[ 58 PA. CODE CHS. 421a AND 423a ]
General Provisions; and Applications
[37 Pa.B. 5804]
[Saturday, October 27, 2007]
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (Board), under the general authority in 4 Pa.C.S. § 1202(b)(30) (relating to general and specific powers) proposes to amend Chapters 421a and 423a (relating to general provisions; and applications) to read as set forth in Annex A.
Purpose of the Proposed Rulemaking
These proposed amendments add a new section relating to advertising and new provisions for abandoned applications.
Explanation of Amendments to Chapters 421a and 423a
Currently, the Board has included provisions related to advertising in the statement of conditions that slot machine and manufacturer licensees must execute as part of the licensing process.
This proposed rulemaking will add § 421a.6 (relating to advertising) which: allows the Board to require slot machine, manufacturer and junket licensees to cease using inappropriate advertising; defines what will be considered to be advertising; prohibits the use of false or misleading information; requires the inclusion of a toll-free gambling assistance telephone number in any advertisement which must be approved utilizing the process contained in § 501a.2(g) (relating to compulsive and problem gambling); and bars slot machine, manufacturer and junket licensees from using individuals or virtual facsimiles thereof to induce patrons to engage in gaming or play a specific slot machine.
This proposed rulemaking will also amend § 423a.4 (relating to deficient and abandoned applications) by adding new provisions governing abandoned applications.
The Board has found that after it sends a notice of a deficiency concerning an application, applicants, particularly gaming permit and nongaming employee registration applicants, often times do not submit the requested materials. This may be because they can't obtain the necessary items or circumstances have changed and they no longer have an interest in pursuing their application. While the Board's regulations allow these applicants to file a petition to withdraw their application, many applicants simply do nothing.
Under the current regulation, the Board can deny these applications. However, if the Board denies these applications, the applicants are subject to the 5-year bar on filing a new application under § 423a.7 (relating to restriction on application after denial or revocation).
To give the Board another option for handling these applications, new provisions have been added to this section which will allow the Board to declare an application abandoned when an applicant fails to follow-up on requests for information. If an application has been deemed to be abandoned, the applicant will be so notified. However, unlike a denial, the applicant will be allowed to file a new application for a license, permit or registration immediately.
Slot machine, manufacturer and junket licensees will be required to cease using inappropriate advertising upon receipt of written notice from the Board and will have to have the language relating to a toll-free gambling assistance telephone number that will be used in any advertisement approved by the Director of the Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling. There are 11 currently approved slot machine licensees, 16 licensed manufacturers and no licensed junkets.
Applicants whose applications are deemed abandoned, instead of being denied, will be able to file a new application immediately instead of having to wait 5 years.
There will be no new costs to the Board or other Commonwealth agencies as a result of this proposed rulemaking. The Director of the Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling currently reviews the toll-free gambling assistance telephone number message that is used in advertisements.
This proposed rulemaking will have no fiscal impact on political subdivisions of this Commonwealth.
The Board anticipates that there will be no significant new costs or savings to slot machine, manufacturer and junket licensees as a result of these amendments because they reflect existing requirements.
Applicants whose applications are deemed abandoned will be able to apply for a license, permit or registration immediately thereby increasing their ability to be employed in the gaming industry.
This proposed rulemaking will have no fiscal impact on the general public.
The proposed amendments do not change or add new reporting, recordkeeping or paperwork requirements.
The proposed rulemaking will become effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
Interested persons are invited to submit written comments, suggestions or objections regarding the proposed rulemaking, within 30 days after the date of publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin to Paul Resch, Secretary, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, P. O. Box 69060, Harrisburg, PA 17106-9060, Attention: Public Comment on Regulation #125-72.
The contact person for questions about this proposed rulemaking is Richard Sandusky, Director of Regulatory Review, at (717) 214-8111.
Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on October 15, 2007, the Board submitted a copy of this proposed rulemaking and a copy of the Regulatory Analysis Form to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and to the Chairpersons of the House Gaming Oversight Committee and the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee. A copy of this material is available to the public upon request.
Under section 5(g) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC may convey any comments, recommendations or objections to the proposed rulemaking within 30 days of the close of the public comment period. The comments, recommendations or objections must specify the regulatory review criteria which have not been met. The Regulatory Review Act specifies detailed procedures for review, prior to final publication of the rulemaking, by the Board, the General Assembly and the Governor of comments, recommendations or objections raised.
MARY DIGIACOMO COLINS,
Fiscal Note: 125-72. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.
TITLE 58. RECREATION
PART VII. GAMING CONTROL BOARD
Subpart B. LICENSING, PERMITTING, CERTIFICATION AND REGISTRATION
CHAPTER 421a. GENERAL PROVISIONS.
§ 421a.6. Advertising.
(a) Slot machine, junket and manufacturer licensees will be required to discontinue as expeditiously as possible the use of a particular advertisement or promotion upon receipt of written notice from the Board that the Board has determined that the use of the particular advertisement or promotion in, or with respect to, this Commonwealth is not within the spirit or intent of the act.
(b) For purposes of this section, the term ''advertisement'' means marketing materials including signs, billboards, print, radio and television advertisements and any notice or communication by a slot machine, junket or manufacturer licensee or its agent to the public of information concerning the gaming-related business of a slot machine licensee through broadcasting, publication, mailing or other means of dissemination.
(c) Advertisements used by slot machine, junket or manufacturer licensees may not contain false or misleading information. An advertisement may not:
(1) Use a font, type size, location, lighting, illustration, graphic depiction or color obscuring any material fact.
(2) Fail to disclose any material conditions or limiting factors associated with the advertisement.
(d) Advertisements must contain a statement that is similar to the following: ''If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, help is available. Call (toll-free telephone number).'' The complete text of the statement and type size to be used for the statement shall be submitted to the Director of the Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling for approval utilizing the process contained in § 501a.2(g) (relating to compulsive and problem gambling plan).
(e) A slot machine, junket or manufacturer licensee or an agent thereof may not employ or contract with an individual, or use a virtual facsimile thereof, at a licensed facility to induce a person to engage in gaming or play a specific slot machine.
CHAPTER 423a. APPLICATIONS
§ 423a.4. Deficient and abandoned applications.
* * * * *
(b) [Refusal] Failure to provide the information necessary to cure the deficiencies required under subsection (a) may result in the immediate denial of the application or in the application being declared abandoned.
(c) When an application is denied or declared abandoned under subsection (b), the applicant will be given written notice of this action by the Board. An applicant whose application is denied will be subject to the restrictions on filing a new application in § 423a.7 (relating to restriction on application after denial or revocation). An applicant whose application has been declared abandoned may file a new application at any time.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 07-1987. Filed for public inspection October 26, 2007, 9:00 a.m.]
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