Senate Bill No. 294
Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________
A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act providing for local input in gambling decisions by providing regulations for casinos; defining "casino"; clarifying the authority of local governments to adopt zoning regulations governing casinos; requiring the department of justice to consider conformity to local zoning ordinances in issuing licenses and permits for casinos; amending sections 23-5-112, 23-5-115, 23-5-611, 76-2-203, and 76-2-301, MCA; and providing an immediate effective date."
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Section 1. Section 23-5-112, MCA, is amended to read:
"23-5-112. Definitions. Unless the context requires otherwise, the following definitions apply to parts 1 through 8 of this chapter:
(1) "Applicant" means a person who has applied for a license or permit issued by the department pursuant to parts 1 through 8 of this chapter.
(2) "Application" means a written request for a license or permit issued by the department. The department shall adopt rules describing the forms and information required for issuance of a license.
(3) "Authorized equipment" means, with respect to live keno or bingo, equipment that may be inspected by the department and that randomly selects the numbers.
(4) "Bingo" means a gambling activity played for prizes with a card bearing a printed design of 5 columns of 5 squares each, 25 squares in all. The letters B-I-N-G-O must appear above the design, with each letter above one of the columns. More than 75 numbers may not be used. One number must appear in each square, except for the center square, which may be considered a free play. Numbers are randomly drawn using authorized equipment until the game is won by the person or persons who first cover one or more previously designated arrangements of numbers on the bingo card.
(5) "Bingo caller" means a person 18 years of age or older who, using authorized equipment, announces the order of the numbers drawn in live bingo.
(6) "Card game table" or "table" means a live card game table:
(a) authorized by permit and made available to the public on the premises of a licensed gambling operator; or
(b) operated by a senior citizen center.
(7) "Card game tournament" means a gambling activity for which a permit has been issued involving participants who pay valuable consideration for the opportunity to compete against each other in a series of live card games conducted over a designated period of time.
(8) "Casino" means a premises:
(a) licensed to sell alcoholic beverages that has more than five video gambling machines;
(b) that uses the word "casino" in the name of the business; or
(c) that receives over 50% of its gross income from gambling activities.
(8)(9) "Dealer" means a person with a dealer's license issued under part 3 of this chapter. (9)(10) "Department" means the department of justice. (10)(11) "Distributor" means a person who:
(a) purchases or obtains from a licensed manufacturer, distributor, or route operator equipment of any kind for use in gambling activities; and
(b) sells the equipment to a licensed distributor, route operator, or operator.
(11)(12) "Gambling" or "gambling activity" means risking money, credit, deposit, check, property, or any other thing of
value for a gain that is contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance, or the operation of a gambling device or gambling
enterprise. The term does not mean conducting or participating in a promotional game of chance and does not include
amusement games regulated by Title 23, chapter 6, part 1. (12)(13) "Gambling device" means a mechanical, electromechanical, or electronic device, machine, slot machine,
instrument, apparatus, contrivance, scheme, or system used or intended for use in any gambling activity. (13)(14) "Gambling enterprise" means an activity, scheme, or agreement or an attempted activity, scheme, or agreement to
provide gambling or a gambling device to the public. (14)(15) "Gift enterprise" means a gambling activity in which persons have qualified to obtain property to be awarded by
purchasing or agreeing to purchase goods or services. The term does not mean:
(a) a cash or merchandise attendance prize or premium that county fair commissioners of agricultural fairs and rodeo associations may give away at public drawings at fairs and rodeos;
(b) a promotional game of chance; or
(c) an amusement game regulated under chapter 6 of this title.
(15)(16) "Gross proceeds" means gross revenue received less prizes paid out. (16)(17) "Illegal gambling device" means a gambling device not specifically authorized by statute or by the rules of the
department. The term includes:
(a) a ticket or card, by whatever name known, containing concealed numbers or symbols that may match numbers or symbols designated in advance as prize winners, including a pull tab, punchboard, push card, tip board, pickle ticket, break-open, or jar game, except for one used under chapter 7 or under part 5 of this chapter or in a promotional game of chance approved by the department; and
(b) an apparatus, implement, or device, by whatever name known, specifically designed to be used in conducting an illegal gambling enterprise, including a faro box, faro layout, roulette wheel, roulette table, or craps table or a slot machine except as provided in 23-5-153.
(17)(18) "Illegal gambling enterprise" means a gambling enterprise that violates or is not specifically authorized by a
statute or a rule of the department. The term includes:
(a) a card game, by whatever name known, involving any bank or fund from which a participant may win money or other consideration and that receives money or other consideration lost by the participant and includes the card games of blackjack, twenty-one, jacks or better, baccarat, or chemin de fer;
(b) a dice game, by whatever name known, in which a participant wagers on the outcome of the roll of one or more dice, including craps, hazard, or chuck-a-luck, but not including activities authorized by 23-5-160; and
(c) sports betting, by whatever name known, in which a person places a wager on the outcome of an athletic event, including bookmaking, parlay bets, or sultan sports cards, but not including those activities authorized in chapter 4 of this title and parts 2, 5, and 8 of this chapter.
(18)(19) "Keno" means a game of chance in which prizes are awarded using a card with 8 horizontal rows and 10 columns
on which a player may pick up to 10 numbers. A keno caller, using authorized equipment, shall select at random at least 20
numbers out of numbers between 1 and 80, inclusive. (19)(20) "Keno caller" means a person 18 years of age or older who, using authorized equipment, announces the order of
the numbers drawn in live keno. (20)(21) "License" means a license for an operator, dealer, card room contractor, manufacturer of devices not legal in
Montana, sports tab card manufacturer, manufacturer of electronic live bingo or keno equipment, other manufacturer,
distributor, or route operator that is issued to a person by the department. (21)(22) "Licensee" means a person who has received a license from the department. (22)(23) "Live card game" or "card game" means a card game that is played in public between persons on the premises of a
licensed gambling operator or in a senior citizen center. (23)(24) "Lottery" means a scheme, by whatever name known, for the disposal or distribution of property among persons
who have paid or promised to pay valuable consideration for the chance of obtaining the property or a portion of it or for a
share or interest in the property upon an agreement, understanding, or expectation that it is to be distributed or disposed of
by lot or chance. The term does not mean lotteries authorized under chapter 7 of this title. (24)(25) "Manufacturer" means a person who assembles from raw materials or subparts a completed piece of equipment or
pieces of equipment of any kind to be used as a gambling device and who sells the equipment directly to a licensed
distributor, route operator, or operator. (25)(26) "Nonprofit organization" means a nonprofit corporation or nonprofit charitable, religious, scholastic, educational,
veterans', fraternal, beneficial, civic, senior citizens', or service organization established for purposes other than to conduct
a gambling activity. (26)(27) "Operator" means a person who purchases, receives, or acquires, by lease or otherwise, and operates or controls for
use in public, a gambling device or gambling enterprise authorized under parts 1 through 8 of this chapter. (27)(28) "Permit" means approval from the department to make available for public play a gambling device or gambling
enterprise approved by the department pursuant to parts 1 through 8 of this chapter. (28)(29) "Person" or "persons" means both natural and artificial persons and all partnerships, corporations, associations,
clubs, fraternal orders, and societies, including religious and charitable organizations. (29)(30) "Premises" means the physical building or property within or upon which a licensed gambling activity occurs, as
stated on an operator's license application and approved by the department. (30)(31) "Promotional game of chance" means a scheme, by whatever name known, for the disposal or distribution of
property among persons who have not paid or are not expected to pay any valuable consideration or who have not
purchased or are not expected to purchase any goods or services for a chance to obtain the property, a portion of it, or a
share in it. The property is disposed of or distributed by simulating a gambling enterprise authorized by parts 1 through 8 of
this chapter or by operating a device or enterprise approved by the department that was manufactured or intended for use
for purposes other than gambling. (31)(32) "Public gambling" means gambling conducted in:
(a) a place, building, or conveyance to which the public has access or may be permitted to have access;
(b) a place of public resort, including but not limited to a facility owned, managed, or operated by a partnership, corporation, association, club, fraternal order, or society, including a religious or charitable organization; or
(c) a place, building, or conveyance to which the public does not have access if players are publicly solicited or the gambling activity is conducted in a predominantly commercial manner.
(32)(33) "Raffle" means a form of lottery in which each participant pays valuable consideration for a ticket to become
eligible to win a prize. Winners must be determined by a random selection process approved by department rule. (33)(34) "Route operator" means a person who:
(a) purchases from a licensed manufacturer, route operator, or distributor equipment of any kind for use in a gambling activity;
(b) leases the equipment to a licensed operator for use by the public; and
(c) may sell to a licensed operator equipment that had previously been authorized to be operated on a premises.
(34)(35) "Senior citizen center" means a facility operated by a nonprofit or governmental organization that provides
services to senior citizens in the form of daytime or evening educational or recreational activities and does not provide
living accommodations to senior citizens. Services qualifying under this definition must be recognized in the state plan on
aging adopted by the department of public health and human services. (35)(36) "Slot machine" means a mechanical, electrical, electronic, or other gambling device, contrivance, or machine that,
upon insertion of a coin, currency, token, credit card, or similar object or upon payment of any valuable consideration, is
available to play or operate, the play or operation of which, whether by reason of the skill of the operator or application of
the element of chance, or both, may deliver or entitle the person playing or operating the gambling device to receive cash,
premiums, merchandise, tokens, or anything of value, whether the payoff is made automatically from the machine or in any
other manner. This definition does not apply to video gambling machines authorized under part 6 of this chapter. (36)(37) "Video gambling machine" is a gambling device specifically authorized by part 6 of this chapter and the rules of
Section 2. Section 23-5-115, MCA, is amended to read:
"23-5-115. Powers and duties of department -- licensing. (1) The department shall administer the provisions of parts 1 through 8 of this chapter.
(2) The department shall adopt rules to administer and implement parts 1 through 8 of this chapter.
(3) The department shall provide licensing procedures, prescribe necessary application forms, and grant or deny license applications. In granting or denying a license, the department shall consider whether the location of a proposed casino conforms to local zoning requirements. The department shall consult with the affected local government in making this determination.
(4) The department shall prescribe recordkeeping requirements for licensees, provide a procedure for inspection of records, provide a method for collection of taxes, and establish penalties for the delinquent reporting and payment of required taxes.
(5) The department may suspend, revoke, deny, or place a condition on a license issued under parts 1 through 8 of this chapter.
(6) The department may not make public or otherwise disclose information obtained in the application or tax reporting processes, except for general statistical reporting or studies or as provided in 23-5-116.
(7) The department shall assess, collect, and disburse any fees, taxes, or charges authorized under parts 1 through 8 of this chapter."
Section 3. Section 23-5-611, MCA, is amended to read:
"23-5-611. Machine permit qualifications -- limitations. (1) (a) A person who has been granted an operator's license
under 23-5-177 and a license to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises may be granted a permit for the
placement of video gambling machines in
his the premises.
(b) If video keno or bingo gambling machines were legally operated on a premises on January 15, 1989, and the premises
were not on that date licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises or operated for the principal
purpose of gaming and there is an operator's license for the premises under 23-5-177, a permit for the same number of
video keno or bingo gambling machines as were operated on the premises on that date may be granted to the person who
held the permit for
such the machines on those premises on that date.
(c) A person who legally operated an establishment on January 15, 1989, for the principal purpose of gaming and has been
granted an operator's license under 23-5-177 may be granted a permit for the placement of bingo and keno machines in
(2) An applicant for a permit shall disclose on the application form to the department any information required by the department consistent with the provisions of 23-5-176.
(3) A licensee may not have on the premises or make available for play on the premises more than 20 machines of any combination. A premises that is a casino is subject to applicable local zoning regulations."
Section 4. Section 76-2-203, MCA, is amended to read:
"76-2-203. Criteria and guidelines for zoning regulations. (1) The zoning regulations
shall must be made in
accordance with a comprehensive development plan and shall must be designed to:
(a) lessen congestion in the streets;
to secure safety from fire, panic, and other dangers;
to promote health and general welfare;
to provide adequate light and air;
to prevent the overcrowding of land;
to avoid undue concentration of population;
to facilitate the adequate provision of transportation, water, sewerage, schools, parks, and other public requirements.
Such zoning Zoning regulations shall must be made with reasonable consideration, among other things, to the character
of the district and its peculiar suitability for particular uses and with a view to conserving the value of buildings and
encouraging the most appropriate use of land throughout such the jurisdictional area. Zoning regulations may provide
suitable locations for casinos, as defined in 23-5-112. Zoning regulations for casinos must be based on impacts to
neighboring uses and must minimize adverse effects on the community in the best interests of the public health, safety, and
welfare. The zoning regulations shall must, as nearly as possible, be made compatible with the zoning ordinances of the
municipality within the jurisdictional area."
Section 5. Section 76-2-301, MCA, is amended to read:
"76-2-301. Municipal zoning authorized. (1) For the purpose of promoting health, safety, morals, or the general welfare
of the community, the city or town council or other legislative body of cities and incorporated towns
is hereby empowered
to may regulate and restrict:
(a) the height, number of stories, and size of buildings and other structures;
(b) the percentage of lot that may be occupied;
(c) the size of yards, courts, and other open spaces;
(d) the density of population; and
(e) the location and use of buildings, structures, and land for trade, industry, residence, or other purposes.
(2) Zoning regulations may provide suitable locations for casinos, as defined in 23-5-112. Zoning regulations for casinos must be based on impacts to neighboring uses and must minimize adverse effects on the community in the best interests of the public health, safety, and welfare."
NEW SECTION. Section 6. Saving clause. [This act] does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, or proceedings that were begun before [the effective date of this act].
NEW SECTION. Section 7. Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.