CCS HS HCS SS SB 902 -- GAMING

This bill makes several changes to gaming provisions. In its main provisions, the bill:

(1) Transfers all unobligated funds in the Gaming Commission Bingo Fund to the Gaming Commission Fund on August 28, 2000. On June 30, 2001, the Gaming Commission Bingo Fund will be abolished;

(2) Extends to January 1, 2005, the expiration date of the requirement of the state lottery to award certain percentages of its contracts and subcontracts to women- and minority-owned businesses;

(3) Allows excursion gambling boat tokens to be physical or electronic;

(4) Requires excursion gambling boat licensees to develop a system which allows patrons the option of prohibiting licensees from using identifying information for marketing purposes;

(5) Requires applicants for licensure or license renewal for an excursion gambling boat to provide an affirmative action plan to the Missouri Gaming Commission and to report on the plan's effectiveness to the commission at renewal periods. The commission must report the licensee's information in its annual report to the Joint Committee on Gaming and Wagering;

(6) Adds commission-approved persons or entities as eligible to supply gambling games or implements;

(7) Authorizes the commission without limitation to deny a license to an applicant for an excursion gambling boat based solely on the fact that there is evidence that the applicant has engaged in certain activities, including being suspended from operating a gambling boat in another jurisdiction or making a false statement of a material fact to the commission;

(8) Authorizes the commission to deny an application for an applicant's act or failure to act that is injurious to public health, safety, morals, good order, or general welfare or would tend to discredit the gaming industry or the state. Current law applies penalties only to licensees if they engage in this conduct;

(9) Requires all license applicants to comply with all local zoning laws prior to receiving a license;

(10) Allows the bond or surety posted to the commission by the licensee to be used to guarantee the completion of any expansion or modification of a boat in a time period approved by the commission or August 28, 2004, whichever is later. Failure to complete the approved expansion or modification within the specified period is sufficient grounds for nonrenewal of a license;

(11) Makes it a class B misdemeanor to present false identification in order to gain entrance to a gambling excursion boat. The second and subsequent offenses are class A misdemeanors;

(12) Requires $1 of the $2 excursion gambling boat admission fee paid to the Gaming Commission to be paid to the Gaming Commission Fund and one cent of each dollar to be deposited in the Compulsive Gamblers Fund;

(13) Extends the period of time within which a licensee may request tax reassessment from 10 days to 20 days from the postmarked date;

(14) Repeals the provision requiring the Gaming Commission to make annual reports to the Governor and the General Assembly;

(15) Specifies a penalty for permitting or aiding persons under 21 years of age to make a wager on an excursion gambling boat and persons younger than 21 years making or attempting to make a wager. The first offense is a class B misdemeanor; second and subsequent violations are class A misdemeanors;

(16) Requires the commission to promulgate rules allowing persons to voluntarily exclude themselves from excursion gambling boats. If such persons enter a gambling boat, they will be guilty of first-degree trespassing (a class B misdemeanor) and will forfeit all chips, tokens, and electronic gaming credits in their possession at the time of discovery. The commission will establish by rule the procedure for forfeitures;

(17) Allows excursion gambling boats to offer child care for their employees, as long as the services are approved by the Department of Health. Child care services may be offered to patrons if the child care facility is at least 8,000 square feet and is approved by the Department of Health. The hours of operation of the child care services will not be offered after 11:00 p.m. on evenings in which elementary and secondary schools are in session and 1:00 a.m. on evenings in which schools are not in session; and

(18) Allows persons who won state lottery prizes before October 22, 1998, who are receiving annuity payments, to elect to receive their remaining settlement in a single cash payment. This option expires December 31, 2000.