NEW JERSEY REGISTER
VOLUME 38, ISSUE 15
ISSUE DATE: AUGUST 7, 2006
Law And Public Safety
Division Of Consumer Affairs
LEGALIZED GAMES OF CHANCE CONTROL COMMISSION
Proposed Amendments: N.J.A.C. 13:47-1.1, 6.4, 7.8 and 16.2
Proposed New Rules: N.J.A.C. 13:47-6A
Bingos and Raffles
Authorized By: Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission, Acting Executive Officer, and Stephen Nolan, Deputy Director, Division of Consumer Affairs.
Authority: N.J.S.A. 5:8-6, 5:8-34, and 5:8-61.
Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.
Proposal Number: PRN 2006-260.
Submit comments by October 6, 2006 to:
Stephen Nolan, Deputy Director
Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission
124 Halsey Street
P.O. Box 46000
Newark, New Jersey 07101
The agency proposal follows:
The Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission (the Commission) has determined that amendments to the Bingos and Raffles rules at N.J.A.C. 13:47 are necessary to add rules that provide a process for licensing workers who are not members of a registered organization, or an auxiliary or affiliated organization, who are compensated for conducting games of chance, particularly bingo. In recognition of the fact that it has become increasingly difficult for organizations to get volunteers to conduct the games, the Legislature amended the Bingo and Raffles Licensing Laws to permit compensated workers to conduct these games. See P.L. 1999, c. 17. These proposed amendments and new rules are intended to effectuate the terms of the statute.
The approximately 6,500 organizations registered with the Commission hold approximately 29,000 licensed bingo occasions per year. An average of 120 players attend each occasion and each player spends an average of $ 22.00 per occasion. For the registered schools, churches, religious organizations, fire companies, and first aid and rescue squads, bingo is a significant method of fundraising. The same is true of senior citizen clubs and associations to a certain extent, but bingo is also an important source of entertainment and social interaction for their members.
The amount of gross receipts that registered organizations have collected from bingo has been diminishing over the last 10 years, from $ 84,219,873 in 1995 to $ 39,504,800 in 2004. This decline is due to a number of factors, one of which is the difficulty organizations have getting volunteers to work the games. Not having enough volunteers to maximize the number of bingo cards that can be sold at an occasion means that the games are less rewarding to the organizations, and, if the organizations are offering percentage prizes, to the players. Larger prizes draw more players. The Commission believes that having workers who are compensated for running the games should result in more profit for the organizations, although it is not possible to estimate the amount of the increase, if any.
The Commission believes that, with compensated workers, the organization's member in charge can supervise the games instead of selling cards and performing other operational duties, which should reduce the number of operational violations and lead to a better all-around experience for the players and the organization.
N.J.A.C. 13:47-6.4(a)2 adopted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 5:8-34 and 5:8-61 presently permits workers approved by the Commission to be paid for running games of chance for registered organizations in which they are not members, but does not establish the qualifications for approval, the approval process, the duties that may be performed or any limits on, or guidelines for, the amount of compensation.
The Commission proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:47-6.4 to use the term "registered organization" to describe organizations qualified to conduct games of chance, rather than "licensed organization," to be consistent with the terminology in N.J.S.A. 5:8-6 and N.J.A.C. 13:47-1.1.
The proposed amendments add a definition of compensated worker in N.J.A.C. 13:47-1.1. The Commission is proposing new rules N.J.A.C. 13:47-6A that set forth the application procedure, the criteria for approval, the qualifications required for compensated workers, duties of and restrictions on compensated workers, minimum compensation that must be paid, and the fees to be charged by the Commission for approving compensated workers.
The Commission envisions the process for licensing compensated workers being very similar to the process for licensing workers compensated to operate armchair races and casino nights and, since the Commission cannot estimate the number of applicants, proposes in N.J.A.C. 13:47-6A.7 that the application, license and renewal fees for compensated workers be the same as for the compensated armchair race projectionists and class "A" and "B" casino night game operators.
N.J.A.C. 13:47-7.8 currently prohibits any person from conducting bingo for more than one organization, other than affiliates of that organization, in any calendar year. The Commission believes that compensated workers should be permitted to conduct bingo games for more than one organization to make it worth their while to become licensed. The Commission proposes an amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:47-7.8 to add an exception for compensated workers, allowing them to conduct bingo for more than one organization.
The Commission is also proposing amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:47-16.2 that establish rates that may be charged for certain services at "casino night" games. The present regulations set forth the maximum fees that may be charged for services as an armchair race projectionist, armchair race cashier, and Class "A" and class "B" casino night operator. Although the rule intended that operators would negotiate rates up to the maximum, the Commission believes that the maximum tends to become the going rate of compensation. The amendment would establish a minimum charge for services rather than a maximum. The Commission believes that setting minimum rates at the level of the State minimum wage should facilitate negotiation while protecting workers. The Commission will consider reinstating a ceiling on rates if abuses occur.
As the Commission has provided a 60-day comment period for this notice of proposal, this notice is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5.
The Commission believes that the proposed amendments and new rules will benefit the members of the public who play games of chance, particularly bingo, and the organizations that hold the games to raise money for their charitable or civic purposes. There are approximately 6,500 organizations registered with the Commission. Approximately 3,480,000 players attend bingo occasions each year. The Commission notes that, in connection with the passage of P.L. 1999, c. 17 amending N.J.S.A. 5:8-34 to authorize compensating non-member workers, the Legislature made a finding that the ability to use compensated workers would enable charitable and civic organizations to hire qualified persons in order to ensure that games are conducted in a fair and professional manner.
The approximately 6,500 organizations registered with the Commission to be eligible to be licensed to conduct bingo games are expected to benefit from the proposed amendments and new rules establishing the qualifications for compensated workers to be licensed and the application procedure. The Commission believes that the use of compensated workers should increase the amount of profits that registered organizations can realize from bingo.
The workers who are compensated for conducting the games would also benefit from supplemental income. See "Jobs Impact" below.
Federal Standards Statement
A Federal standards analysis is not required because there are no Federal laws or standards applicable to the proposed amendments and new rules.
The Commission does not expect the proposed amendments and new rules to create any full-time jobs; neither does it expect that any jobs will be lost. Rather, the Commission believes that applicants for licensure as compensated workers will work bingo occasions on a part time basis, but it cannot estimate the number of such part-time positions that may occur.
Agriculture Industry Impact
The proposed amendments and new rules will not have any impact on the agriculture industry in the State.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
There are four businesses that provide services to registered organizations which conduct bingo games. All four of these businesses may be considered small businesses, as defined under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq. It is possible that other businesses could offer to supply paid workers to conduct games on the registered organizations' premises. These businesses are likely to be small businesses. The Commission also believes that individuals may be expected to become licensed and hire themselves out to organizations to conduct their games. The proposed amendments and new rules require that business entities, as well as individuals, who wish to be compensated for conducting games of chance for registered organizations be approved by the Commission. That entails submitting an application for a license and paying a fee. The proposed amendments and new rules impose the same requirements on all applicants without distinction based on size because the Commissioner believes that uniform requirements for licensees is necessary to maintain the integrity of bingo and other games of chance. It is not expected that business entities or individuals will incur any capital costs or any compliance costs, other than the application and license fees required in order to become licensed as a compensated worker. The proposed amendments and new rules do not impose any reporting or recordkeeping requirements, nor are professional services required to comply with the rules.
Smart Growth Impact
The Commission believes the proposed amendments and new rules will not have any impact upon the achievement of smart growth or upon the implementation of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan.
Full text of the proposal follows (additions indicated in boldface thus; deletions indicated in brackets [thus]):
The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Compensated worker" means a person licensed by the Control Commission to be compensated for holding, operating or conducting, or assisting in the holding, operating or conducting games of chance for a registered organization, or an auxiliary or affiliated organization, of which the person is not a member.
13:47-6.4 Conduct by active members and compensated non-members
(a) No person shall assist in the holding, operating or conducting of a game of chance except:
1. Active members of the [licensee] registered organization, active members of its parent organization, active members of an auxiliary organization, active members of an organization of which the [licensee] registered organization is an auxiliary or active members of an organization having a common parent organization, provided that the assisting organization is registered with the Control Commission; and
2. A person who is not a member of the [licensed] registered organization, an auxiliary or affiliated organization as described in this subsection, and who has been approved by the Control Commission in accordance with the provisions of [this chapter] N.J.A.C. 13:47-6A and who will be compensated for holding, operating or conducting or assisting in the holding, operating or conducting of the game.
(b)-(g) (No change.)
SUBCHAPTER 6A. Compensated Workers
13:47-6A.1 Application procedure
(a) A person who wants to be compensated for holding, operating or conducting, or assisting in the holding, operating or conducting games of chance for a registered organization shall submit an application for a compensated worker license to the Control Commission on a form provided by the Control Commission, which includes a statement indicating that the applicant is familiar with the rules governing the operation of games of chance found in N.J.A.C. 13:47, together with a non-refundable application fee as set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:47-6A.7 by check or money order payable to the Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission.
(b) The Control Commission shall review the application for completeness, and provided that the applicant meets the qualifications set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:47-6A.4, and barring any violation of the Bingo Licensing Law, N.J.S.A. 5:8-24 et seq., the Raffle Licensing Law, N.J.S.A. 5:8-50 et seq., the Amusement Games Licensing Law, N.J.S.A. 5:8-100 et seq. or disciplinary action in connection with a license, certificate, or registration in another state, shall approve the application.
(c) The Control Commission shall notify the applicant of the approval or disapproval of the application and, if approved, issue a license and a license number.
13:47-6A.2 Agent for service of process
(a) All applicants for licensure as a compensated worker shall appoint the Executive Officer of the Control Commission as agent for service of process on a form provided by the Control Commission.
(b) Upon the service of process on the Executive Officer of the Control Commission as agent for a compensated worker, the Executive Officer shall forward the papers by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person named and who is a defendant in the proceeding, at the last known address on file with the Control Commission.
13:47-6A.3 License approval and renewal
(a) Upon notification of approval by the Control Commission, the applicant shall forward a license fee as set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:47-6A.7 by certified check or money order payable to the Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission. The license shall be valid for one year unless modified, suspended or revoked by the Control Commission.
(b) Prior to the expiration of the annual license period, each licensee shall submit an application for license renewal and payment of a license renewal fee as set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:47-6A.7.
(c) The Control Commission may suspend or revoke the license of a licensee, after an opportunity to be heard, for any violation of the Bingo Licensing Law, N.J.S.A. 5:8-24 et seq., the Raffle Licensing Law, N.J.S.A. 5:8-50, the Amusement Games Licensing Law, N.J.S.A. 5:8-100 et seq., this chapter or any other applicable statute or rule of the Control Commission.
13:47-6A.4 Qualifications of compensated workers
(a) In order to be approved for licensure as a compensated worker by the Control Commission, a person must be:
1. At least 18 years of age; and
2. Of good moral character and free of criminal convictions.
13:47-6A.5 Duties of compensated workers
(a) A licensed compensated worker may perform all of the duties and functions commonly associated with operating the games of chance, except that no such person shall be authorized to make payments from the licensed organization's games of chance account as required by N.J.A.C. 13:47-6.2.
(b) If the person licensed as a compensated worker is a corporation or other business entity, each officer, manager or employee who is holding. operating or conducting, or assisting in the holding, operating or conducting games of chance at the premises where the games are being held shall be a licensed compensated worker.
(c) A licensed compensated worker holding, operating or conducting or assisting in the holding, operating or conducting bingo games shall be subject to the supervision of the member in charge of the occasion appointed in accordance with N.J.A.C. 13:47-6.1.
A person licensed by the Control Commission who is to be compensated for services rendered to a registered organization in connection with holding, operating or conducting or assisting in the holding, operating or conducting games of chance shall be compensated at a rate that is not less than the minimum wage required to be paid by employers to their employees established pursuant to N.J.S.A. 34:11-56a4, as amended and supplemented.
(a) The following fees for compensated workers shall be charged by the Control Commission:
1. Application fee............................................................. $ 100.00;
2. License fee............................................................ $ 125.00; and
3. License renewal fee..................................................... $ 125.00.
13:47-7.8 Person conducting bingo; restriction; minimum age
(a) No licensee shall permit any person to engage in the conduct of bingo for it or in its behalf who has engaged in the conduct of bingo for or on behalf of any unaffiliated licensee during the same calendar year, except as provided in (c) below.
(b) (No change.)
(c) A compensated worker licensed by the Control Commission may render services in connection with holding, operating or conducting or assisting in the holding, operating or conducting games for or on behalf of more than one registered organization in the same calendar year if such person is not a member of the registered organization.
13:47-16.2 Rates for services
(a) The following fees may be charged for the services listed:
Schedule of Fees "B"
Service Fee (No more
Making bookkeeping entries for operation of games of $ 2.00
chance on any one day....................................
Preparing Reports of Operations for any one game... 3.00
Opening books for a game of chance account........... 15.00
Supervising bookkeeping and accounting system without
making entries or preparing reports......... 5.00 permonth
Supervising accounting system and making book- keeping
entries and preparing reports................... 15.00 per month
[Armchair race projectionist............................ $250.00 per day
Armchair race cashier.................................... $250.00 per day
Class "A" casino night operator.......................... $500.00 per day
Class "B" casino night operator.......................... $250.00 per
(b) (No change.)
(c) A person may be compensated for the following services at a rate that is not less than the minimum wage required to be paid by employers to their employees established from time to time pursuant to N.J.S.A. 34:11-56a4, as amended and supplemented:
1. Armchair race projectionist;
2. Armchair race cashier;
3. Class "A" casino night operator; and
4. Class "B" casino night operator.