Colorado Bingo-Raffle Advisory Board Meeting Minutes

Date:  December 8, 2010
Location: Secretary of State’s Office, Blue Spruce Conference Room, 1700 Broadway, Denver, Colorado
Members Present: Bishop Dan Gincig, Vera Craven, Beau Williams, Tom Bednark
Members Absent: Nick Pizzuti, Jeanne McEvoy, John Smith, Austin Gomes

Secretary of State Officials Present: Secretary Elect Scott Gessler, Tom Downey, Rudy Johnson, Patrick Ryan, Shannon Bee

Meeting was called to order at 10:05 A.M. 

The Pledge of Allegiance was conducted.

A motion was made by Beau Williams to approve the September 8, 2010 meeting minutes as presented.  The motion was seconded by Tom Bednark and approved by unanimous vote of the Board.

Secretary of State Report

Tom Downey introduced himself as the new Director of the combined Licensing and Business division.  The two divisions were merged November 4, 2010 to facilitate a move more toward e-government and improve efficiency and customer service.  Mr. Downey pointed out, however, that no personnel changes occurred in this merger to the Bingo/Raffles Division.  Mr. Downey requested that the Board itself or a sub-committee of the Board assist the Secretary of State’s office by coming up with ideas on what other states require with electronic reporting for bingo/raffles, so our office can move forward with electronic reporting.  As per C.R.S., 12-9-103(1)(c), “As soon as possible after July 1, 2006, the licensing authority shall ensure that delivery of a document subject to this article by an applicant or a licensee may be accomplished electronically without the necessity for presentation of a physical original document, report, or image, if all required information is included and is readily retrievable from the data transmitted.”  Chairman Gincig stated he would have a report to the Secretary of State’s office prior to or at the next meeting as to what would assist the bingo community.

Rudy Johnson commented on the financials provided to the Board.  For 2010 there were 29 complaints (so far).  Of those 10 are still under investigation.  Of the remaining complaints only 3 resulted in fines.  This report was not provided in the packet but can be sent electronically if requested from the office.  Mr. Johnson commented that there were fewer complaints this year, as usually there are about 50 per year.  Chairman Gincig pointed out that from the provided fiscal documentation, it appears that 2009 and 2010 figures are about the same, so the drop seems to be leveling out from previous years.

Comments from Secretary Elect Gessler

Mr. Gessler stated that he would like to get the entire office online with electronic reporting.  The Business Division has had a lot of success with moving forward with electronic reporting due to a very active Business Advisory Committee.  Therefore, the office will rely heavily on the Board to provide information for the Bingo-Raffles Section to move forward with electronic reporting in the future. 

Chairman Gincig wanted to go forward with starting a rule-making hearing.  He would like ideas from the Board and the public as to what they would like to see changed.  One suggestion would be to increase the number of cards allowed (from 6 to 9 packs).  This would increase the probability of the non-profits to increase their income.  Chairman Gincig asked for people to provide other rule changes they would like to see that would increase groups incomes. 

Wayne Thompson, the State Judge Advocate/State Legislative Office for VFW of the United States, commented that casinos and their free bingo sessions detract from the non-profit’s bingo session attendance.  We need to look at why groups have a decrease in the number of players and net income at bingo. 

Steve Rylan, of Associated Veterans of Loveland, stated groups are getting fewer players, and of those playing, fewer cards are purchased per player.  More customers are commenting that they are going to spend less at bingo so they have more to spend at the casinos.  He felt this is an increasing problem.

Discussion of 24 Number System

Chairman Gincig stated he would like to bring this system back into discussion.  The system has the capability to help a lot of the bar and clubrooms.  Chairman Gincig stated that anyone interested should e-mail either John Amen or himself on suggestions for making the 24 number bingo system compliant in the Bingo-Raffle Law/Rules.  Mr. Amen stated the 24 number bingo system is advantageous as it can be operated by one volunteer and has financial security in that all the transactions are recorded on the computer hard drive.  This is why it would be perfect for the bar and clubrooms.  Mr. Amen also stated that mandatory electronic filing should not be required as this is detrimental to the small groups that cannot afford high speed internet and would not able to comply with the electronic reporting, and therefore, would not be able to continue to be licensed.  He suggested that groups grossing less than $100,000 be able to call in their reports via phone digitally.  The Secretary of State’s office should not make it impossible for groups that qualify for a license to apply due to an inability to afford high speed internet.  Lastly, Mr. Amen also included that the total number of faces allowed on electronic bingo devices (36 maximum) should be increased.   

Mr. Williams moved to adjourn the meeting.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Bednark and approved by the Board.

Meeting adjourned at 11:15 A.M.


The next meeting of the Board will be February 9, 2011 at 10:00 at Secretary of State’s Office, Blue Spruce Conference Room, 1700 Broadway, Denver, Colorado.