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Florida Charitable Gaming Laws
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Current through Sep. 1, 2014
849.0931 Bingo authorized; conditions for conduct; permitted uses of proceeds; limitations. --
(1) As used in this section:
(a) “Bingo game” means and refers to the activity, commonly known as “bingo,” in which participants pay a sum of money for the use of one or more bingo cards. When the game commences, numbers are drawn by chance, one by one, and announced. The players cover or mark those numbers on the bingo cards which they have purchased until a player receives a given order of numbers in sequence that has been preannounced for that particular game. This player calls out “bingo” and is declared the winner of a predetermined prize. More than one game may be played upon a bingo card, and numbers called for one game may be used for a succeeding game or games.
(b) “Bingo card” means and refers to the flat piece of paper or thin pasteboard employed by players engaged in the game of bingo. The bingo card shall have not fewer than 24 playing numbers printed on it. These playing numbers shall range from 1 through 75, inclusive. More than one set of bingo numbers may be printed on any single piece of paper.
(c) “Charitable, nonprofit, or veterans’ organization” means an organization which has qualified for exemption from federal income tax as an exempt organization under the provisions of s. 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or s. 528 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended; which is engaged in charitable, civic, community, benevolent, religious, or scholastic works or other similar activities; and which has been in existence and active for a period of 3 years or more.
(d) “Deal” means a separate set or package of not more than 4,000 instant bingo tickets in which the predetermined minimum prize payout is at least 65 percent of the total receipts from the sale of the entire deal.
(e) “Flare” means the board or placard that accompanies each deal of instant bingo tickets and that has printed on or affixed to it the following information:
1. The game name.
2. The manufacturer’s name or distinctive logo.
3. The form number.
4. The ticket count.
5. The prize structure, including the number of symbols or number combinations for winning instant bingo tickets by denomination, with their respective winning symbols or number combinations.
6. The cost per play.
7. The game serial number.
(f) “Instant bingo” means a form of bingo that is played at the same location as bingo, using tickets by which a player wins a prize by opening and removing a cover from the ticket to reveal a set of numbers, letters, objects, or patterns, some of which have been designated in advance as prize winners.
(g) “Objects” means a set of 75 balls or other precision shapes that are imprinted with letters and numbers in such a way that numbers 1 through 15 are marked with the letter “B,” numbers 16 through 30 are marked with the letter “I,” numbers 31 through 45 are marked with the letter “N,” numbers 46 through 60 are marked with the letter “G,” and numbers 61 through 75 are marked with the letter “O.”
(h) “Rack” means the container in which the objects are placed after being drawn and announced.
(i) “Receptacle” means the container from which the objects are drawn or ejected.
(j) “Session” means a designated set of games played in a day or part of a day.
(2)(a) None of the provisions of this chapter shall be construed to prohibit or prevent charitable, nonprofit, or veterans’ organizations engaged in charitable, civic, community, benevolent, religious, or scholastic works or other similar endeavors, which organizations have been in existence and active for a period of 3 years or more, from conducting bingo games or instant bingo, provided the entire proceeds derived from the conduct of such games, less actual business expenses for articles designed for and essential to the operation, conduct, and playing of bingo or instant bingo, are donated by such organizations to the endeavors mentioned above. In no case may the net proceeds from the conduct of such games be used for any other purpose whatsoever. The proceeds derived from the conduct of bingo games or instant bingo shall not be considered solicitation of public donations.
(b) It is the express intent of the Legislature that no charitable, nonprofit, or veterans’ organization serve as a sponsor of a bingo game or instant bingo conducted by another, but such organization may only be directly involved in the conduct of such a game as provided in this act.
(3) If an organization is not engaged in efforts of the type set out above, its right to conduct bingo games hereunder is conditioned upon the return of all the proceeds from such games to the players in the form of prizes. If at the conclusion of play on any day during which a bingo game is allowed to be played under this section there remain proceeds which have not been paid out as prizes, the organization conducting the game shall at the next scheduled day of play conduct bingo games without any charge to the players and shall continue to do so until the proceeds carried over from the previous days played have been exhausted. This provision in no way extends the limitation on the number of prize or jackpot games allowed in one day as provided for in subsection (5).
(4) The right of a condominium association, a cooperative association, a homeowners’ association as defined in s. 720.301, a mobile home owners’ association, a group of residents of a mobile home park as defined in chapter 723, or a group of residents of a mobile home park or recreational vehicle park as defined in chapter 513 to conduct bingo is conditioned upon the return of the net proceeds from such games to players in the form of prizes after having deducted the actual business expenses for such games for articles designed for and essential to the operation, conduct, and playing of bingo. Any net proceeds remaining after paying prizes may be donated by the association to a charitable, nonprofit, or veterans’ organization which is exempt from federal income tax under the provisions of s. 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code to be used in such recipient organization’s charitable, civic, community, benevolent, religious, or scholastic works or similar activities or, in the alternative, such remaining proceeds shall be used as specified in subsection (3).
(5) Except for instant bingo prizes, which are limited to the amounts displayed on the ticket or on the game flare, a jackpot shall not exceed the value of $250 in actual money or its equivalent, and there shall be no more than three jackpots in any one session of bingo.
(6) Except for instant bingo, which is not limited by this subsection, the number of days per week during which organizations authorized under this section may conduct bingo shall not exceed two.
(7) Except for instant bingo prizes, which are limited to the amounts displayed on the ticket or on the game flare, there shall be no more than three jackpots on any one day of play. All other game prizes shall not exceed $50.
(8) Each person involved in the conduct of any bingo game or instant bingo must be a resident of the community where the organization is located and a bona fide member of the organization sponsoring such game and may not be compensated in any way for operation of such game. When bingo games or instant bingo is conducted by a charitable, nonprofit, or veterans’ organization, the organization conducting the games must designate up to three members of that organization to be in charge of the games, one of whom shall be present during the entire session at which the games are conducted. The organization conducting the games is responsible for posting a notice, which notice states the name of the organization and the designated member or members, in a conspicuous place on the premises at which the session is held or instant bingo is played. A caller in a bingo game may not be a participant in that bingo game.
(9) Every charitable, nonprofit, or veterans’ organization involved in the conduct of a bingo game or instant bingo must be located in the county, or within a 15-mile radius of, where the bingo game or instant bingo is located.
(10)(a) No one under 18 years of age shall be allowed to play any bingo game or instant bingo or be involved in the conduct of a bingo game or instant bingo in any way.
(b) Any organization conducting bingo open to the public may refuse entry to any person who is objectionable or undesirable to the sponsoring organization, but such refusal of entry shall not be on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, or physical handicap.
(11) Bingo games or instant bingo may be held only on the following premises:
(a) Property owned by the charitable, nonprofit, or veterans’ organization.
(b) Property owned by the charitable, nonprofit, or veterans’ organization that will benefit by the proceeds.
(c) Property leased for a period of not less than 1 year by a charitable, nonprofit, or veterans’ organization, providing the lease or rental agreement does not provide for the payment of a percentage of the proceeds generated at such premises to the lessor or any other party and providing the rental rate for such premises does not exceed the rental rates charged for similar premises in the same locale.
(d) Property owned by a municipality or a county when the governing authority has, by appropriate ordinance or resolution, specifically authorized the use of such property for the conduct of such games.
(e) With respect to bingo games conducted by a condominium association, a cooperative association, a homeowners’ association as defined in s. 720.301, a mobile home owners’ association, a group of residents of a mobile home park as defined in chapter 723, or a group of residents of a mobile home park or recreational vehicle park as defined in chapter 513, property owned by the association, property owned by the residents of the mobile home park or recreational vehicle park, or property which is a common area located within the condominium, mobile home park, or recreational vehicle park.
(12) Each bingo game shall be conducted in accordance with the following rules:
(a) The objects, whether drawn or ejected, shall be essentially equal as to size, shape, weight, and balance and as to all other characteristics that may control their selection from the receptacle. The caller shall cancel any game if, during the course of a game, the mechanism used in the drawing or ejection of objects becomes jammed in such a manner as to interfere with the accurate determination of the next number to be announced or if the caller determines that more than one object is labeled with the same number or that there is a number to be drawn without a corresponding object. Any player in a game canceled pursuant to this paragraph shall be permitted to play the next game free of charge.
(b) Prior to commencement of any bingo session, the member in charge shall cause a verification to be made of all objects to be placed in the receptacle and shall inspect the objects in the presence of a disinterested person to ensure that all objects are present and that there are no duplications or omissions of numbers on the objects. Any player shall be entitled to call for a verification of numbers before, during, and after a session.
(c) The card or sheet on which the game is played shall be part of a deck, group, or series, no two of which may be alike in any given game.
(d) All numbers shall be visibly displayed after being drawn and before being placed in the rack.
(e) A bona fide bingo shall consist of a predesignated arrangement of numbers on a card or sheet that correspond with the numbers on the objects drawn from the receptacle and announced. Errors in numbers announced or misplaced in the rack may not be recognized as a bingo.
(f) When a caller has started to vocally announce a number, the caller shall complete the call. If any player has obtained a bingo on a previous number, such player will share the prize with the player who gained bingo on the last number called.
(g) Numbers on the winning cards or sheets shall be announced and verified in the presence of another player. Any player shall be entitled at the time the winner is determined to call for a verification of numbers drawn. The verification shall be in the presence of the member designated to be in charge of the occasion or, if such person is also the caller, in the presence of an officer of the licensee.
(h) Upon determining a winner, the caller shall ask, “Are there any other winners?” If no one replies, the caller shall declare the game closed. No other player is entitled to share the prize unless she or he has declared a bingo prior to this announcement.
(i) Seats may not be held or reserved by an organization or person involved in the conduct of any bingo game for players not present, nor may any cards be set aside, held, or reserved from one session to another for any player.
(13)(a) Instant bingo tickets must be sold at the price printed on the ticket or on the game flare by the manufacturer, not to exceed $1. Discounts may not be given for the purchase of multiple tickets, nor may tickets be given away free of charge.
(b) Each deal of instant bingo tickets must be accompanied by a flare, and the flare must be posted before the sale of any tickets in that deal.
(c) Each instant bingo ticket in a deal must bear the same serial number, and there may not be more than one serial number in each deal. Serial numbers printed on a deal of instant bingo tickets may not be repeated by the manufacturer on the same form for a period of 3 years.
(d) The serial number for each deal must be clearly and legibly placed on the outside of each deal’s package, box, or other container.
(e) Instant bingo tickets manufactured, sold, or distributed in this state must comply with the applicable standards on pull-tabs of the North American Gaming Regulators Association, as amended.
(f) Except as provided under paragraph (e), an instant bingo ticket manufactured, sold, or distributed in this state must:
1. Be manufactured so that it is not possible to identify whether it is a winning or losing instant bingo ticket until it has been opened by the player as intended.
2. Be manufactured using at least a two-ply paper stock construction so that the instant bingo ticket is opaque.
3. Have the form number, the deal’s serial number, and the name or logo of the manufacturer conspicuously printed on the face or cover of the instant bingo ticket.
4. Have a form of winner protection that allows the organization to verify, after the instant bingo ticket has been played, that the winning instant bingo ticket presented for payment is an authentic winning instant bingo ticket for the deal in play. The manufacturer shall provide a written description of the winner protection with each deal of instant bingo tickets.
(g) Each manufacturer and distributor that sells or distributes instant bingo tickets in this state to charitable, nonprofit, or veterans’ organizations shall prepare an invoice that contains the following information:
1. Date of sale.
2. Form number and serial number of each deal sold.
3. Number of instant bingo tickets in each deal sold.
4. Name of distributor or organization to whom each deal is sold.
5. Price of each deal sold.
All information contained on an invoice must be maintained by the distributor or manufacturer for 3 years.
(h) The invoice, or a true and accurate copy thereof, must be on the premises where any deal of instant bingo tickets is stored or in play.
(14) Any organization or other person who willfully and knowingly violates any provision of this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. For a second or subsequent offense, the organization or other person commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
849.0935 Charitable, nonprofit organizations; drawings by chance; required disclosures; unlawful acts and practices; penalties. —
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Drawing by chance,” “drawing,” or “raffle” means an enterprise in which, from the entries submitted by the public to the organization conducting the drawing, one or more entries are selected by chance to win a prize. The term “drawing” does not include those enterprises, commonly known as “game promotions,” as defined by s. 849.094, “matching,” “instant winner,” or “preselected sweepstakes,” which involve the distribution of winning numbers, previously designated as such, to the public.
(b) “Organization” means an organization which is exempt from federal income taxation pursuant to 26 U.S.C. s. 501(c)(3), (4), (7), (8), (10), or (19), and which has a current determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service, and its bona fide members or officers.
(2) Section 849.09 does not prohibit an organization from conducting drawings by chance pursuant to the authority granted by this section, if the organization has complied with all applicable provisions of chapter 496 and this section.
(3) All brochures, advertisements, notices, tickets, or entry blanks used in connection with a drawing by chance shall conspicuously disclose:
(a) The rules governing the conduct and operation of the drawing.
(b) The full name of the organization and its principal place of business.
(c) The source of the funds used to award cash prizes or to purchase prizes.
(d) The date, hour, and place where the winner will be chosen and the prizes will be awarded, unless the brochures, advertisements, notices, tickets, or entry blanks are not offered to the public more than 3 days prior to the drawing.
(e) That no purchase or contribution is necessary.
(4) It is unlawful for any organization that, pursuant to the authority granted by this section, promotes, operates, or conducts a drawing by chance:
(a) To design, engage in, promote, or conduct any drawing in which the winner is predetermined by means of matching, instant win, or preselected sweepstakes or otherwise or in which the selection of the winners is in any way rigged;
(b) To require an entry fee, donation, substantial consideration, payment, proof of purchase, or contribution as a condition of entering the drawing or of being selected to win a prize. However, this paragraph does not prohibit an organization from suggesting a minimum donation or from including a statement of such suggested minimum donation on any printed material used in connection with the fundraising event or drawing;
(c) To condition the drawing on a minimum number of tickets having been disbursed to contributors or on a minimum amount of contributions having been received;
(d) To arbitrarily remove, disqualify, disallow, or reject any entry or to discriminate in any manner between entrants who gave contributions to the organization and those who did not give such contributions;
(e) To fail to promptly notify, at the address set forth on the entry blank, any person whose entry is selected to win of the fact that he or she won;
(f) To fail to award all prizes offered;
(g) To print, publish, or circulate literature or advertising material used in connection with the drawing which is false, deceptive, or misleading;
(h) To cancel a drawing; or
(i) To condition the acquisition or giveaway of any prize upon the receipt of voluntary donations or contributions.
(5) The organization conducting the drawing may limit the number of tickets distributed to each drawing entrant.
(6) A violation of this section is a deceptive and unfair trade practice.
(7) Any organization that engages in any act or practice in violation of this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Any organization or other person who sells or offers for sale in this state a ticket or entry blank for a raffle or other drawing by chance, without complying with the requirements of paragraph (3)(d), commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by fine only as provided in s. 775.083.
(8) This section does not apply to the state lottery operated pursuant to chapter 24.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Game promotion” means, but is not limited to, a contest, game of chance, sweepstakes, or gift enterprise, conducted by an operator within or throughout the state and other states in connection with and incidental to the sale of consumer products or services, and in which the elements of chance and prize are present. However, “game promotion” may not be construed to apply to bingo games conducted pursuant to s. 849.0931.
(b) “Operator” means a retailer who operates a game promotion or any person, firm, corporation, organization, or association or agent or employee thereof who promotes, operates, or conducts a nationally advertised game promotion.
(2) It is unlawful for any operator:
(a) To design, engage in, promote, or conduct such a game promotion, in connection with the promotion or sale of consumer products or services, wherein the winner may be predetermined or the game may be manipulated or rigged so as to:
1. Allocate a winning game or any portion thereof to certain lessees, agents, or franchises; or
2. Allocate a winning game or part thereof to a particular period of the game promotion or to a particular geographic area;
(b) Arbitrarily to remove, disqualify, disallow, or reject any entry;
(c) To fail to award prizes offered;
(d) To print, publish, or circulate literature or advertising material used in connection with such game promotions which is false, deceptive, or misleading; or
(e) To require an entry fee, payment, or proof of purchase as a condition of entering a game promotion.
(3) The operator of a game promotion in which the total announced value of the prizes offered is greater than $5,000 shall file with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services a copy of the rules and regulations of the game promotion and a list of all prizes and prize categories offered at least 7 days before the commencement of the game promotion. Such rules and regulations may not thereafter be changed, modified, or altered. The operator of a game promotion shall conspicuously post the rules and regulations of such game promotion in each and every retail outlet or place where such game promotion may be played or participated in by the public and shall also publish the rules and regulations in all advertising copy used in connection therewith. However, such advertising copy need only include the material terms of the rules and regulations if the advertising copy includes a website address, a toll-free telephone number, or a mailing address where the full rules and regulations may be viewed, heard, or obtained for the full duration of the game promotion. Such disclosures must be legible. Radio and television announcements may indicate that the rules and regulations are available at retail outlets or from the operator of the promotion. A nonrefundable filing fee of $100 shall accompany each filing and shall be used to pay the costs incurred in administering and enforcing the provisions of this section.
(4)(a) Every operator of such a game promotion in which the total announced value of the prizes offered is greater than $5,000 shall establish a trust account, in a national or state-chartered financial institution, with a balance sufficient to pay or purchase the total value of all prizes offered. On a form supplied by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, an official of the financial institution holding the trust account shall set forth the dollar amount of the trust account, the identity of the entity or individual establishing the trust account, and the name of the game promotion for which the trust account has been established. Such form shall be filed with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at least 7 days in advance of the commencement of the game promotion. In lieu of establishing such trust account, the operator may obtain a surety bond in an amount equivalent to the total value of all prizes offered; and such bond shall be filed with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at least 7 days in advance of the commencement of the game promotion.
1. The moneys held in the trust account may be withdrawn in order to pay the prizes offered only upon certification to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services of the name of the winner or winners and the amount of the prize or prizes and the value thereof.
2. If the operator of a game promotion has obtained a surety bond in lieu of establishing a trust account, the amount of the surety bond shall equal at all times the total amount of the prizes offered.
(b) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services may waive the provisions of this subsection for any operator who has conducted game promotions in the state for not less than 5 consecutive years and who has not had any civil, criminal, or administrative action instituted against him or her by the state or an agency of the state for violation of this section within that 5-year period. Such waiver may be revoked upon the commission of a violation of this section by such operator, as determined by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
(5) Every operator of a game promotion in which the total announced value of the prizes offered is greater than $5,000 shall provide the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services with a certified list of the names and addresses of all persons, whether from this state or from another state, who have won prizes which have a value of more than $25, the value of such prizes, and the dates when the prizes were won within 60 days after such winners have been finally determined. The operator shall provide a copy of the list of winners, without charge, to any person who requests it. In lieu of the foregoing, the operator of a game promotion may, at his or her option, publish the same information about the winners in a Florida newspaper of general circulation within 60 days after such winners have been determined and shall provide to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services a certified copy of the publication containing the information about the winners. The operator of a game promotion is not required to notify a winner by mail or by telephone when the winner is already in possession of a game card from which the winner can determine that he or she has won a designated prize. All winning entries shall be held by the operator for a period of 90 days after the close or completion of the game.
(6) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall keep the certified list of winners for a period of at least 6 months after receipt of the certified list. The department thereafter may dispose of all records and lists.
(7) No operator shall force, directly or indirectly, a lessee, agent, or franchise dealer to purchase or participate in any game promotion. For the purpose of this section, coercion or force shall be presumed in these circumstances in which a course of business extending over a period of 1 year or longer is materially changed coincident with a failure or refusal of a lessee, agent, or franchise dealer to participate in such game promotions. Such force or coercion shall further be presumed when an operator advertises generally that game promotions are available at its lessee dealers or agent dealers.
(8)(a) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall have the power to promulgate such rules and regulations respecting the operation of game promotions as it deems advisable.
(b) Compliance with the rules of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services does not authorize and is not a defense to a charge of possession of a slot machine or device or any other device or a violation of any other law.
(c) Whenever the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or the Department of Legal Affairs has reason to believe that a game promotion is being operated in violation of this section, it may bring an action in the circuit court of any judicial circuit in which the game promotion is being operated in the name and on behalf of the people of the state against any operator thereof to enjoin the continued operation of such game promotion anywhere within the state.
(9)(a) Any person, firm, or corporation, or association or agent or employee thereof, who engages in any acts or practices stated in this section to be unlawful, or who violates any of the rules and regulations made pursuant to this section, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(b) Any person, firm, corporation, association, agent, or employee who violates any provision of this section or any of the rules and regulations made pursuant to this section shall be liable for a civil penalty of not more than $1,000 for each such violation, which shall accrue to the state and may be recovered in a civil action brought by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or the Department of Legal Affairs.
(10) This section does not apply to actions or transactions regulated by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation or to the activities of nonprofit organizations or to any other organization engaged in any enterprise other than the sale of consumer products or services. Subsections (3), (4), (5), (6), and (7) and paragraph (8)(a) and any of the rules made pursuant thereto do not apply to television or radio broadcasting companies licensed by the Federal Communications Commission.
(11) A violation of this section, or soliciting another to commit an act that violates this section, constitutes a deceptive and unfair trade practice actionable under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
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