February 27, 2019 CSI Filing

Created by Executive Order 2011-01K, the Common Sense Initiative (CSI), and Senate Bill 2 of the 129th General Assembly, require state agencies, including the Casino Control Commission, to draft rules in collaboration with stakeholders, assess and justify any adverse impact on the business community (as defined by Senate Bill 2), and provide opportunity for the affected public to provide input on the rules. 

The Ohio Casino Control Commission submitted the following proposed rules to the CSI office for review on February 27, 2019: 

Brief Explanation of the Rules 

The amendments contained within these packages relate directly to the introduction of the new umbrella term “player against player contests,” which encompasses poker, poker tournaments, table games tournaments, and slot tournaments - wherein the only stake the casino operator has is a rake, which includes commissions and entry fees. Because of this new designation, the amendments seek to distinguish three separate items that require different levels of regulatory scrutiny: advertisements, promotions, and player against player contests. Of those three, player against player contests merit the most regulatory scrutiny but, by their very nature, still generally require less than standard table game or slot machine play.  One additional consistent change, a reflection of present practice, is codifying the Executive Director’s approval authority throughout the rules, given that role’s responsibility to administer casino gaming pursuant to R.C. 3772.06. This will allow for day-to-day casino operations to generally be more dynamic, without sacrificing regulatory oversight.

OAC 3772-13 and 3772-14 (16 Rules)

  • 3772-10-22 (amendment) – titled “Tips and gratuities.” The amendment is intended to provide consistency with the new concept of player against player contests. Under this concept, poker is generally coupled with tournaments. Thus, the only amendment to this rule replaces the term poker with player against player contests, allowing for separate tips and gratuity procedures in the casino operators’ internal controls for all those events.
  • 3772-10-29 (rescind) – titled “Slot machine tournaments.” Presently, this rule governs casino operators’ conduct when running slot machine tournaments. Subject to the proffered amendments, this rule would be rescinded, and the new governing structure appears in the player against player contest rules found in Ohio Adm.Code Chapter 3772-14.
  • 3772-11-01 (amendment) – titled “Definitions.” Presently, this rule defines certain table game-related terms, applicable throughout the rules adopted by the Commission. The amendments move terms and definitions related to “promotions” to Ohio Adm.Code 3772-13-01 and specify that the Executive Director is delegated the authority to determine what a table game mechanism is, for the reasons noted above. Other amendments are largely intended to clarify and streamline rule language to align with rest of the amendments contained herein related to player against player contests.
  • 3772-11-11 (amendment) – titled “Chip specifications.” The amendments to this rule are designed to streamline language and ensure that all chips, value and non-value, used by casino operators meet the same casino facility identification specifications and are designed to prevent counterfeiting. The purpose of the rule is to specify the shape, size, and markings of all chips used in casino gaming.
  • 3772-11-18 (rescind) – titled “Tournament chips and tournaments.” This rule, currently governing tournament procedures and chips, would be rescinded. Subject to the proffered amendments, this rule would be rescinded, and the new governing structure appears in the player against player contest rules found in Ohio Adm.Code Chapter 3772-14.
  • 3772-11-21 (amendment) – titled “Dice and card receipt, storage, and use.” This rule prescribes the responsibilities of casino operators, and the appropriate procedures for the receipt, storage, and use of Commission-approved dice and cards. The only amendment would eliminate the requirement that casino operators change poker cards at least every thirty days. Other regulatory requirements, including the prohibition of use of flawed, tampered, or otherwise defective cards already ensure that risk is mitigated. The purpose of this amendment is to remove an arbitrary and sometimes wasteful mandate on casino operators; however, casino operators will still be required to have internal control procedures for changing out cards.
  • 3772-11-25 (amendment) – titled “Patron exchanges.” This rule governs patron exchanges of cash and chips at gaming tables. The amendment to this rule would delete a clause referencing procedures related to cash exchanges at poker tables, currently in Ohio Adm.Code 3772-11-25(A)(2). Poker, and the monetary controls related to poker and all player against player contests, will be governed under the new rule scheme governing player against player contests in Ohio Adm.Code Chapter 3772-14. The nature of player against player contests, including poker, and specifically the imprest tables, mitigates the risk that this rule otherwise seeks to protect against.
  • 3772-11-35 (amendment) – titled “Table game pit areas and supervision.” This rule regulates pit areas, staffing of table game supervisors, areas for full-size baccarat tables, and the separation of poker games into specified rooms or areas and the operations within. The amendments would rescind the two provisions that govern supervision of poker games and poker rooms. These two provisions are rearticulated under the new rule scheme governing player against player contests in Ohio Adm. Code Chapter 3772-14.
  • 3772-11-42 (rescind) – titled “Poker room transactions.” Presently, this rule regulates poker room transactions, including requirements regarding poker table banks and procedures for transfers and transportation of chips or cash between poker room table banks and poker room cashier’s cages. Subject to the proffered amendments, this rule would be rescinded, and the new governing structure appears in the player against player contest rules found in Ohio Adm.Code Chapter 3772-14.
  • 3772-11-43 (rescind) – titled “Poker room; poker promotional fund.” This rule governs how casino operators may operate a poker promotional fund. Subject to the proffered amendments, this rule would be rescinded, and the new governing structure appears in the player against player contest rules found in Ohio Adm.Code Chapter 3772-14.
  • 3772-13-01 (amendment) – titled “Definitions.” This rule defines certain terms related to advertisements and promotions. The amendments largely provide terms and definitions related to promotions, previously conceptualized in the definitions concerning table games in Ohio Adm.Code 3772-11-01, and further delineate and clarify the distinctions between advertisements and promotions.
  • 3772-13-02 (amendment) – titled “Advertisements.” Presently, this rule articulates the standards casino operators must meet when advertising to patrons, such as what may and may not be included in advertisements, what must be included in all casino gaming advertisements, and standards of practice for direct advertisements. The amendments to the rule are primarily stylistic edits for readability. Substantive amendments to this rule include prohibiting advertisements depicting individuals under the age of twenty-one, lessening the number of opt-out methods required to be displayed on each direct advertisement, and delegating the option to order a casino operator to cease public dissemination of an advertisement that fails to comply with the rules of this section to the Executive Director, for the reasons described above. All the amendments are intended to clarify the level of regulatory oversight necessary for advertisements, as opposed to promotions or player against player contests.
  • 3772-13-03 (amendment) – titled “Promotions.” Presently, this rule describes the requirements to which each casino operator must comply regarding promotions. Apart from formatting and stylistic edits, the amendments are intended to articulate the requirements for casino operators to have policies and procedures governing promotions, rather than the rule mandating casino operators submit such governing procedures to the Commission in their internal controls. One substantive change is that casino operators no longer must submit promotions to the Commission for approval prior to implementation. Rather, they must keep all written rules, as specified in this rule, available for Commission audit. This will allow the casino operators to operate with more flexibility while remaining subject the appropriate level of regulatory oversight for promotions, as opposed to advertisements or player against player contests.
  • 3772-14-01 (new) – titled “Player against player contests.” Presently, poker, poker tournaments, table game tournaments, and slot machine tournaments are primarily governed by separate administrative rules. To better articulate the Commission’s expectations and promote compliance, the appropriate level of scrutiny is best achieved by implementing one set of rules that govern all these activities. Once again, all those activities fall into the concept of player against player contests, wherein a casino operator has no stake other than a rake, which includes commissions and entry fees. This rule maintains provisions from previous rules designed as consumer protections and to help the Commission ensure the integrity of casino gaming, including requiring casino operators, except for events designated as perpetual, to record the names of all entrants, prizes awarded, and prize winners for each player against player contest. Like promotions, casino operators generally need not seek approval prior to conducting a player against player contests, if they use Commission-approved poker games, table game, or slot machines. Finally, player against player contests are not generally subject the electronic gaming equipment or table game rules (Ohio Adm.Code Chapters 3772-9 and -11), except for those specified in the rule and to the extent necessary to comply with the required use of Commission-approved equipment, unless otherwise approved by the Executive Director.
  • 3772-14-02 (new) – titled “Monetary controls for player against player contests.” This new rule unifies the provisions from Ohio Adm.Code 3772-10-19, 3772-11-18, 3722-11-42, and 3772-11-43, regarding monetary controls, into one section governing all player against player contests. While intending to provide casino operators more flexibility and discretion in the business operations of such contests by removing the mandate that rules governing tournaments be included in a casino’s internal controls; the rule is also designed to continue to ensure the integrity of casino gaming. This rule would sustain current rule mandates that casino operators have written procedures governing the collection of a rake and procedures for conducting transfers between all player against player contest banks and casino cages. Further the rule would still require that chips and cash be transported in a manner that allows surveillance to continuously observe their progress.
  • 3772-14-03 (new) – titled “Player against player contest progressive fund.” The rule creates the option for casino operators to create a player against player progressive fund. It replaces Ohio Adm.Code 3772-11-43. While each casino operator has the discretion to create their own procedures governing progressive funds, such procedures must be approved by the Executive Director, and they must include procedures articulating how funds will be collected and counted daily as well as how funds will be recorded and held. Lastly, this rule dictates that an updated, current balance in a progressive fund must be prominently displayed to reflect the amounts collected and distributed over the previous gaming day.

Associated CSI Documents
Business Impact Analysis

Contact Information for Comments

The Commission welcomes comments regarding these proposed rules. To ensure your comments are considered as part of the Common Sense Initiative (“CSI”) review period, the Commission should receive them no later than March 13, 2019

Any questions or comments with respect to these rules may be directed to Michelle Siba via email at Michelle.Siba@casinocontrol.ohio.gov or U.S. Mail at 100 East Broad Street, 20th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215. Comments may also be directed to the CSI Office at csipubliccomments@governor.ohio.gov.

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