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Senate Interim Committee on Charitable Bingo
Charges

Study whether the Texas Lottery Commission has sufficient legal authority to exercise strict control and close supervision over all facets of charitable bingo and make recommendations to ensure the commission has the regulatory tools to fulfill that responsibility.

Study the existence of or potential for unfair or anti-competitive practices in the charitable bingo industry and make recommendations for preventing or eliminating such practices.

Determine whether additional resources are needed by the Texas Lottery Commission to ensure that charitable bingo gaming is conducted for the purposes authorized by the voters and by statute.

Oversee implementation of House Bill 3021, 74th Legislature, Regular Session, and make recommendations for changes in the legislation, if needed.

Propose to the 75th Legislature a recodification of the Bingo Enabling Act, if necessary.
Recommendations

PRIZES

  • Modify prize levels by raising the $2,500 per occasion level to $5,000; eliminate the $500 per game provision and allow charities to conduct progressive games on a weekly basis.

  • Allow the awarding of door prizes; the door prizes must be donated and their cash value should not exceed $1,000.

  • Allow charitable raffles during bingo occasions.

    FEES AND TAXES

  • Submit taxes on a bi-weekly basis with a three-day grace period but maintain quarterly distribution reports.

  • Reduce the rental cap from $600 to $450.

  • Collect taxes only on prize amounts that exceed $250.

    REGULATIONS

  • Eliminate restrictions on advertising to allow charities, commercial lessors, manufacturers, and distributors to advertise. Commercial lessors, manufacturers, and distributors cannot pass on advertising expenses to charities.

  • Allow authorized charitable organizations to amend times and dates by telephone or fax for a minimal charge.

  • Lift the restrictions on symbols used on a pull-tab and provide a clear definition of a pull-tab to exclude bar coding.

  • Require mandatory training of a designated bingo operator.

  • Transfer regulatory functions of bingo from the Texas Lottery Commission to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

  • Require a pre-hearing process before action is taken to suspend or revoke a charity license.

  • Allow the parent of an umbrella organization chartered in Texas to verify that a charity is in good standing for the purpose of obtaining a bingo license.

  • Include a statement of intent in the Bingo Enabling Act.

  • Provide a nonsubstantive recodification of the Bingo Enabling Act.

  • Provide that charity lessors can only lease a facility that it owns or that it leases directly from a building owner. Require charity lessors to also show proof of financial capability to furnish, provide utilities, and cost of renovation or purchase.

  • Require charity lessors to conduct bingo games in the halls or locations they lease to other charities.