CHAPTER 65

REFERENDUM ON BINGO

AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR REFERENDUMS ON BINGO; REGULATE BINGO, PROVIDE PENALTIES AND APPROPRIATE FUNDS.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (two-thirds of all the Members elected to each House agreeing thereto):

Section 1. Title 28, Delaware Code is amended by adding a new chapter as follows:

CHAPTER II. BINGO Subchapter I. General

§ 1101. Purpose and scope

The purpose of this chapter is to provide for referendums on bingo and the regulation and control of bingo if an amendment is adopted to the Constitution of the State which permits the game to be played and if any district mentioned in the Constitutional Amendment votes in favor of permitting such game pursuant to the Constitutional Amendment. In no case shall bingo be conducted in Delaware until after such referendum and then only by those licensed under this chapter and subject to the limitations imposed by this chapter.

§ 1102. Definitions

As used in this chapter--

"Bingo" means a game of chance played for prizes with cards bearing numbers or other designations, five or more in one line, the holder covering numbers as objects similarly numbered are drawn from a receptacle and the game being won by the person who first covers a previously designated arrangement of numbers on such a card.

"Commission" means the Bingo Control Commission. "Game" means the game of bingo.

"Organization" means a veterans', religious or charitable organization, volunteer fire company, or fraternal society as defined in Article 2, Section 17A of the Constitution.

"Districts" means those districts mentioned in Article 2, Section 17A of the Constitution of the State of Delaware.

Subchapter H. Referendums

§ 1110. Referendum in general election in 1958

The Departments of Elections in each county shall cause to be printed on the ballots used in the general election of 1958 the following question for submission to the voters of each district mentioned in Article 2, Section 17A of the Constitution:

"Do you favor the licensing of the playing of the game of bingo within the limits of

(insert the words, "City of Wilmington"„ "Sussex County", "Kent County", or "New Castle County outside of the City of Wilmington", as the case may be) ?"

§ 1111. Referendums in subsequent general elections

In the event that a majority of all the members elected to each House of the General Assembly by the qualified electors in any district mentioned in Article 2, Section 17A of the Constitution shall request in writing to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to the President of the Senate, not less than 30 days preceding the next succeeding general election, that the question of license or no license of the playing of the game of bingo be submitted to a vote of the qualified electors of said district, the Department of Elections with jurisdiction over the district concerned shall cause to be printed on the ballots used in the next succeeding general election after said request the question referred to in Section 1110.

§ 1112. Applicability of general election laws; conduct of referendum

The provisions of Title 15, insofar as they are applicable, shall apply to all referendums held under the provisions of this Chapter. A voter may indicate his or her answer to the question submitted by voting in the affirmative or negative.

Each Department of Elections shall take steps to insure that the equipment and supplies used at the general election are adjusted and modified to the extent necessary to permit the recording, tabulation and certification of the referendum vote.

The Boards of Canvass shall canvass the results of each referendum in accordance with the provisions of Chapters 50 and 57 of Title 15, and shall include the results in the certificate to the Governor referred to in Section 5706 of Title 15. The Governor shall certify and proclaim the results of any such referendums at the time he takes action under Section 5711 of Title 15.

Subchapter III. Bingo Control Commission

§ 1120. Composition; term of office; organization vacancies; compensation

(a) A Bingo Control Commission is created to consist of five residents of the State appointed by the Governor with the consent of the Senate. No more than three of the Commissioners shall be affiliated with the same political party. No members of the Commission shall hold any public elective office.

(b) The first members of the Commission shall be appointed, for terms of one, two, three, four, and five years respectively. The members may hold over and serve on the Commission after the termination of their respective terms, until their respective successors are appointed and qualify.

(c) Vacancies created by expiration of term or otherwise shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments were made, but for the unexpired terms only, notwithstanding that the previous incumbents may be holding over in office.

(d) The members of the Commission shall receive $10 for each meeting of the Commission not to exceed 50 meetings annually and shall be reimbursed for their actual expenses.

(e) The Commission shall hold its first meeting at the call of the Governor and shall organize by electing a chairman and appointing a secretary who may or may not be a member of the Commission.

§ 1121. Expenses and personnel

(a) The Commission may incur necessary expenses.

(b) The Commission may engage an executive officer and such competent and expert advisors and clerical and assistants and investigators, at it may deem necessary to the proper performance of the purpose of this chapter, and may fix their compensation and that of its secretary, if he is not a member of the Commission.

§ 1122. Duties; rules and regulations; forms

(a) The Commission shall:

(1) Supervise the administration of this chapter, and

(2) Adopt, amend and repeal rules and regulations governing the issuance and amendment of licenses to conduct the game of bingo under such licenses and schedules of rentals which may be paid for the leasing of equipment for use in connection with the game of bingo. The rules and regulations shall have the force of law. Such licenses shall be issued to qualified licensees only. The Commission shall also take measures to assure that bingo shall be fairly and properly conducted for the purposes and in the manner prescribed in the Constitution and in this chapter. The Commission shall prevent the game from being conducted for commercial purposes or private profit other than as authorized in the Constitution and in this chapter. In order to provide uniformity in the administration of this chapter the Commission shall prescribe forms of application for licenses, amendment of licenses, reports of the conduct of bingo and other matters incident to the administration of this chapter.

(b) A copy of the rules and regulations adopted by the Commission shall be available at a reasonable cost.

§ 1123. Continuous study of operation of this chapter and similar laws

(a) The Commission shall conduct a continuous study and investigation of the operation of this chapter for the purpose of making recommendations to the General Assembly for amendments.

(b) The Commission shall make a continuous study and investigation also of the operation and administration of similar laws which may be in effect in other states of the United States and of any literature on the subject which from time to time may be published or be available.

§ 1124. Reports and recommendations by Commission

The Commission shall report to the Governor and the General Assembly biennially with its recommendations, if any, and at such other times as it may deem advisable.

Subchapter IV. Bingo Licensing

§ 1130. Power to license

The Commission may license an organization as defined in Article 2, Section 17A of the Constitution of the State of Delaware to conduct the game of bingo, provided the organization is located in and seeks to conduct the game in a district which has approved the licensing of bingo by referendum.

§ 1131. Application

(a) Each applicant for a license shall file with the Commission a written application in the form prescribed in its rules and regulations, duly executed and verified, in which shall be stated the name and address of the applicant together with sufficient facts relating to its organization to enable the Commission to determine whether or not it is a bone fide organization eligible to conduct bingo within the meaning of Article 2, Section 17A of the Constitution. The applicant shall supply such other facts as the Commission may require.

(b) In each application there shall be designated the active member or members of the organization under whom the games are to be conducted. To the application shall be appended a statement by the applicant and by its member or members, so designated to read as follows: "If a license is granted the undersigned will be responsible for the conduct of such game in accordance with the terms of this chapter, the license and the rules and regulations governing the conduct of such games."

(c) Proof of exemption from Federal Income Tax under Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States shall be prima facie evidence that the applicant is an eligible organization within the meaning of Article 2, Section 17A of the Constitution, but the Commission may require any additional information from the applicant which may be pertinent to the question of its eligibility.

§ 1132. Investigation; fee; time limit

(a) The Commission shall make an investigation of the qualifications of each applicant and the merits of each application. The Commission may issue a license only after it determines that:

(1) The applicant is duly qualified to conduct bingo under the provisions of the Constitution and of this chapter and the rules and regulations governing the conduct of bingo; and

(2) The member or members of the applicant who intend to conduct the game of bingo are bona fide active members of the applicant and are persons of good moral character and have never been convicted of crime involving moral turpitude; and

(3) Such games are to be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and this chapter and in accordance with the rules and regulations governing the conduct of bingo; and

(4) The proceeds are to be disposed of as provided in the Constitution and by this chapter; and

(5) No salary, compensation, or reward whatever will be paid or given to any member under whom the game is conducted; and

(6) No prize will be offered or given in excess of the sum or value of $250 in any single game and the aggregate of all prizes offered or given in all of such games conducted on a single occasion, shall not exceed the sum or value of $1000.

§ 1133. Fees

There shall be a license fee of $7 for each occasion upon which any games are to be conducted under such license.

§ 1134. Duration of license

(a) No license shall be effective for a period of more than one year from the date it was issued.

(b) No license shall be effective after the organization to which it was granted has become ineligible to conduct the game under any provision of Article 2, Section 17A of the Constitution.

(c) No license shall be effective after the voters in any district designated in Article 2, Section 17A of the Constitution have decided against bingo in a referendum held pursuant to that section and Subchapter II of this chapter.

§ 1135. Refusal to license; hearing

No application for a license shall be refused by the Commission until a hearing held after due notice to the applicant. At any such hearing the applicant shall be entitled to be heard upon the qualifications of the applicant and the merits of its application. The burden of proof shall be on the applicant.

§ 1136. Amendments to licenses

Any license issued under this chapter may be amended by the Commission, if the subject matter of the proposed amendment could lawfully and properly have been included in the original license, upon application and payment of an additional license fee.

§ 1137. License form and provisions; display

(a) Each license shall be in the form prescribed in the rules and regulations of the Commission and shall contain:

(1) The name and address of the licensee,

(2) The names and addresses of the members of the licensee under whom such games will be conducted,

(3) The number of times, or the hours during which, such games are authorized to be conducted,

(4) The place or places where and the date or dates when, such games may be conducted,

(5) The specific purposes to which the entire net proceeds of such games are to be devoted,

(6) If any prize or prizes are to be offered or given, a statement of the amounts or values of the prizes authorized so to be offered or given,

(7) Any other information which may be required by the rules and regulations.

(b) Each license shall be conspicuously displayed at the place where the game is to be conducted at all times during the conduct thereof.

§ 1138. Supervision

(a) The Commission shall exercise control and supervision over all games to the end that the games are fairly conducted in accordance with the provisions of the license, the rules and regulations of the Commission, the provisions of the Constitution and of this chapter.

(b) The Commission, its officers and agents, shall have the right of entry at all times into any place where any such game is being conducted or where it is intended that any such game shall be conducted, or where any equipment being used or intended to be used in the conduct thereof is found, for the purpose of inspecting the same.

§ 1139. Limitations and regulations under license

(c) No games shall be conducted on Sunday.

() No person under the age of sixteen years shall be permitted to participate in any game of bingo.

(a) The number of games which an applicant may conduct in any one calendar month shall be set by the rules and regulations of the Commission.

(b) No games shall be conducted in any room or area where alcoholic beverages are sold or served during the progress of the game.

(c) No person shall conduct or assist in conducting any game except an active member of the organization to which the license is issued.

(d) No item of expense shall be incurred or paid in connection with the conduct of the game except such as are bona fide items of a reasonable amount for merchandise furnished or services rendered, which are reasonably necessary for the conduct of the game.

(e) No salary, compensation, or reward whatever shall be paid or given, directly or indirectly, to any person conducting or assisting in the conduct of the game.

(f) No more than $1.00 shall be charged for admission to any room or area in which the game is to be conducted. The admission fee, shall entitle the person playing the game to a card enabling him to participate without additional charge in all regular games to be played under such license on such occasion, and no charge in excess of $1.00 shall be made for a single opportunity to participate in all special games to be played under such license on such occasion. No prize greater in amount or value than $250 shall be offered or given in any single game and the aggregate amount or value of all prizes offered or given in all games played on a single occasion shall not exceed $1000. All winners shall be determined and all prizes shall be awarded in any game played on any occasion within the same calendar day as that upon which the game is played.

(i) No game shall be advertised as to its location, the time when it is to be or has been played, or the prizes awarded or to be awarded, by means of newspapers, radio, television or sound truck, or by means of billboards, posters or handbills or any other means addressed to the general public, except that one sign not exceeding twelve square feet in area may be displayed on or adjacent to the premises where the game will be played.

§ 1140. Reports after games; records; examinations

(a) Within fifteen days after the conclusion of any game, the organization which conducted the game and its members who were in charge shall furnish to the Commission a duly verified statement showing:

(1) The gross receipts derived from each game,

(2) Each item of expense incurred or paid,

(3) The name and address of each person to whom each such item has been, or is to be paid, with a description of the merchandise purchased or the services rendered therefor,

(4) The net profit derived for each such game,

(5) The general uses to which such net profit has been or is to be applied and,

(6) A list of prizes offered and given, with the respective values thereof.

(b) Each licensee shall maintain the records to substantiate the particulars of the reports.

(c) The Commission may examine or cause to be examined the records of any organization to which any license is issued so far as they may relate to any transactions connected with bingo and examine any manager, officer, director, agent or employee thereof under oath in relation to the conduct of any game of bingo.

Subchapter V.--Enforcement

§ 1150, Immunity from arrest for violation of gambling laws; exceptions

No person:

(1) lawfully conducting, or participating in the conduct of, or

(2) possessing, selling or in any manner disposing of, any shares, tickets or rights to participate in, or

(3) permitting the conduct upon any premises owned by him or it, of, any game conducted or under license issued pursuant to this chapter, shall be liable to prosecution or conviction for violation of any of the provisions of the Delaware Code not contained in this chapter pertaining to gambling, but this immunity shall not extend to any person knowingly conducting or participating in any unlicensed game or in any game under any license obtained by any false pretense or statement made in any application for such license or otherwise, or possessing, selling or disposing of shares, tickets or rights to participate in, or permitting the conduct upon any premises owned by him or it of, any game conducted under any license known to him or it to have been obtained by any false or fraudulent pretense or statement.

§ 1151. Investigations and hearings; witnesses; books and documents

The Commission shall conduct investigations as to violations of this chapter. The Commission may compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books and documents relating to transactions connected with the conducting of bingo by the issuance of subpoenas signed by the chairman or an employee of the Commission designated by the Chairman, which may be served by any person 21 years of age or over.

§ 1152. Incriminating evidence

No person shall be excused from testifying or producing any book or document in any investigation or hearing, when ordered so to do by the Commission upon the ground that the testimony or documentary evidence required of him may tend to incriminate him or subject him to penalty or forfeiture, but no person shall be prosecuted, punished or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture on account of any matter concerning which he shall, under oath, have testified or produced documentary evidence except that he shall not be exempt from prosecution or punishment under sections 721 or 722, Title 11 for any perjury or false statement.

§ 1153. Contempt; application to Superior Court; order

(a) If a person subpoenaed to attend any investigation or hearing fails to obey without reasonable cause, or if a person in attendance in any such investigation or hearing refuses, without lawful cause, to be examined or to answer a legal or pertinent question or to exhibit any book, account, record or other document when ordered so to do by the Commission, it may apply to the Superior Court for an order directing such person to show cause why he should not comply with such subpoena or such order.

(b) Upon return of the rule, the Court shall examine such person under oath, and if the Court shall determine, after giving such person an opportunity to be heard, that he refused without legal excuse to comply with a subpoena or order of .the Commission, the Court may order such person to comply therewith. Any failure to obey the order may be punished as a contempt of the Superior Court.

§ 1154. Suspension or revocation of license

The Commission may suspend or revoke licenses, after hearing, for violations of this chapter or for violation of any provision of the rules and regulations adopted by the Commission. At any hearing to suspend or revoke an otherwise valid license the Commission shall have the burden of proving any violation or any other fact which might disqualify an organization holding a license.

§ 1155. Institution of prosecutions

The Commission shall recommend to the Attorney General in writing that criminal prosecution be instituted for violations of this chapter. The Attorney General is responsible for the prompt institution of such proceeding, but if the Attorney General decides not to institute proceedings, he shall inform the Commission in writing of his decision.

§ 1156. Violations and penalties

Whoever:

(1) makes any false statement in any application for a license, or

(2) fails to keep such records as shall fully and truly record all transactions connected with the conduct of the game, or

(3) makes any false entry in any records so far as they relate to any transaction connected with the conduct of the game, or

(4) violates any of the applicable provisions of the Constitution, this chapter or of any term of such license:

Shall for the first offense, be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than ninety days or both and the organization convicted or with which the convicted person is connected may be declared to have forfeited any license issued under this chapter and may be declared ineligible to apply for new license for such period as the Court directs, and for a second offense be fined not more than $3,000 or imprisoned not more than three years, or both, and the organization convicted or with which the convicted person is connected shall be ineligible to apply for a license under this chapter for such period as the Court directs.

Section 2. The sum of $15,000 is appropriated to the Bingo Control Commission for the biennium ending June 30, 1959.

Section 3. This act shall be effective only upon the final adoption of the Constitutional Amendment proposed in Chapter 612, Volume 50, Laws of Delaware. If such Constitutional Amendment is not adopted, this act shall be null and void.

Upon the adoption of such Constitutional Amendment and the passage of this act the Governor may appoint the Commission provided for herein and the Commission may organize, adopt rules and prepare to carry out its duties hereunder. Under no circumstances shall bingo be played or licenses issued until after favorable action at the referendum provided for in such Constitutional Amendment.

Section 4. This is a supplementary appropriation and the money appropriated shall be paid by the State Treasurer from the General Fund.

Approved May 1, 1957.