Yesterday the Gambling Control Board posted on its website a warning to gambling organizations (see below). Despite some local jurisdictions’ plans to open bars and restaurants before the expiration of the Governor’s Stay-at-Home order on June 1, 2020, any organization that conducts gambling at one of those sites prior to the expiration of the Governor’s order runs the risk of losing its license. If your organization experiences pressure from a lessor to open prematurely, the GCB suggests you contact your gambling specialist.
ACM has been receiving a number of questions from organizations on how to conduct gambling activities starting June 1, 2020. Some charities have told us that lessors are asking for bingo, meat raffles and other forms of gambling as soon as the bars and restaurants are allowed to open. Please remember that the Governor has not yet detailed his plans for the opening of bars and restaurants and that his previous plans have been a ‘turn the dial” approach. It is possible that the next Executive Order will impose some restrictions and limitations on bar and restaurant operations, which could make certain gambling activities, at least for a time, difficult and/or not profitable. Until the Governor releases a reopening plan for bars and restaurants, it will be very difficult for any organization to promise or even plan for any particular gambling activity.
More importantly, the guidance issued today by the GCB suggests that any gambling activity conducted in violation of an Executive Order, and this will include in violation of any restrictions or limitations contained within that Order, may result in disciplinary action against your organization, up to and including license revocation.
Emergency Executive Order 20-56 is attached.
May 14, 2020
Yesterday Governor Walz signed Executive Order 20-56 extending the COVID-19 peacetime emergency an additional 30 days. This ensures that executive orders already in place remain in effect and that we continue to have the flexibility to respond quickly to COVID-19 needs. In that same order, the plan is for bars and restaurants to be allowed to reopen starting June 1.
Conforming with that order, even if all other requirements to restart the conduct lawful gambling are in place, any lawful gambling activity conducted at permitted bars or restaurants that violates Executive Order 20-56 will also violate Minnesota Statutes, Section 349.155, subdivision 4, paragraph (a)(8), and may result in a denial, suspension, revocation, refusal to renew a license or premises permit, or censure.
As licensed lawful gambling organizations, if you feel pressure or inappropriate influence from a lessor to violate any statute, rule, or executive order, please contact your assigned Gambling Control Board Specialist.