House Bill No. 541
Introduced By grimes
A Bill for an Act entitled: An Act revising the law prohibiting credit gambling; including offers to obtain and common schemes in the offense of obtaining anything of value by fraud or operation of an illegal gambling activity, device, or enterprise; and amending sections 23-5-112, 23-5-156, and 23-5-157, MCA.
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) "Dealer" means a person with a dealer's license issued under part 3 of this chapter.
(9) "Department" means the department of justice.
(10) "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) "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) "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) "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) "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) "Gross proceeds" means gross revenue received less prizes paid out.
(16) "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) "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;
(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; and
(d) credit gambling.
(18) "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) "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) "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) "Licensee" means a person who has received a license from the department.
(22) "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) "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) "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) "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) "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) "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) "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) "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) "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) "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) "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) "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) "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) "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) "Video gambling machine" is a gambling device specifically authorized by part 6 of this chapter and the rules of the department."
Section 2. Section 23-5-156, MCA, is amended to read:
Obtaining Offering or obtaining anything of value by fraud or operation of illegal gambling device or
enterprise. (1) A person who in an activity involving gambling offers or obtains money, property, or anything of value that
does not exceed $300 $750 in value by misrepresentation, fraud, or the use of an illegal gambling device or an illegal
gambling enterprise is guilty of a misdemeanor and is punishable as provided in 23-5-161.
(2) A person who in an activity involving gambling offers or obtains money, property, or anything of value that exceeds
$300 $750 in value by misrepresentation, fraud, or the use of an illegal gambling device or an illegal gambling enterprise is
guilty of a felony and is punishable as provided in 23-5-162.
(3) A person who in an activity involving gambling offers or obtains money, property, or anything of value as part of a common scheme, as defined in 45-2-101, by misrepresentation, fraud, or the use of an illegal gambling device or an illegal gambling enterprise is guilty of a felony and is punishable as provided in 23-5-162."
Section 3. Section 23-5-157, MCA, is amended to read:
"23-5-157. Gambling on cash basis -- penalties. (1) (a) In every gambling activity, except raffles as authorized in
23-5-413 and card games authorized in part 3 of this chapter and normally scored using points, the consideration paid for
the chance to play must be made in cash. A check or credit card may be used to obtain cash to participate in a gambling
activity. A participant shall present the cash needed to play the game as the game is being played.
A If a check , or credit
card , note, IOU, or other evidence of indebtedness may not be offered or accepted as part of the price of participation in the
gambling activity or as payment of a debt incurred in the gambling activity is used to obtain cash on the premises of a
licensee then it must be delivered and accepted unconditionally. A licensee or employee of a licensee may not hold a check
or other evidence of indebtedness for redemption pending the outcome of a gambling activity.
(b) Credit gambling is prohibited. Credit gambling is offering or accepting as part of the price of participation in a gambling activity or as payment of a debt incurred in a gambling activity:
(i) a check or credit card held pending the outcome of a gambling activity;
(ii) a loan of any kind at any time from or on behalf of a licensee;
(iii) any form of deferred payment, including a note, IOU, post-dated check, hold check, or other evidence of indebtedness; or
(iv) a check issued or delivered that is accepted by the licensee with the knowledge that it will not be paid by the depository.
(2) A person who violates this section is guilty of
: (a) a misdemeanor criminal offense under 23-5-156 and must be punished in accordance with 23-5-161 ; or 23-5-162 (b) a felony upon conviction of a third or subsequent offense and must be punished in accordance with 23-5-162."