June 24, 2020
Lawful Gambling Legislation Signed by Governor Walz: The Board’s 2020 legislation, which was passed during the Special Session, was signed into law by Governor Walz on June 23, 2020. All but one provision are COVID-19 relief provisions. The one non-COVID-19 provision requires the annual audit that is required to be submitted to Revenue to also be submitted to the Gambling Control Board.
2020 Legislative Summary is attached.
Survey Results on Inappropriate Lessor Pressure: Thank you to all who responded to the Gambling Control Board’s survey in the Gaming News about various types of pressure that lessors placed on licensed lawful gambling organizations. Alarmingly, nearly 1 in every 3 respondents experienced pressure from their lessor on the type of games to offer.
Of the 188 respondents, the following affirmative responses were received to the six survey questions:
- Lessor demanded the type of games to offer at site: 52
- Lessor dictated which games to order from distributor: 21
- Lessor demanded to make deposits or other administrative gambling-related
- Lessor pressured licensed organization to donate to a specific group: 18
- Lessor insisted that licensed organization hire a person at that site: 15
- Lessor threatened to terminate the lease: 26
Additionally, around 30 respondents provided detailed examples of lessor pressure on their licensed organization. If any one of those 30 examples were submitted to the Board as a complaint and verified after an investigation, they may prove to be a regulatory or statutory violation. Please remember that the Board stands ready to investigate any submitted complaint.
A complaint form is attached.
While it’s appropriate to take a lessor’s suggestions into consideration, ultimate control of an organization’s lawful gambling compliance with rules and statutes lies with the gambling manager. The licensed gambling organizations get to choose the forms of gambling offered for sale, buy games from their choice of licensed distributors, and decide who to employ in support of their organization’s lawful gambling operations. In order to pursue the most appropriate and effective course of action, the Board plans to address, through consultations with all stakeholders, this complicated issue of inappropriate lessor pressure.
The Board stands ready to assist all licensed lawful gambling organizations with questions or concerns about licensed organizations and their lessors to provide a lawful, safe, and fun environment for lawful gambling.