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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 38: Beano; licensing of certain organizations; restrictions; rules and regulations; violations; penalties; receipts and expenditures; records and reports

Section 38. Any fraternal organization having chapters or branches in at least one other New England state, or any corporation organized under the provisions of chapter 180, any religious organization under the control of or affiliated with an established church of the commonwealth and any veterans' organization incorporated or chartered by the Congress of the United States or listed in clause (12) of section 5 of chapter 40, any volunteer, non-profit fire company or similar organization furnishing public fire protection, any voluntary association for promotion of the interests of retarded children, the Boston Firemen's Relief Fund, any volunteer, non-profit organization furnishing a public ambulance service, and non-profit athletic associations, desiring to operate or conduct the game commonly called beano, or substantially the same game under another name, in connection with which prizes are offered to be won by chance, may upon application to the state lottery commission be granted a license to conduct said game in a city or town which has voted to allow granting of licenses for the operation, holding or conducting of said game therein; provided, that the application of such organization is in the case of a city, other than the city of Boston, approved by the majority of the city council and approved by the mayor, in a town by the board of selectmen, and in the city of Boston by the licensing board for said city; and provided further, that such organization has been in existence for at least five years immediately prior to the date of making application for such license.

The fee for such license shall be determined annually by the commissioner of administration under the provision of section 3B of chapter 7. The proceeds of said fees shall be paid into the treasury of the commonwealth and shall be used by the commission to defray the cost of administering this section, subject to appropriation.

Such license may be revoked at the discretion of the director and shall be suspended or revoked upon written request to the director by the city or town approving authority as set forth above in this section. The action of the director in suspending or revoking a license shall be final, and the licensee shall not have a right of appeal.

Each organization licensed shall be limited to conducting such game to two days in each calendar week; provided, however, that on one of such days each license shall limit the playing of said game to the hours between 6:00 p.m. and 12:00 midnight and on the other of such days said license shall limit the playing of said game to the hours between 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. and said days and appropriate times shall be set forth in the license.

On not more than three occasions in one calendar year a licensee may change the date on which such beano game is to be conducted; provided, however, that the new date falls on the same day of the week according to the terms of the license; and provided, further, that said licensee shall notify the commission of such change no less than 30 days prior to said new date.

No licensee shall give a prize that exceeds $100 in value except as otherwise provided in this paragraph. A licensee may conduct: (a) games incorporating bonus cards, which shall increase the prize in direct relation to the cost of said bonus cards, and which shall in no event increase the prize by more than 100 per cent; (b) special games, so-called, for which prizes shall not exceed $500 in cash or merchandise; (c) two winner-take-all games, so-called, on any one day on which the licensee is authorized to conduct beano, which may be multiple games or a series of games, for which prizes shall be equal to all receipts from the sale of beano cards for said winner-take-all games less 10 per cent to cover the costs of supplies for said winner-take-all games, and taxes due the commonwealth under the provisions of section 39, except that no single prize so awarded shall exceed $500 in either cash or merchandise; (d) four 50–50 games, so-called, on any one day on which the licensee is authorized to conduct beano, for which prizes shall equal 50 per cent of the receipts, after taxes, of said games, except that no single prize so awarded shall exceed $1,200; and (e) two progressive jackpot games, so-called, for which the total accumulated prize shall not exceed $3,000. A licensee may award a good neighbor prize, so-called, which shall not exceed 10 per cent of the announced prize for a given game. When more than one player is a winner on the call of the same number, the designated prize shall be divided equally to the next nearest dollar; provided, however, that if a licensee so elects, no winner shall receive a prize which amounts to less than 10 per cent of the announced prize and that in such case the total of said designated prizes may exceed the applicable statutory limit of said game. In addition to the prizes allowed by this paragraph, a licensee may award a door prize or prizes, the aggregate value of which shall not exceed $200 in cash or merchandise.

No alcoholic beverages shall be sold, dispensed or consumed in that portion of any building or premises of the licensee during the hours such game is being conducted.

No person under 18 years of age shall be permitted in that portion of any building or premises of the licensee during such time as such game is being played.

No game shall be advertised or publicized by sign or billboard beyond the city or town limits covered by each license.

Any organization licensed under this section to conduct said game shall operate, manage and control said game by members in good standing of the local branch of said organization, members in good standing of its recognized auxiliaries and, at the sole discretion of the director, their immediate family members.

If an organization licensed to conduct beano fails to exercise exclusive control and management of said game, or fails to have one of its members in good standing in full control and management of the game at all times during its operation, it shall be punished by a fine of not more than $3,000.

The profits of any game licensed to be conducted under this section shall be the property of the organization conducting said game, and shall be used for charitable, religious or educational purposes, and shall not be distributed to the members of such organization. No person shall be entitled to a percentage of any money received as a result of conducting said game.

Accurate records and books shall be kept by each licensee showing the total amount of all monies deposited by people who played, attended or participated in said games, the expenses incurred and the name and address of each person receiving said money. A separate checking account shall be kept of receipts and expenditures of beano and money for expenses shall be withdrawn only by checks having preprinted consecutive numbers and made payable to a specific person or corporation and at no time shall a check be made payable to cash. Proceeds from beano shall be kept in a separate bank account and the organization shall file an annual report in January of the charitable, religious or educational disbursements of the preceding year with the director and the mayor and council or selectmen in such form as the director may prescribe. Such annual report shall be a public record. All monies expended for said charitable, religious or educational purposes shall be duly and accurately recorded as to specific amounts expended and the purposes for which expended. A copy of such records shall be filed with the local licensing authority on or before December 31 of each year. The director, the approving authority of the city or town wherein said game is conducted, or their duly authorized agents or representatives, shall at all times have access to said records and books of any licensee for the purpose of examining and checking the same.

Organizations composed of persons 60 years of age or older, commonly referred to as senior citizens' or golden age clubs, may operate or conduct beano games without a license between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. for the purpose of amusement and recreation of its members; provided, however, that the organization has applied for and received an identification number from said commission that no player or other person furnished consideration in excess of $5 for the opportunity to participate, that prizes awarded are of up to but not more than $100, that no person other than an active member of the organization or a handicapped person as defined in section 1 of chapter 151B participates in the conduct of the game, and that no person is paid for conducting or assisting in the conduct of the games. The tax imposed by section 39 shall not apply to games operated or conducted under the provisions of this paragraph.

The commission may make such other rules and regulations as it may deem necessary to carry out the provisions of sections 37 to 39, inclusive.

The director shall annually on or before April 1 file a report with the clerk of the house of representatives and the clerk of the senate showing the cities and towns which have licenses issued therein, the number of licenses by categories of organizations, the revenue received from these licenses, and such other information as he may deem relevant, together with his recommendations for any legislation he may deem appropriate.

Whoever violates any regulation promulgated by the commission under this section may be punished by a fine not exceeding $3,000.