Legislature(2015 - 2016)BARNES 124
04/13/2016 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE
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|Alaska Gasline Development Corporation Board of Directors|
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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SB 157-AMUSEMENT DEVICES & GAMBLING DEFINITION 3:56:46 PM CHAIR OLSON announced that the next order of business would be SENATE BILL NO. 157, "An Act defining arcade-style amusement devices." 3:56:53 PM FORREST WOLFE, staff, Senator Lesil McGuire, stated that SB 157 is a housekeeping measure that seeks to clarify language in the Alaska Statutes. The first goal of the bill is to create a definition of amusement devices to include arcade-style games of skill, while excluding games of chance. The second goal is to add that winning tickets, tokens, or credit from these games does not constitute gambling. Mr. Wolfe said SB 157 would ensure that businesses that feature these types of amusement devices and games have the legal grounds to operate in Alaska, which would bring new well-paying jobs and family-friendly businesses to the state. 3:59:28 PM CHAIR OLSON opened public testimony on SB 157. 3:59:36 PM JAY TOBIN, Senior Vice President/General Counsel, Dave & Buster's, offered to answer questions. REPRESENTATIVE KITO asked whether the issue addressed by SB 157 is not in current statute. MR. WOLFE clarified that the language in statute is vague; although this type of establishment is not illegal, businesses such as Dave and Buster's want further assurance prior to investing in Alaska. MR. TOBIN added that Dave and Buster's is planning to invest $10 million in the construction of a new store. Existing law, an opinion from the Department of Law, and advice from local counsel led to his organization's decision to seek full conformance with the laws of the state. REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON directed attention to page 2, line 22, of the bill which read: Sec. 3. AS 11.66.280 is amended by adding a new paragraph to read: (12) "amusement device" includes arcade-style games, pinball machines, countertop machines, novelty arcade games, sports-themed games, shuffleboard tables, claw machines, pool tables, shooting galleries, bowling, and a similar machine, device, or apparatus that provides amusement, diversion, or entertainment; "amusement device" does not include casino-style games, draw games, slot machines, roulette wheels, craps, video poker, or any other game that is a contest of chance. REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON asked for assurance that the proposed new paragraph could not be construed as "something that's akin to gambling." MR. WOLFE stated that these types of amusement devices are specifically excluded from the definition of gambling, and the definition does not include casino-style games of chance. REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON said he was unfamiliar with the definitions of the games that are excluded. MR. WOLFE described a claw machine as a game of skill, and not a game of chance. 4:06:03 PM CHAIR OLSON, after ascertaining no one else wished to testify, closed public testimony. 4:06:15 PM REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES moved to report SB 157, Version 29- LS1264\W out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying zero fiscal notes. There being no objection, SB 157 was reported out of the House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.