Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/15/2003 07:53 AM Senate L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
        HB 232-HOMER MERCURY CLASSIC/GAMING PRIZE LIMIT                                                                     
CHAIR CON  BUNDE called the  meeting back  to order at  1:40 p.m.                                                               
Present were  SENATORS SEEKINS, STEVENS  and BUNDE.  He announced                                                               
HB 232 to be up for consideration.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE PAUL  SEATON, sponsor  of HB  232, said  the Homer                                                               
Mercury Classic  is similar  to the Nenana  Ice Classic  in which                                                               
ticket  purchasers  buy a  chance  to  guess  the time  when  the                                                               
mercury will  go down to 15  degrees. A drawing for  the prize is                                                               
held when  the mercury goes up  to 55 degrees in  the spring. The                                                               
Boys and  Girls Club, Homer  Chapter, has a  computerized weather                                                               
station on  top of its  building that monitors  [the temperature]                                                               
every hour in conjunction with  the NASA Globe Project, a project                                                               
that monitors global warming.                                                                                                   
The  only  other  mercury  classic  in  the  state  was  held  in                                                               
Fairbanks in 1987-88. This classic  will not conflict or preclude                                                               
anyone else from doing the same thing.                                                                                          
CHAIR BUNDE  commented that  it is interesting  that some  of the                                                               
same people who  oppose other forms of gambling  would think this                                                               
is a good idea and asked how much money is involved.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  replied that the  tickets cost $2  a piece                                                               
and  the total  depends on  how many  tickets the  children sell.                                                               
Fifty percent goes to the Boys and Girls Club.                                                                                  
MS.  JANE TOLLEFSRUD,  Coordinator  of Projects,  Homer Boys  and                                                               
Girls Club, offered to answer  questions and added that the Homer                                                               
Club in particular  has 350 members and the  Kenai Peninsula Boys                                                               
and Girls Club has a total of 3,000 members.                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS said there could be a large number of winners.                                                                  
MS. TOLLEFSRUD replied that they  thought using the hour would be                                                               
okay and  multiple winners could split  the pot. If they  need to                                                               
use  minutes, the  device  could be  recalibrated  to read  every                                                               
SENATOR SEEKINS  asked if the  Homer Boys  and Girls Club  have a                                                               
charitable gaming permit now.                                                                                                   
MS. TOLLEFSRUD  replied that the  Kenai Peninsula Boys  and Girls                                                               
Club has the gaming permit it is going to use.                                                                                  
SENATOR SEEKINS asked  if gaming permits are  normally limited to                                                               
a certain dollar amount on an annual basis.                                                                                     
CHAIR BUNDE responded  that pulltab winnings are  limited, but he                                                               
wasn't familiar with any limitation  on the classics like the ice                                                               
SENATOR SEEKINS  said he was  trying to  figure out if  this will                                                               
expand  the  amount this  charity  would  bring  in in  terms  of                                                               
gambling revenue in a calendar year.                                                                                            
MS. TOLLEFSRUD said she didn't know  the answer to that. She does                                                               
know that  the only thing they  use their permit for  in Kenai is                                                               
the raffle and an auction that they have once per year.                                                                         
CHAIR  BUNDE said  he  thought  the limit  on  the  prizes is  $1                                                               
million  and  it's not  likely  that  they are  approaching  that                                                               
SENATOR  SEEKINS  said the  only  reason  he questioned  that  is                                                               
because the  number of  groups that want  to get  into charitable                                                               
gaming,  in  addition  to   charities  (like  municipalities  and                                                               
questionable non profits), is increasing.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON said  that his  understanding is  that the                                                               
Boys  and Girls  Club is  not involved  in pulltabs.  The Classic                                                               
will  be  a  twice-a-year  lottery, a  guessing  game  that  will                                                               
involve the kids in monitoring.                                                                                                 
CHAIR  BUNDE asked  Ms. Tollefsrud  and Representative  Seaton to                                                               
investigate if the  Boys and Girls Club was using  its permit for                                                               
pulltabs and whether, with the  classic, they would be held under                                                               
a one-umbrella  limit or whether  this would expand  their limit.                                                               
He closed public testimony and asked the will of the committee.                                                                 
SENATOR STEVENS  moved to pass HB  232 with zero fiscal  note and                                                               
individual recommendations.  There were no objections  and it was                                                               
so ordered.                                                                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects