OLR Bill Analysis
AN ACT CONCERNING CHARITABLE BINGO GAMES, BAZAARS, RAFFLES, THE DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER PROTECTION AND OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING.
This bill generally transfers the Department of Consumer Protection's (DCP) charitable gaming (e.g., bingo, bazaars or raffles) investigation, oversight, and permitting functions to the municipality where the games occurs. But the department retains the permitting and sales scheme for sealed tickets.
Under current law, DCP and the municipality share certain regulatory oversight and permitting powers, including certain permit fees. As a result of the transfer, the bill generally reduces the bazaar or raffle permit fees by half because the organizations qualified to conduct these games no longer need to pay the state for its portion of the permit fee. The bill also eliminates the administrative hearing process and instead allows anyone aggrieved by an order to appeal to Superior Court.
The bill also eliminates the following DCP occupational licenses, registrations, and certificates:
1. swimming pool builders' license (CGS § 20-340d),
2. swimming pool maintenance and repair license (CGS § 20-417aa),
3. athlete agent registration (CGS §§ 20-559 to -559s),
4. shorthand reporters license (CGS §§ 20-650 to -656),
5. itinerant venders license (CGS § 21-27 to -35), and
6. liquor wholesaler's salesman certificates (CGS § 30-17b).
Under the bill, the people performing these tasks no longer need a state credential to perform such work.
The bill also makes minor, technical, and conforming changes.
EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2018
The bill generally transfers DCP's charitable gaming investigation, oversight, and permitting functions to the municipality where the games occurs, but not DCP's permitting and sales scheme for sealed tickets, which remain with the department.
In transferring DCP's functions to the municipality, the bill specifies the commissioner's responsibilities are given to the municipal official where the games occur. A municipal official is the municipality's chief of police, or if there is no police department, the chief executive officer.
The bill eliminates the requirement that receipt and disbursement information the municipality acquires from a bingo operator's records be available to the emergency services and public protection commissioner upon her request.
Elimination of Charitable Gaming Administrative Hearings
The bill eliminates the administrative hearing process and instead allows anyone aggrieved by an order to appeal to the Superior Court where the municipality is located.
Current law requires the DCP commissioner, after an investigation, to send notice to the suspected violator. The hearing must occur at least 30 days after the notice is mailed. The commissioner must conduct the hearing and appeal in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act.
False Statements Penalties
Current law allows the DCP commissioner to suspend or revoke a permit or impose a civil penalty of up to $200 for anyone who makes a false statement on any permit application or on any report the commissioner requires. The bill (1) transfers to the municipal official the ability to suspend and revoke a permit but not the ability to impose civil penalties and (2) allows the municipal official to issue cease and desist orders for such false statements.
Bazaar or Raffle Application Form
Current law requires any organization applying to operate a bazaar or raffle to apply to DCP on a form that includes, among other things, the (1) applicant's name and address, (2) types of games intended to be held, (3) place where it will be held, (4) types of prizes offered, and (5) purpose of the bazaar or raffle. The bill eliminates these requirements and instead requires the municipal official to prescribe the application form, which must include a description of the bazaar or raffle to be conducted.
The bill reduces the permit fees by half, except for the Class 7 permit fee, which remains the same. By law, Class 7 permits allow for (1) the operation of raffles for 15 months, (2) up to 12 prize drawings on separate dates, and (3) the aggregate value of prizes of up to $50,000.
Under current law, except for the Class 7 permit, applicants pay their bazaar and raffle permit fees separately to DCP and the municipality where the event is held. The bill eliminates the state fee, thus reducing the permitting cost by half.
Class 7 Permits
The bill transfers the authority and fees associated with the Class 7 permit from DCP to municipalities. Under current law, DCP solely permits and investigates the qualifications of Class 7 permits.
SWIMMING POOL ASSEMBLER'S LICENSEES
Under current law, a swimming pool builder's licensee or a limited swimming pool maintenance and repair contractor's licensee could be issued a swimming pool assembler's license without an exam. Additionally, people holding a swimming pool assembler's license and either of these licenses are not required to complete any continuing education classes.
The bill eliminates both the swimming pool builder's license and limited swimming pool maintenance and repair contractor's license. Therefore, it requires all swimming pool assembler's licensees to take continuing education classes.
HB 7137, reported favorably by the Public Safety and Security Committee, also generally transfers DCP's charitable gaming investigation, oversight, and permitting functions to the municipality where the games occurs.
HB 6041, reported favorably by the Public Safety and Security Committee, allows most organizations qualified for a bazaar or raffles permit to sell raffle tickets online.
General Law Committee
Joint Favorable Substitute