN EXCESS OF THE SPECIFIED PRIZE POOL,  IF
ANY,  LESS  THE  COST  TO  THE  LICENSED AUTHORIZED ORGANIZATION FOR THE
LICENSE FEE, THE CHARITY POKER EQUIPMENT RENTAL OR PURCHASE,  THE  ADDI-
TIONAL  LICENSE  FEE,  AND THE GAMES OF CHANCE LESSOR RENTAL FEE, IF THE
TOURNAMENT IS CONDUCTED ON THE PREMISES OF A LICENSED  GAMES  OF  CHANCE
LESSOR.
  S  10.  The  general  municipal law is amended by adding a new section
195-qq to read as follows:
  S 195-QQ. CHARITY POKER COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT. THE BOARD,  PURSU-
ANT TO SECTION ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY-EIGHT-A OF THIS ARTICLE, SHALL PROMUL-
GATE  RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE LICENSING, OPERATION AND REGU-
LATION  OF  CHARITY  POKER  TO  ENSURE  THAT  SUCH  GAMES  ARE   RIGIDLY
CONTROLLED.  BOARD AGENTS SHALL CONDUCT, ANYWHERE IN THE STATE, INVESTI-
GATIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF CHARITY POKER TO ENSURE
THAT SUCH GAMES ARE FAIRLY AND PROPERLY CONDUCTED; THAT ALL LAWS,  RULES
AND  REGULATIONS  GOVERNING  SUCH  OPERATIONS ARE STRICTLY CONSTRUED AND
RIGIDLY ENFORCED; THAT CHARITY POKER IS  NOT  CONDUCTED  FOR  COMMERCIAL
PURPOSES OR PURPOSES OTHER THAN THOSE AUTHORIZED BY THIS ARTICLE, OR ARE
PARTICIPATED  IN  BY  CRIMINAL  OR  OTHER UNDESIRABLE ELEMENTS; AND THAT
CHARITY POKER PROCEEDS ARE NOT DIVERTED FROM THE PURPOSES AUTHORIZED  BY
THIS ARTICLE.
  S  11.  This  act  shall  take effect on the one hundred eightieth day
after it shall have become a law. Effective immediately the state gaming
commission may promulgate any rules and regulations necessary to  imple-
ment  the provisions of this act on its effective date on or before such
date.

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