2915.02 Gambling.

(A) No person shall do any of the following:

(1) Engage in bookmaking, or knowingly engage in conduct that facilitates bookmaking;

(2) Establish, promote, or operate or knowingly engage in conduct that facilitates any game of chance conducted for profit or any scheme of chance;

(3) Knowingly procure, transmit, exchange, or engage in conduct that facilitates the procurement, transmission, or exchange of information for use in establishing odds or determining winners in connection with bookmaking or with any game of chance conducted for profit or any scheme of chance;

(4) Engage in betting or in playing any scheme or game of chance as a substantial source of income or livelihood;

(5) Conduct, or participate in the conduct of, a sweepstakes with the use of a sweepstakes terminal device at a sweepstakes terminal device facility and either:

(a) Give to another person any item described in division (VV)(1), (2), (3), or (4) of section 2915.01 of the Revised Code as a prize for playing or participating in a sweepstakes; or

(b) Give to another person any merchandise prize, or a redeemable voucher for a merchandise prize, the wholesale value of which is in excess of ten dollars and which is awarded as a single entry for playing or participating in a sweepstakes. Redeemable vouchers shall not be redeemable for a merchandise prize that has a wholesale value of more than ten dollars.

(6) Conduct, or participate in the conduct of, a sweepstakes with the use of a sweepstakes terminal device at a sweepstakes terminal device facility without first obtaining a current annual "certificate of registration" from the attorney general as required by division (F) of this section;

(7) With purpose to violate division (A)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), or (6) of this section, acquire, possess, control, or operate any gambling device.

(B) For purposes of division (A)(1) of this section, a person facilitates bookmaking if the person in any way knowingly aids an illegal bookmaking operation, including, without limitation, placing a bet with a person engaged in or facilitating illegal bookmaking. For purposes of division (A)(2) of this section, a person facilitates a game of chance conducted for profit or a scheme of chance if the person in any way knowingly aids in the conduct or operation of any such game or scheme, including, without limitation, playing any such game or scheme.

(C) This section does not prohibit conduct in connection with gambling expressly permitted by law.

(D) This section does not apply to any of the following:

(1) Games of chance, if all of the following apply:

(a) The games of chance are not craps for money or roulette for money.

(b) The games of chance are conducted by a charitable organization that is, and has received from the internal revenue service a determination letter that is currently in effect, stating that the organization is, exempt from federal income taxation under subsection 501(a) and described in subsection 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(c) The games of chance are conducted at festivals of the charitable organization that are conducted not more than a total of five days a calendar year, and are conducted on premises owned by the charitable organization for a period of no less than one year immediately preceding the conducting of the games of chance, on premises leased from a governmental unit, or on premises that are leased from a veteran's or fraternal organization and that have been owned by the lessor veteran's or fraternal organization for a period of no less than one year immediately preceding the conducting of the games of chance.

A charitable organization shall not lease premises from a veteran's or fraternal organization to conduct a festival described in division (D)(1)(c) of this section if the veteran's or fraternal organization already has leased the premises twelve times during the preceding year to charitable organizations for that purpose. If a charitable organization leases premises from a veteran's or fraternal organization to conduct a festival described in division (D)(1)(c) of this section, the charitable organization shall not pay a rental rate for the premises per day of the festival that exceeds the rental rate per bingo session that a charitable organization may pay under division (B)(1) of section 2915.09 of the Revised Code when it leases premises from another charitable organization to conduct bingo games.

(d) All of the money or assets received from the games of chance after deduction only of prizes paid out during the conduct of the games of chance are used by, or given, donated, or otherwise transferred to, any organization that is described in subsection 509(a)(1), 509(a)(2), or 509(a)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is either a governmental unit or an organization that is tax exempt under subsection 501(a) and described in subsection 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;

(e) The games of chance are not conducted during, or within ten hours of, a bingo game conducted for amusement purposes only pursuant to section 2915.12 of the Revised Code.

No person shall receive any commission, wage, salary, reward, tip, donation, gratuity, or other form of compensation, directly or indirectly, for operating or assisting in the operation of any game of chance.

(2) Any tag fishing tournament operated under a permit issued under section 1533.92 of the Revised Code, as "tag fishing tournament" is defined in section 1531.01 of the Revised Code;

(3) Bingo conducted by a charitable organization that holds a license issued under section 2915.08 of the Revised Code.

(E) Division (D) of this section shall not be construed to authorize the sale, lease, or other temporary or permanent transfer of the right to conduct games of chance, as granted by that division, by any charitable organization that is granted that right.

(F) Any person desiring to conduct, or participate in the conduct of, a sweepstakes with the use of a sweepstakes terminal device at a sweepstakes terminal device facility shall first register with the office of the attorney general and obtain an annual certificate of registration by providing a filing fee of two hundred dollars and all information as required by rule adopted under division (H) of this section. Not later than the tenth day of each month, each sweepstakes terminal device operator shall file a sweepstakes terminal device monthly report with the attorney general and provide a filing fee of fifty dollars and all information required by rule adopted under division (H) of this section. All information provided to the attorney general under this division shall be available to law enforcement upon request.

(G) A person may apply to the attorney general, on a form prescribed by the attorney general, for a certificate of compliance that the person is not operating a sweepstakes terminal device facility. The form shall require the person to include the address of the business location where sweepstakes terminal devices will be used and to make the following certifications:

(1) That the person will not use more than two sweepstakes terminal devices at the business location;

(2) That the retail value of sweepstakes prizes to be awarded at the business location using sweepstakes terminal devices during a reporting period will be less than three per cent of the gross revenue received at the business location during the reporting period;

(3) That no other form of gaming except lottery ticket sales as authorized under Chapter 3770. of the Revised Code will be conducted at the business location or in an adjoining area of the business location;

(4) That any sweepstakes terminal device at the business location will not allow any deposit of any money, coin, or token, or the use of any credit card, debit card, prepaid card, or any other method of similar payment to be used, directly or indirectly, to participate in a sweepstakes;

(5) That notification of any prize will not take place on the same day as a participant's sweepstakes entry; and

(6) That the person consents to provide any other information to the attorney general as required by rule adopted under division (H) of this section.

The filing fee for a certificate of compliance is two hundred fifty dollars. The attorney general may charge up to an additional two hundred fifty dollars for reasonable expenses resulting from any investigation related to an application for a certificate of compliance.

A certificate of compliance is effective for one year. The certificate holder may reapply for a certificate of compliance. A person issued a certificate of compliance shall file semiannual reports with the attorney general stating the number of sweepstakes terminal devices at the business location and that the retail value of prizes awarded at the business location using sweepstakes terminal devices is less than three per cent of the gross revenue received at the business location.

(H) The attorney general shall adopt rules setting forth:

(1) The required information to be submitted by persons conducting a sweepstakes with the use of a sweepstakes terminal device at a sweepstakes terminal device facility as described in division (F) of this section; and

(2) The requirements pertaining to a certificate of compliance under division (G) of this section, which shall provide for a person to file a consolidated application and a consolidated semiannual report if a person has more than one business location.

The attorney general shall issue a certificate of registration or a certificate of compliance to all persons who have successfully satisfied the applicable requirements of this section. The attorney general shall post online a registry of all properly registered and certified sweepstakes terminal device operators.

(I) The attorney general may refuse to issue an annual certificate of registration or certificate of compliance to any person or, if one has been issued, the attorney general may revoke a certificate of registration or a certificate of compliance if the applicant has provided any information to the attorney general as part of a registration, certification, monthly report, semiannual report, or any other information that is materially false or misleading, or if the applicant or any officer, partner, or owner of five per cent or more interest in the applicant has violated any provision of this chapter.

(J) The attorney general may take any necessary and reasonable action to determine a violation of this chapter, including requesting documents and information, performing inspections of premises, or requiring the attendance of any person at an examination under oath.

(K) Whoever violates this section is guilty of gambling, a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of any gambling offense, gambling is a felony of the fifth degree. Notwithstanding this division, failing to file a sweepstakes terminal device monthly report as required by division (F) of this section or the semiannual report required by division (G) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Cite as R.C. § 2915.02

History. Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 14, HB 7, §1, eff. 9/4/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.126, HB 386, §1, eff. 6/11/2012.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.38, HB 519, §1, eff. 9/10/2010.

Effective Date: 07-01-2003