Colorado Bingo-Raffle Advisory Board Meeting Minutes

Date: September 8, 2010
Location: Secretary of State’s Office, Blue Spruce Conference Room, 1700 Broadway, Denver, Colorado
Members Present: Bishop Dan Gincig, Austin Gomes, Vera Craven
Members Absent: Nick Pizzuti, Beau Williams, Tom Bednark, Jeanne McEvoy, John Smith
Secretary of State Officials Present: William Hobbs, Rudy Johnson, Patrick Ryan, Shannon Bee

Meeting was called to order at 10:00 A.M.

The Pledge of Allegiance was conducted.

A motion was made by Austin Gomes to approve the July 14, 2010 meeting minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Vera Craven and approved by unanimous vote of the Board.

Secretary of State Report

Rudy Johnson stated that the current financial information were provided to the Board and includes the data for the 2nd quarter 2010 which has been filed with our office. There has not been much of a change from the last reporting period.

William Hobbs introduced the members of the Secretary of State’s office present at the meeting to the new Board member, Vera Craven. Mr. Hobbs then commented on a couple of follow up items from the last meeting. First, there was a question on remuneration for travel expenses for volunteers. The legal meaning for remuneration is payment for services. Our office does not have any question when a group reimburses a volunteer for expenses related to a raffle prize. Payment for mileage becomes more problematic and the Secretary of State’s office is reluctant to go in that direction unless someone from the bingo community wishes to pursue the issue further. There are potential tax issues that come up if volunteers are paid for mileage, as well as issues with reporting requirements to the IRS. The purchase of meals for volunteers would also be prohibited by the law as it currently stands.

There was also a concern in the last meeting about volunteers having to disclose personal contact information on the roster submitted to the Secretary of State’s office. Mr. Hobbs reported that the statute only requires the name of the volunteer, not the phone or address. Our office will clarify this on the forms that we only need the first and last names of the members assisting.

Discussion of IT Status

Chairman Gincig asked about the additional fees imposed for the upgrade of the Secretary of State’s reporting system. He wished to know the status. Mr. Hobbs indicated that the internal system was been completed and the next phase would be the external system. The reason the external system has not been completed is first, the office in the middle of a hiring freeze and it has a limited amount of IT resources to devote. Second, the Secretary of State’s office does have the funds to go forward, but if the licensing division is transferred to the Department of Revenue, they do not have the platforms to support the system built in the Secretary of State’s office. It would be more prudent to wait to see where the division ends up. The money in the licensing section’s fund would be transferred for use by the Department of Revenue in the case of the division being moved.

Discussion of 24 Number System

Mr. Hobbs stated the Secretary of State’s office consulted with the AG’s office on the matter of the 24 number bingo game. Considering the advice of the AG’s office, the Secretary of State’s office is reluctant to move forward with the game without legislation. There are some constitutional concerns, but the Secretary of State’s office would be fine if the legislature approved the use of the game. The part of the statute that is the main concern of the Secretary of State’s office is C.R.S. 12-9-107(28)(a) which states, “…Nothing in this article shall be construed to authorize the playing of bingo solely by means of an electronic device.” As the game is currently played, it would be considered electronic bingo, which directly conflicts with this section of the law. The Secretary of State’s office wants to end the use of the device by 10/01/2010. To authorize the use of the game would require going forward with changes to current legislation. Also, the Secretary of State’s office would still like to see information about the economics of the game (the trial period allowed the machines to be used free of charge). This would help our office determine the benefit to the groups. The providing of this information, though, would not help with the legality of the game.

Mr. Gomes moved to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by Ms. Craven and approved by the Board.

Meeting adjourned at 11:50 A.M.

The next meeting of the Board will be January 12, 2011 at 10:00 at Secretary of State’s Office, Blue Spruce Conference Room, 1700 Broadway, Denver, Colorado.