By Armbrister                                          S.B. No. 575
         76R2834 AJA-D                           
                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 1-1                                   AN ACT
 1-2     relating to the regulation of bingo, including the authorization of
 1-3     linked bingo games.
 1-5           SECTION 1.  Section 2, Bingo Enabling Act (Article 179d,
 1-6     Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), is amended by amending Subdivisions
 1-7     (2), (22), and (25) and adding Subdivision (30) to read as follows:
 1-8                 (2)  "Bingo" or "game" means a specific game of chance,
 1-9     commonly known as bingo or lotto, in which prizes are awarded on
1-10     the basis of designated numbers or symbols conforming to numbers or
1-11     symbols selected at random.  The term includes a linked bingo game.
1-12                 (22)  "Bingo equipment" means equipment actually used,
1-13     made, or sold for the purpose of use in bingo games and includes
1-14     machines or other devices from which balls or other items are
1-15     withdrawn to determine the letters and numbers or other symbols to
1-16     be called, electronic or mechanical cardminding devices, pull-tab
1-17     or instant bingo dispensers, bingo cards, equipment used to
1-18     automate any part of the bingo game process as allowed by law or to
1-19     operate a linked bingo game, and any other device commonly used in
1-20     the direct operation of a bingo [the] game. "Bingo equipment" does
1-21     not include:
1-22                       (A)  a bingo game set commonly manufactured and
1-23     sold as a child's game for a retail price of $20 or less unless the
1-24     set or a part of the set is actually used in a bingo game subject
 2-1     to regulation under this Act; or
 2-2                       (B)  commonly available component parts of bingo
 2-3     equipment such as light bulbs, fuses, or bingo balls.
 2-4                 (25)  "Automated bingo services" means a computer
 2-5     program or system:
 2-6                       (A)  for registering or accounting for bingo
 2-7     sales, prizes, inventory, and prize fees;
 2-8                       (B)  [,] for generating required reports to the
 2-9     commission;
2-10                       (C)  [, and] for providing the conductor of a
2-11     bingo game with other information requested for accounting or other
2-12     business purposes;
2-13                       (D)  for operating a linked bingo game; or
2-14                       (E)  for automating any part of the bingo game
2-15     process as allowed by law.
2-16                 (30)  "Linked bingo game" means a single bingo game in
2-17     which players participate simultaneously at two or more locations
2-18     at which licensed authorized organizations are authorized to
2-19     conduct bingo and for which there is a common prize pool and a
2-20     common selection of numbers or symbols conducted at one location,
2-21     with the results of the selection transmitted electronically to all
2-22     participating locations by satellite, telephone, or other means.
2-23           SECTION 2.  Section 11, Bingo Enabling Act (Article 179d,
2-24     Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), is amended by amending Subsections
2-25     (e), (f), (i), and (v) and by adding Subsection (v-1) to read as
2-26     follows:
2-27           (e)  A prize may not exceed the sum or value of $750 in any
 3-1     single game of bingo other than a linked bingo game.
 3-2           (f)  A series of prizes offered or awarded on any one bingo
 3-3     occasion for bingo games other than instant bingo or linked bingo
 3-4     games may not aggregate more than $2,500.
 3-5           (i)  A licensed authorized organization [Bingo games] may not
 3-6     conduct bingo games [be conducted] at more than one location on
 3-7     property owned or leased by the [a] licensed authorized
 3-8     organization.
 3-9           (v)  A person may not use a card-minding device:
3-10                 (1)  to generate or determine the random letters,
3-11     numbers, or other symbols used in playing the bingo card played
3-12     with the device's assistance;
3-13                 (2)  as a receptacle for the deposit of tokens or
3-14     money, including coins or paper currency, in payment for playing
3-15     the bingo card played with the device's assistance; or
3-16                 (3)  as a dispenser for the payment of a bingo prize,
3-17     including coins, paper currency, or any thing of value for the
3-18     bingo card played with the device's assistance.  No more than 40
3-19     percent of the individuals attending a bingo occasion, based on the
3-20     average of two previously submitted quarterly reports, may use
3-21     electronic or mechanical card-minding devices.  This provision does
3-22     not include pull-tabs, instant bingo tickets, [or] break-open bingo
3-23     games, or linked bingo games.
3-24           (v-1)  Subsection (v) of this section does not prohibit a
3-25     card minder from awarding and playing credits for linked bingo
3-26     games.
3-27           SECTION 3.  The Bingo Enabling Act (Article 179d, Vernon's
 4-1     Texas Civil Statutes) is amended by adding Section 11b to read as
 4-2     follows:
 4-3           Sec. 11b.  LINKED BINGO GAMES.  (a)  A licensed authorized
 4-4     organization may conduct or participate in a linked bingo game in
 4-5     conjunction with one or more other licensed authorized
 4-6     organizations.
 4-7           (b)  Each participating licensed authorized organization
 4-8     shall contribute an amount to each prize awarded in a linked bingo
 4-9     game in proportion to the organization's gross receipts derived
4-10     from the conduct of the game at that organization's location as
4-11     compared with the total gross receipts derived from the conduct of
4-12     the game by licensed authorized organizations at all bingo
4-13     locations participating in the game.
4-14           (c)  The commission by rule shall specify:
4-15                 (1)  the manner in which a prize in a linked bingo game
4-16     may be paid; and
4-17                 (2)  the manner in which a licensed authorized
4-18     organization may comply with the requirements of Section 15 of this
4-19     Act with respect to a linked bingo game.
4-20           (d)  Each licensed authorized organization participating in a
4-21     linked bingo game shall collect and remit a portion of the fee
4-22     imposed on a prize awarded in the game under Section 19b of this
4-23     Act in proportion to the organization's contribution to the prize
4-24     under Subsection (b) of this section.
4-25           (e)  Each county or municipality entitled under Section 19c
4-26     of this Act to receive a percentage of a fee on a prize awarded in
4-27     a bingo game is entitled to the same percentage of the portion of a
 5-1     fee imposed on a prize awarded in a linked bingo game that is
 5-2     collected in the county or municipality.
 5-3           SECTION 4.  Section 18, Bingo Enabling Act (Article 179d,
 5-4     Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), is amended to read as follows:
 5-5           Sec. 18.  FREQUENCY AND TIMES OF GAMES.  An occasion of bingo
 5-6     may not be conducted under any license issued under this Act more
 5-7     often than three days per calendar week, not to exceed eight [four]
 5-8     hours per 24-hour period.  A licensed organization may conduct two
 5-9     occasions per 24-hour period.  No more than two organizations may
5-10     conduct a game of bingo in one place on one 24-hour period.  If two
5-11     organizations conduct games of bingo in one place on one 24-hour
5-12     period, these occasions must be announced separately, and an
5-13     intermission of at least 10 minutes must occur between the games.
5-14     No more than two bingo occasions per day may be conducted at any
5-15     location except that a third occasion per day may be conducted at
5-16     any location [except that a third occasion may be conducted] under
5-17     a temporary license held by a licensed authorized organization at
5-18     that location.  No more than seven licensed authorized
5-19     organizations may conduct bingo at any bingo premises.
5-20           SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect September 1, 1999.
5-21           SECTION 6.  The importance of this legislation and the
5-22     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
5-23     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
5-24     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
5-25     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.