Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

05/05/2005 08:30 AM JUDICIARY

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08:43:51 AM Start
08:44:42 AM SB74
09:11:11 AM Confirmation Hearings
09:12:02 AM the Commission on Judicial Conduct – Mr. Jerry Story || the Commission on Judicial Conduct – Ms. Ethel Staton || the Alaska Judicial Council – Ms. Cristina Williams || the Violent Crimes Compensation Board – Mr. Leroy J. Parker.
09:15:35 AM SB74
09:31:39 AM SB165
10:29:19 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSSB 74(JUD) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
Scheduled But Not Heard
Scheduled But Not Heard
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
Confirmation Hearings
Commission on Judicial Council:
Jerry Story, Ethel Staton
Alaska Judicial Council:
Cristina Williams
Violent Crimes Compensation Board:
Leroy J. Parker
                  SB 165-CARD ROOMS & OPERATIONS                                                                            
9:31:39 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR RALPH SEEKINS announced SB 165 to be up for consideration.                                                                
MR. RYAN MAKINSTER, staff to  Senator John Cowdery, introduced SB
165,  which would  allow card  playing  for money  in the  public                                                               
arena. Under SB  165 card rooms would be  limited unless expanded                                                               
by a vote from Alaskan citizens.                                                                                                
9:33:33 AM                                                                                                                    
Bonds and  application fees  would apply so  the state  would not                                                               
incur any  burden. Underground  games happen  and there  is crime                                                               
associated with it.                                                                                                             
9:34:59 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS asked whether a home  was the only place where card                                                               
games were legal.                                                                                                               
MR. MAKINSTER said yes, if played for money.                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS  understood a game  of poker was legal  anywhere so                                                               
long as the house doesn't take a rake.                                                                                          
MR. MAKINSTER alleged the statute says "in a home."                                                                             
CHAIR  SEEKINS  asked  whether SB  165  related  to  professional                                                               
MR.  MAKINSTER speculated  it would  be a  friendly game.  SB 165                                                               
would be doing a service by providing a conduit for the games.                                                                  
9:36:31 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS  asked the amount of  income a card table  would be                                                               
expected to bring in annually.                                                                                                  
MR. MAKINSTER  responded the average  is $90 gross per  table per                                                               
hour. Ten tables would bring about $3 million a year.                                                                           
9:37:58 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS asked who the proprietors would be.                                                                               
MR. MAKINSTER  anticipated they would  be proprietors  of current                                                               
CHAIR SEEKINS asked the application process.                                                                                    
MR. MAKINSTER  informed there would  be a  $25,000 non-refundable                                                               
fee  to apply.  The  application  process would  be  left to  the                                                               
Department of  Revenue (DOR)  through regulations.  Factors would                                                               
be based on  reputation and controlling interests.  Also a person                                                               
would have to put up a $500,000 cash bond up front.                                                                             
SENATOR HOLLIS  FRENCH asked whether  the bond would  be supplied                                                               
with the application or upon winning the permit.                                                                                
MR. MAKINSTER  responded after winning the  permit. License would                                                               
be granted before obligation of the cash bond.                                                                                  
SENATOR FRENCH  asked whether a  board would review  the person's                                                               
financial statement.                                                                                                            
9:39:38 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. MAKINSTER  advised the DOR  would make the decision.  The DOR                                                               
would come up  with a process to determine who  is best suited to                                                               
be licensed.                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  FRENCH asked  whether there  would be  a public  comment                                                               
period during the process.                                                                                                      
9:41:07 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. MAKINSTER said that would be up to the DOR.                                                                                 
SENATOR   GRETCHEN   GUESS   asked   the   number   of   cribbage                                                               
establishments that  would put  up $10,000  per table.  She asked                                                               
the reason SB 165 doesn't simply deal with poker.                                                                               
MR.  MAKINSTER  advised other  states  have  added games  besides                                                               
poker. He claimed people do play cribbage for money.                                                                            
SENATOR GUESS asked the definition of a "non-banking" card game.                                                                
9:43:04 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  MAKINSTER explained  it is  a  game not  played against  the                                                               
CHAIR  SEEKINS  asked  who  the  owners  of  card  rooms  are  in                                                               
Washington and Oregon.                                                                                                          
MR. MAKINSTER implied various sorts of people.                                                                                  
CHAIR   SEEKINS  asked   whether  other   states  had   the  same                                                               
application fee.                                                                                                                
MR. MAKINSTER responded no.                                                                                                     
CHAIR SEEKINS said  he did not know any bar  owners who have that                                                               
kind  of money.  He anticipated  the  card room  owners would  be                                                               
professional gamblers.                                                                                                          
MR. MAKINSTER agreed.                                                                                                           
9:44:42 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS stated SB 165  would virtually be opening the state                                                               
to  professional gambling.  He asked  the name  of a  prospective                                                               
MR. MAKINSTER indicated a Mr. Perry Green.                                                                                      
CHAIR  SEEKINS speculated  Mr. Green  has financial  backers from                                                               
out of state.                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  JOHN   COWDERY  commented  Alaskans  should   control  a                                                               
percentage of the license.                                                                                                      
CHAIR SEEKINS  said that would be  at the discretion of  the DOR.                                                               
He inquired whether the hourly wage  and the house rake should be                                                               
set in statute.                                                                                                                 
MR. MAKINSTER responded it should be fluid.                                                                                     
9:47:27 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH  commented there are  different ways  to determine                                                               
the rake.                                                                                                                       
9:48:45 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS asked  Mr. Makinster whether he has  seen the House                                                               
companion bill.                                                                                                                 
MR. MAKINSTER advised it was similar to SB 165.                                                                                 
CHAIR  SEEKINS  asked  whether the  sponsor  has  researched  the                                                               
sociological effect of card rooms.                                                                                              
MR.  MAKINSTER alleged  there is  no  study dealing  specifically                                                               
with card rooms.                                                                                                                
9:50:30 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS  asked  whether   card  rooms  in  Washington  are                                                               
restricted to class 2 card games.                                                                                               
MR.  MAKINSTER  said no.  The  Gambling  Commission allowed  bank                                                               
games to  occur and  card rooms to  compete. Poker  and blackjack                                                               
are allowed but no casino games such as slot machines.                                                                          
SENATOR  FRENCH  asked  whether bank  games  in  Washington  were                                                               
statewide or limited to reservations.                                                                                           
MR. MAKINSTER replied statewide on a limited basis.                                                                             
9:52:41 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  THERRIAULT  asked  Mr.  Makinster  to  describe  current                                                               
Anchorage card rooms.                                                                                                           
MR. MAKINSTER advised some bars have card tournaments.                                                                          
9:55:56 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GUESS  asked  the  limit  of  card  rooms  that  SB  165                                                               
MR. MAKINSTER said three.                                                                                                       
SENATOR GUESS asked  the amount of illegal gambling  SB 165 would                                                               
MR. MAKINSTER did  not know. He assumed people  would rather play                                                               
in a safe environment.                                                                                                          
9:58:20 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GUESS asked  whether there would be security  in the card                                                               
MR. MAKINSTER  said it is in  the best interest of  the card room                                                               
to provide security.                                                                                                            
CHAIR  SEEKINS  expressed concern  about  big  gambling from  Las                                                               
Vegas entering Alaska.                                                                                                          
10:00:45 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR HUGGINS asked  Mr. Makinster to address the  fears of his                                                               
constituents and to comment on Indian gaming.                                                                                   
10:03:51 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  MAKINSTER advised  SB 165  would  not be  full on  gambling.                                                               
Poker is a slow paced methodical  game. Mobsters ran Las Vegas so                                                               
the crime rate  was higher, he alleged. Opinions  from the Indian                                                               
Gaming Commission  find the games  listed on  SB 165 are  class 2                                                               
and would not open the door to class 3 gaming.                                                                                  
10:06:45 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  ROBERT HALL,  fisherman,  testified in  support  of SB  165.                                                               
People already play on the  Internet. He supports a strong gaming                                                               
authority. Locals  would join  together and  put together  a game                                                               
10:08:47 AM                                                                                                                   
MS. PAT ROSE, retired psychiatric  nurse, testified in opposition                                                               
of SB 165.  Gambling can be addictive and it  is heartbreaking to                                                               
families. The move  to innocent card games is a  foot in the door                                                               
to bigger operations in the future.                                                                                             
10:10:23 AM                                                                                                                   
PASTOR  PHILLIP POLK,  Calgary  Church,  Anchorage, testified  in                                                               
opposition  of  SB  165.  He asserted  any  gaming  license  that                                                               
requires such  a large fee  is not  small business. SB  165 would                                                               
promote greed throughout the state.                                                                                             
10:12:35 AM                                                                                                                   
PASTOR NORMAN  LINDSAY, Assembly of God,  testified in opposition                                                               
to  SB 165.  He noted  no one  has spoken  yet in  regard to  the                                                               
devastation  to   individuals  who  are  adversely   affected  by                                                               
gambling. SB 165 would open the door to big time gambling.                                                                      
SENATOR FRENCH asked Pastor Lindsay  whether his church sponsored                                                               
lotteries, raffles, or bingo games.                                                                                             
MR. LINDSAY said no.                                                                                                            
10:14:46 AM                                                                                                                   
MS. NORMA  GOTT, Assembly of  God, testified in opposition  of SB
165. She  shared her experience of  growing up with a  father who                                                               
played  poker on  a  regular  basis. It  was  devastating to  the                                                               
family. Studies  prove that when  gambling was legalized  in Iowa                                                               
crime skyrocketed.                                                                                                              
CHAIR  SEEKINS  asked  Ms.  Gott   whether  her  church  sponsors                                                               
lotteries, raffles, or bingo games.                                                                                             
MS. GOTT said no.                                                                                                               
10:16:43 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. JIM  SCHULTZ, Anchorage resident, testified  in opposition to                                                               
SB 165.  The negative impact  that legalized gambling  would have                                                               
on the State of Alaska would be devastating.                                                                                    
10:18:31 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.   CHIP   WAGGONER,   executive  director,   Alaska   Catholic                                                               
Conference,  testified in  opposition  of SB  165.  He asked  Mr.                                                               
Myers whether betting games in bars were currently legal.                                                                       
MR.  LARRY MYERS,  Alaska Department  of Revenue  (DOR), answered                                                               
the current  games are missing  one element of gambling  and that                                                               
is consideration and so they  are legal. "Consideration" means an                                                               
entry fee, a game of chance, and a prize.                                                                                       
10:20:11 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SEEKINS  asked whether there  was a definition  of personal                                                               
residence in the statutes.                                                                                                      
MR. MYERS responded AS 11.66.280 contains the definition.                                                                       
10:22:17 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  WAGGONER  disputed testimony  by  the  sponsor that  SB  165                                                               
addresses  friendly games.  SB 165  takes Alaska  into commercial                                                               
gaming enterprises. The  rooms will be designed  to entice people                                                               
to gamble  all of their money.  There is no evidence  or research                                                               
to  prove SB  165  would result  in less  crime  or less  illegal                                                               
gambling,  rather it  would  increase crime.  SB  165 would  hurt                                                               
Alaskans and the  state does not have the money  to deal with all                                                               
the problems the bill would create.                                                                                             
10:24:38 AM                                                                                                                   
Card rooms add fuel to the  fire to those who have susceptibility                                                               
to  becoming  addicted.   The  American  Psychiatric  Association                                                               
classifies pathological gambling as an impulse control disorder.                                                                
10:26:37 AM                                                                                                                   
The  American Research  Council review  on pathological  gambling                                                               
agrees   that  pathological   gamblers   engage  in   destructive                                                               
behaviors.  They  commit  crimes,  run  up  large  debts,  damage                                                               
relationships with family and friends, and they commit suicide.                                                                 
10:28:13 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SEEKINS held SB 165 in committee.                                                                                         

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