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Current through Sep. 1, 2014

Georgia Code

13-8-3.

(a) Gambling contracts are void; and all evidences of debt, except negotiable instruments in the hands of holders in due course or encumbrances or liens on property, executed upon a gambling consideration, are void in the hands of any person.

(b) Money paid or property delivered upon a gambling consideration may be recovered from the winner by the loser by institution of an action for the same within six months after the loss and, after the expiration of that time, by institution of an action by any person, at any time within four years, for the joint use of himself and the educational fund of the county.

16-12-20.

As used in this part, the term:

(1) "Bet" means an agreement that, dependent upon chance even though accompanied by some skill, one stands to win or lose something of value. A bet does not include:

(A) Contracts of indemnity or guaranty or life, health, property, or accident insurance; or

(B) An offer of a prize, award, or compensation to the actual contestants in any bona fide contest for the determination of skill, speed, strength, or endurance or to the owners of animals, vehicles, watercraft, or aircraft entered in such contest.

(2) "Gambling device" means:

(A) Any contrivance which for a consideration affords the player an opportunity to obtain money or other thing of value, the award of which is determined by chance even though accompanied by some skill, whether or not the prize is automatically paid by contrivance;

(B) Any slot machine or any simulation or variation thereof;

(C) Any matchup or lineup game machine or device, operated for any consideration, in which two or more numerals, symbols, letters, or icons align in a winning combination on one or more lines vertically, horizontally, diagonally, or otherwise, without assistance by the player. Use of skill stops shall not be considered assistance by the player; or

(D) Any video game machine or device, operated for any consideration, for the play of poker, blackjack, any other card game, or keno or any simulation or variation of any of the foregoing, including, but not limited to, any game in which numerals, numbers, or any pictures, representations, or symbols are used as an equivalent or substitute for cards in the conduct of such game.

Any item described in subparagraph (B), (C), or (D) of this paragraph shall be a prohibited gambling device subject to and prohibited by this part, notwithstanding any inference to the contrary in any other law of this state.

(3) "Gambling place" means any real estate, building, room, tent, vehicle, boat, or other property whatsoever, one of the principal uses of which is the making or settling of bets; the receiving, holding, recording, or forwarding of bets or offers to bet; or the conducting of a lottery or the playing of gambling devices.

(4) "Lottery" means any scheme or procedure whereby one or more prizes are distributed by chance among persons who have paid or promised consideration for a chance to win such prize, whether such scheme or procedure is called a pool, lottery, raffle, gift, gift enterprise, sale, policy game, or by some other name. A lottery shall also include the organization of chain letter or pyramid clubs as provided in Code Section 16-12-38. A lottery shall not mean a:

(A) Promotional giveaway or contest which conforms with the qualifications of a lawful promotion specified in paragraph (16) of subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-393;

(B) Scheme whereby a business gives away prizes to persons selected by lot if such prizes are made on the following conditions:

(i) Such prizes are conducted as advertising and promotional undertakings in good faith solely for the purpose of advertising the goods, wares, and merchandise of such business; and

(ii) No person to be eligible to receive such prize shall be required to:

(I) Pay any tangible consideration to the operator of such business in the form of money or other property or thing of value;

(II) Purchase any goods, wares, merchandise, or anything of value from such business; or

(III) Be present or be asked to participate in a seminar, sales presentation, or any other presentation, by whatever name denominated, in order to win such prizes; or

(C) Raffle authorized under Code Section 16-12-22.1.

16-12-21.

(a) A person commits the offense of gambling when he:

(1) Makes a bet upon the partial or final result of any game or contest or upon the performance of any participant in such game or contest;

(2) Makes a bet upon the result of any political nomination, appointment, or election or upon the degree of success of any nominee, appointee, or candidate; or

(3) Plays and bets for money or other thing of value at any game played with cards, dice, or balls.

(b) A person who commits the offense of gambling shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

16-12-22.

(a) A person commits the offense of commercial gambling when he intentionally does any of the following acts:

(1) Operates or participates in the earnings of a gambling place;

(2) Receives, records, or forwards a bet or offer to bet;

(3) For gain, becomes a custodian of anything of value bet or offered to be bet;

(4) Contracts to have or give himself or another the option to buy or sell or contracts to buy or sell at a future time any gain or other commodity whatsoever or any stock or security of any company, when it is at the time of making such contract intended by both parties thereto that the contract to buy or sell, the option whenever exercised or the contract resulting therefrom, shall be settled not by the receipt or delivery of such property but by the payment only of differences in prices thereof;

(5) Sells chances upon the partial or final result of or upon the margin of victory in any game or contest or upon the performance of any participant in any game or contest or upon the result of any political nomination, appointment, or election or upon the degree of success of any nominee, appointee, or candidate;

(6) Sets up or promotes any lottery, sells or offers to sell, or knowingly possesses for transfer or transfers any card, stub, ticket, check, or other device designed to serve as evidence of participation in any lottery; or

(7) Conducts, advertises, operates, sets up, or promotes a bingo game without having a valid license to operate a bingo game as provided by law.

(b) A person who commits the offense of commercial gambling shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years or by a fine not to exceed $20,000.00, or both.

16-12-22.1.  [This provision governs raffles by charitable organizations.  It is set forth at Georgia Charity Gaming]

16-12-26

(a) A person who knowingly prints, publishes, or advertises any lottery or other scheme for commercial gambling, or who knowingly prints or publishes any lottery ticket, policy ticket, or other similar device designed to serve as evidence of participation in a lottery commits the offense of advertising commercial gambling.

(b) A person who commits the offense of advertising commercial gambling shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

16-12-27.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person, partnership, firm, corporation, or other entity to sell, distribute, televise, broadcast, or disseminate any advertisement, television or radio commercial, or any book, magazine, periodical, newspaper, or other written or printed matter containing an advertisement or solicitation for participation in any lottery declared to be unlawful by the laws of this state unless such advertisement, commercial, or solicitation contains or includes the words "void in Georgia" printed or spoken so as to be clearly legible or audible to persons viewing or hearing such advertisement, commercial, or solicitation.

(b) Any person, partnership, firm, corporation, or other entity violating subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

16-12-28.

(a) A person who knowingly communicates information as to bets, betting odds, or changes in betting odds or who knowingly installs or maintains equipment for the transmission or receipt of such information with the intent to further gambling commits the offense of communicating gambling information.

(b) A person who commits the offense of communicating gambling information, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years or by a fine not to exceed $5,000.00, or both.

16-12-33.

A person who gives, offers, or promises any reward, money, or other thing of value to anyone who participates or expects to participate in any amateur or professional athletic contest, sporting event, or exhibition or to any coach, trainer, manager or official in such athletic contest, sporting event, or exhibition with intent to influence such person to lose, try to lose, or cause to be lost or to affect the margin of victory or defeat in such athletic contest, sporting event, or exhibition commits the offense of bribery of a contestant and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $1,000.00 nor more than $5,000.00 or by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years, or both.

16-12-34.

A person participating or expecting to participate or any coach, trainer, manager, or official in any amateur or professional athletic contest, sporting event, or exhibition who solicits or accepts any reward, money, or other thing of value with the intent, understanding, or agreement that it influence him to lose, try to lose, or cause to be lost or to limit the margin of victory or defeat in such athletic contest, sporting event, or exhibition by failing to exert his best efforts or to exercise his best judgment commits the offense of soliciting or accepting a bribe and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $1,000.00 nor more than $5,000.00 or by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years, or both.

[Georgia's version of the so-called Chuck E. Cheese law.]

16-12-35.

(a) Any other laws to the contrary notwithstanding, this part shall not be applicable to the manufacturing, processing, selling, possessing, or transporting of any printed materials, equipment, devices, or other materials used or designated for use in a legally authorized lottery nor shall it be applicable to the manufacturing, processing, selling, possessing, or transporting of any gaming equipment, devices, or other materials used or designated for use only in jurisdictions in which the use of such items is legal. This part shall in no way prohibit communications between persons in this state and persons involved with such legal lotteries or gaming devices relative to such printed materials, equipment, devices, or other materials or prohibit demonstrations of same within this state.

(a.1) As used in this Code section, the term "some skill" means any presence of the following factors, alone or in combination with one another:

(1) A learned power of doing a thing competently;

(2) A particular craft, art, ability, strategy, or tactic;

(3) A developed or acquired aptitude or ability;

(4) A coordinated set of actions, including, but not limited to, eye-hand coordination;

(5) Dexterity, fluency, or coordination in the execution of learned physical or mental tasks or both;

(6) Technical proficiency or expertise;

(7) Development or implementation of strategy or tactics in order to achieve a goal; or

(8) Knowledge of the means or methods of accomplishing a task.

The term some skill refers to a particular craft, coordinated effort, art, ability, strategy, or tactic employed by the player to affect in some way the outcome of the game played on a bona fide coin operated amusement machine as defined in paragraph (2) of Code Section 48-17-1. If a player can take no action to affect the outcome of the game, the bona fide coin operated amusement machine does not meet the "some skill" requirement of this Code section.

(b) Nothing in this part shall apply to a coin operated game or device designed and manufactured for bona fide amusement purposes only which may by application of some skill entitle the player to earn replays of the game or device at no additional cost and to discharge the accumulated free replays only by reactivating the game or device for each accumulated free replay or by reactivating the game or device for a portion or all of the accumulated free plays in a single play. This subsection shall not apply, however, to any game or device classified by the United States government as requiring a federal gaming tax stamp under applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code or any item described as a gambling device in subparagraph (B), (C), or (D) of paragraph (2) of Code Section 16-12-20.

(c)(1) Nothing in this part shall apply to a crane game machine or device meeting the requirements of paragraph (2) of this subsection.

(2) A crane game machine or device acceptable for the purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall meet the following requirements:

(A) The machine or device must be designed and manufactured only for bona fide amusement purposes and must involve at least some skill in its operation;

(B) The machine or device must reward a winning player exclusively with free replays or merchandise contained within the machine itself and such merchandise must be limited to noncash merchandise, prizes, toys, gift certificates, or novelties, each of which has a wholesale value not exceeding $5.00. A player may be rewarded with both free replays and noncash merchandise, prizes, toys, or novelties for a single play of the game or device as provided in this Code section;

(C) The player of the machine or device must be able to control the timing of the use of the claw or grasping device to attempt to pick up or grasp a prize, toy, or novelty;

(D) The player of the machine or device must be made aware of the total time which the machine or device allows during a game for the player to maneuver the claw or grasping device into a position to attempt to pick up or grasp a prize, toy, or novelty;

(E) The claw or grasping device must not be of a size, design, or shape that prohibits picking up or grasping a prize, toy, or novelty contained within the machine or device; and

(F) The machine or device must not be classified by the United States government as requiring a federal gaming stamp under applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.

(d)(1) Nothing in this part shall apply to a coin operated game or device designed and manufactured only for bona fide amusement purposes which involves some skill in its operation if it rewards the player exclusively with:

(A) Free replays;

(B) Merchandise limited to noncash merchandise, prizes, toys, gift certificates, or novelties, each of which has a wholesale value of not more than $5.00 received for a single play of the game or device;

(C) Points, tokens, vouchers, tickets, or other evidence of winnings which may be exchanged for rewards set out in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph or subparagraph (B) of this paragraph or a combination of rewards set out in subparagraph (A) and subparagraph (B) of this paragraph; or

(D) Any combination of rewards set out in two or more of subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of this paragraph.

This subsection shall not apply, however, to any game or device classified by the United States government as requiring a federal gaming stamp under applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code or any item described as a gambling device in subparagraph (B), (C), or (D) of paragraph (2) of Code Section 16-12-20.

(2) A player of bona fide coin operated amusement games or devices described in paragraph (1) of this subsection may accumulate winnings for the successful play of such bona fide coin operated amusement games or devices through tokens, vouchers, points, or tickets. Points may be accrued on the machine or device. A player may carry over points on one play to subsequent plays. A player may redeem accumulated tokens, vouchers, or tickets for noncash merchandise, prizes, toys, gift certificates, or novelties so long as the amount of tokens, vouchers, or tickets received does not exceed $5.00 for a single play.

(e) Any person who gives to any other person money for free replays on coin operated games or devices described in subsection (b), (c), or (d) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(f) Any person owning or possessing an amusement game or device described in subsection (c) or (d) of this Code section or any person employed by or acting on behalf of any such person who gives to any other person money for any noncash merchandise, prize, toy, gift certificate, or novelty received as a reward in playing any such amusement game or device shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(g) Any person owning or possessing an amusement game or device described in subsection (b), (c), or (d) of this Code section or any person employed by or acting on behalf of any such person who gives to any other person money as a reward for the successful play or winning of any such amusement game or device shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

(h) Any gift certificates, tokens, vouchers, tickets, or other evidence of winnings awarded under subsection (c) or (d) of this Code section must be redeemable only at the premises on which the game or device is located. It shall be unlawful for any person to provide to any other person as a reward for play on any such game or device any gift certificate, token, voucher, ticket, or other evidence of winning which is redeemable or exchangeable for any thing of value at any other premises. It shall be unlawful for any person at any premises other than those on which the game or device is located to give any thing of value to any other person for any gift certificate, token, voucher, ticket, or other evidence of winning received by such other person from play on such game or device. Any person who violates this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

(i) The merchandise, prizes, toys, gift certificates, novelties, or rewards which may be awarded under subsection (c) or (d) of this Code section may not include or be redeemable or exchangeable for any firearms, alcohol, or tobacco or any lottery ticket or other item enabling participation in any lottery. Any person who violates this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

16-12-36.

(a) A promotional or giveaway contest which conforms with the qualifications of a lawful promotion specified in paragraph (16) of subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-393 shall not be a lottery.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section, all promotions or promotional contests involving an element of chance in the distribution of prizes, gifts, awards, or other items which otherwise meet the definition of a "lottery" in this article shall be included within the definition of the term "lottery" for purposes of this article, unless specifically exempted by some other statute or law.

16-12-38.

 Pyramid promotional schemes; prohibition; exceptions; penalties

   (a) As used in this Code section, the term:

   (1) "Compensation " means a payment of any money, thing of value, or financial benefit.

   (2) "Consideration " means the payment of cash or the purchase of goods, services, or intangible property, and does not include the purchase of goods or services furnished at cost to be used in making sales and not for resale, or time and effort spent in pursuit of sales or recruiting activities.

   (3) "Inventory " includes both goods and services, including company produced promotional materials, sales aids, and sales kits that the plan or operation requires independent salespersons to purchase.

   (4) "Inventory loading " means that the plan or operation requires or encourages its independent salespersons to purchase inventory in an amount which unreasonably exceeds that which the salesperson can expect to resell for ultimate consumption or to use or consume in a reasonable time period.

   (5) "Participant" means a person who joins a plan or operation.

   (6) "Person" means an individual, a corporation, a partnership, or any association or unincorporated organization.

   (7) "Promote " means to contrive, prepare, establish, plan, operate, advertise, or to otherwise induce or attempt to induce another person to be a participant.

   (8) "Pyramid promotional scheme " means any plan or operation in which a participant gives consideration for the right to receive compensation that is derived primarily from the recruitment of other persons as participants into the plan or operation rather than from the sale of goods, services, or intangible property to participants or by participants to others.

   (b)(1) No person may establish, promote, operate, or participate in any pyramid promotional scheme. A limitation as to the number of persons who may participate or the presence of additional conditions affecting eligibility for the opportunity to receive compensation under the plan does not change the identity of the plan as a pyramid promotional scheme. It is not a defense under this subsection that a person, on giving consideration, obtains goods, services, or intangible property in addition to the right to receive compensation.

   (2) Nothing in this Code section may be construed to prohibit a plan or operation, or to define a plan or operation as a pyramid promotional scheme, based on the fact that participants in the plan or operation give consideration in return for the right to receive compensation based upon purchases of goods, services, or intangible property by participants for personal use, consumption, or resale so long as the plan or operation does not promote or induce inventory loading and complies with the cancellation requirements of subsection (d) of Code Section 10-1-415.

   (3) Any person who participates in a pyramid promotional scheme shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. Any person who establishes, promotes, or operates a pyramid promotional scheme shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.

   (4) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed so as to include a "multilevel distribution company ," as defined in paragraph (6) of Code Section 10-1-410, which is operating in compliance with Part 3 of Article 15 of Chapter 1 of Title10

16-12-51.

As used in this part, the term:

(1) "Bingo game" or "nonprofit bingo game" means a game of chance played on cards with numbered squares in which counters or indicators are placed on numbers chosen by lot and won by covering a previously specified number or order of numbered squares. A bingo game may be played manually or with an electronic or computer device that stores the numbers from a player's card or cards, tracks the numbers chosen by lot when such numbers are entered by the player, and notifies the player of a winning combination. Such words, terms, or phrases, as used in this paragraph, shall be strictly construed to include only the series of acts generally defined as bingo and shall exclude all other activity.

(2) "Bingo session" means a time period during which bingo games are played.

(3) "Director" means the director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

(4) "Operate," "operated," or "operating" means the direction, supervision, management, operation, control, or guidance of activity.

(5) "Recreational bingo" means a bingo session operated by any person or entity at no charge to participants in which the prizes for each bingo game during the bingo session shall be noncash prizes and the total of such prizes for each such game shall not exceed the amount established pursuant to regulations established by the director. No such noncash prize awarded in recreational bingo shall be exchanged or redeemed for money or for any other prize with a value in excess of the amount established pursuant to regulations established by the director. Recreational bingo shall also include a bingo session operated by a nonprofit, tax-exempt licensed operator of bingo games at no charge to participants in which the participants are senior citizens attending a function at a facility of the tax-exempt licensed organization or are residents of nursing homes, retirement homes, senior centers, or hospitals and in which the prizes for each bingo game during the bingo session shall be nominal cash prizes not to exceed $5.00 for any single prize and the total of such prizes for each such game shall not exceed the amount established pursuant to regulations established by the director. Recreational bingo shall also include a bingo session operated by an employer with ten or more full-time employees for the purposes of providing a safe workplace incentive and in which the prizes are determined by the employer; provided, however, that no monetary consideration is required by any participant other than the employer and the employer expressly prohibits any monetary consideration from any employee. Recreational bingo shall not be considered a lottery as defined in paragraph (4) of Code Section 16-12-20 or a form of gambling as defined in Code Section 16-12-21.