June 24, 2005 General 0

I am hanging out at Beans in the Belfry here in downtown Brunswick, MD.

I walked in and Buddy Rizer of WTRI Radio was doing his weekly morning broadcast from Beans. Buddy and I have chatted a couple of times as fellow business owners..:) He has some plans for additions to the weekend lineup but until the details are set i am going to keep them under wraps. More to come as it gets figured out. One neat thing WTRI is going to do is some PSA’s for the Ambulance company to help bolster membership. This is a great thing and i applaud Buddy for it. Buddy has been very helpfull to my business as well. *upate* ACK! buddy rightfully reminded me he also let Alessa(my daughter) on to sing her little song.. She has been bugging me for two weeks(i forgot to go to beans last week) so she could do it. Thanks Buddy for indulging a five year old..:)

I first talked to Clair Ebersole who is the current President of the Brunwick Volunteer Ambulance and Rescue Company. They have lost 5 of their most active members in terms of runs responded to in the past few months. They are needing volunteers badly. All the training you need and all the equipment you neeed is provided by the county and company..all they need from you is your time and dedication. You can find their contact information on checkbrunswickfirst.com under emergency services.

More news regarding Ambulance Company:

Beth Johnson was spearheading an effort in conjunction with the ambulance company to get more folks to volunteer for the ambulance company. It was strictly for charity(the ambulance company is strictly a non-profit) to raise funds for the company and to increase the membership since the ambulance company has lost several key folks via a poker night. Jim Castle came to Beth and told her that poker night for charity was illegal since all card games and games involving chips are outlawed in Frederick County. Beth then went to Penny Wheeler of the Frederick County gaming commission who told her that you are not permitted in Frederick County to use dice or cards. Penny did say she would follow it up with a letter. After consulting with the state’s attorney’s office they have nothing that outlaws this type of events. So now we are going to call the county gaming commission and see what they have to say. More to come as I hear it.

*Update* Well the county gaming commissioner gave us some rules to look at. So far The state does not bar poker nights provided they are charitable as far as i can see. I am not an attorney however. The only hitch could be at the county or local level. If there are any frederick county or brunswick city ordinances against this. If there are any Frederick County attorney reading hits care to comment?? The county ordinance says this:
(A) The following provisions regulate and control gaming within Frederick County. The purpose of these provisions includes the protection of the public.
(B) All types of gaming not specifically allowed within these provisions of state law are prohibited.
(C) The provisions of this article shall apply to all permitted gaming activities in Frederick County.
(Ord. 92-21-056, 9-22-1992; Ord. 93-02-066, 1-19-1993)
? 1-2-102. DEFINITIONS.
All terms used in this article shall have their ordinary meaning unless specially defined herein.
AMATEUR ATHLETIC ORGANIZATION. An organization organized and operated to promote nonprofessional sports or athletics.
BONA FIDE. True, correct, and genuine; in referring to an organization this requires an actual and
primary purpose of carrying out 1 or more of the types of purposes, or activities, specified within this article or under state law.
CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION. An organization, institution, association, society, or corporation that holds itself out to be a benevolent, education, philanthropic, humane, patriotic or religious organization and solicits or obtains contributions for charitable purposes. It does not include a political party, political committee, political club, or an agency of the state government or of a political subdivision.
CIVIC ORGANIZATION. A not-for-profit organization organized and operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare. An organization is operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare if it is primarily engaged in promoting in
some way the common good and general welfare of the people of the community. A civic organization is operated primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterments and social improvements.
CONVICTION. A finding by a trier of fact of guilt, a guilty plea, or an accepted nolo contendere plea. Probation before judgment does not constitute a conviction.
COUNTY. Frederick County, Maryland.
DIRECTOR OF PERMITS AND INSPECTIONS. The Frederick County Director of Permits and Inspections and any employee of the Department of Permits and Inspections designated by the Director to perform any act incident to these gaming provisions.
DISTRIBUTOR. Individual or entity providing tip jars, punchboards, chance games, boards, tables, or other gaming devices.
EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATION. Entity or association concerned with or working to advance education, including, but not limited to, P.T.A.?s, band boosters, parent organizations, and student organizations.
(1) Any organization that:
(a) Is conducted solely for the benefit of its members and its beneficiaries;
(b) Is operated on a lodge system with a ritualistic activity; and
(c) Has a representative form of government;
(2) Includes a sororal organization; and
(3) Does not include:
(a) Any college or high school fraternity or sorority; or
(b) Any other fraternal or sororal organization the membership of which is restricted wholly or largely to students or graduates of an educational institution or a professional school.
GAMING DEVICE. Any game of chance played for money or prizes. Includes, but is not limited to, tip jar, punchboard, chance book, wheel of fortune, paddlewheel, or any other device or item where chance controls the results. Does not include bingo.
GAMING EVENT. Any bazaar, carnival, raffle, tip jar, punchboard, or other game of chance.
HOSPITAL. An institution that:
(1) Has a group of at least 5 physicians who are organized as a medical staff for the institution;
(2) Maintains facilities to provide, under the supervision of the medical staff, diagnostic and treatment services for 2 or more unrelated individuals; and
(3) Admits or retains the individuals for overnight care.
ISSUING AGENCY/ISSUER. Entity designated by the Board of County Commissioners of Frederick County to issue, approve, and review permits and licenses.
(1) PERSON. Individual residing in Frederick County.
(2) CORPORATION or OTHER ENTITY. More than doing business in the county. Having a substantial and significant place of business within the county. Includes any volunteer fire, rescue or ambulance company which has a first due response area in Frederick County or which owns property in Frederick County.
MEMBERS. Individuals belonging to 1 or more of the organizations who satisfy all requirements for acceptances as a full member of the organization.
Honorary members will not satisfy definitional requirements. In general, members must exist on membership rolls for a minimum of 6 months prior to the event to be eligible to participate in gambling endeavors. However, short-term members will satisfy membership requirements where special circumstances exist. (For example, a bona fide c
ritable organization which has only been in existence for less than 6 months.)
OFFICE. A place of business within the county. More than a mere presence indicated by a post office
box or telephone number. Actual, active working space, staffed at least part-time.
OPERATOR. Individual or entity conducting or operating the gaming event.
ORGANIZATION. Any bona fide, membership controlled group with a nonprofit status.
PATRIOTIC ORGANIZATION. An organization operated and organized to promote or demonstrate love and devotion to one?s country.
PROCEEDS. All receipts received as a result of a tip jar or punchboard minus only:
(1) Winnings paid to players; and
(2) The cost of the tip jar or punchboard itself.
RAFFLE. A purchased chance entitling the bearer to the right to a prize if the bearer?s chance is
randomly selected as a winner.
RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION. An organization operated and organized to promote any church, religious society or congregation of any sect, order or denomination.
VOLUNTEER FIRE, RESCUE, AMBULANCE OR AUXILIARY GROUPS. Community entities providing volunteer services within Frederick County for fire and rescue protection or any entity attached to fire and rescue or a related service entity.
WAR VETERANS ORGANIZATION. An organization whose membership consists primarily of persons who have served in the armed forces of the United States during a period of war (including the Korean and Vietnam conflicts) and their spouses, widows or widowers. The primary purpose of the organization must be 1 or more of the following:
(1) To provide service or assistance to veterans, members of the armed forces or their spouses or dependents;
(2) To promote the social welfare of the community;
(3) To perpetuate the memory of deceased veterans and members of the armed forces;
(4) To conduct charitable, educational or patriotic services; or
(5) To provide social and recreational activities for its members.
50/50 GAME. A drawing entirely conducted at a single meeting or event of an organization from a finite number of chances or tickets which are sold only at the meeting or event and where the proceeds from the sale of the chances or tickets are evenly split between the winner(s) and the organization sponsoring the game.
(Ord. 92-21-056, 9-22-1992; Ord. 93-02-066, 1-19-1993)
? 1-2-103. GAME GENERALLY.
The following provisions apply to all permits, all bingo games, and all types of gaming events and devices. Additional requirements applying to bingo and to individual types of gaming events or devices are found in subsequent sections.
(A) Unless specifically allowed in these provisions or in state law, all gaming is forbidden in Frederick County.
(B) Provided all legal requirements are met, bingo games and the following gaming events are permitted under these gaming laws:
(1) Raffles;
(2) Tip jars;
(3) Punchboards;
(4) Wheels of fortune;
(5) Chance books;
(6) Paddle wheels;
(7) Door prizes and 50/50 games (no permit required).
(C) The organization receiving the money or other receipts from a gaming event or bingo game must use the money or other receipts for the organization?s benefit or other charitable purpose in Frederick County.
(D) No individual may personally benefit from an event except as provided for operators of tip jars/ punchboards described in ? 1-2-107(E)(2) and except for prizes awarded to participants.
(E) Persons, organizations, or operators are ineligible to apply for or posses a permit if the organization or any individual directly responsible for the operation of the gaming event or bingo game has been:
(1) Convicted of a felony; or
(2) Convicted of a misdemeanor in any way related to gaming or gambling within 5 years of the application submission.
(F) Only religious, fraternal, civic, war veterans, hospital, amateur athletic, patriotic, educational, or charitable organization, or a county volunteer fire, rescue, or ambulance company or its auxiliary may conduct gaming events under these
provisions except for a licensed food and beverage establishment authorized to conduct tip jars or punchboards under ? 1-2-107.
(G) All records regarding all bingo games and gaming events must be made available for inspection by the Director of Permits and Inspections and by law enforcement agents.
(Ord. 92-21-056, 9-22-1992; Ord. 93-02-066, 1-19-1993)

So does this mean darts, go fish and all other things not mentioned are illegal for a charitable event? That means most carnival events would be illegal by the strict definition of this rule.

Later in the Ordinance it specifically mentions ambulance companies:
(A) An organization may hold a gaming event, other than a bingo game, raffle, tip jar, or punchboard, for its own benefit in compliance with this article and all other applicable law, provided that:
(1) Only 1 major prize may be awarded at each gaming event;
(2) During each calendar year, an organization may hold or receive the proceeds from only 1 event where the major prize has the fair market value of $5,000 or more.
(B) Before conducting any gaming event, the organization must obtain a permit as described in ? 1-2-104.
(C) The annual permit issuance fee for a gaming event other than a bingo game, raffle, tip jar, or punchboard shall be $50.
(Ord. 92-21-056, 9-22-1992; Ord. 93-02-066, 1-19-1993; Ord. 03-15-338, 10-7-2003)
(A) A volunteer fire, rescue, ambulance or auxiliary group (as defined in ? 1-2-102) is subject to the fee schedule provided in this section notwithstanding any other provision of this article.
(B) A volunteer fire rescue, ambulance, or auxiliary group shall pay $100 for an annual gaming permit entitling it to operate for its own benefit:
(1) Bingo games;
(2) Tip jars and punchboards in conjunction with bingo games;
(3) Raffles, to a maximum of 6 in a calendar year;
(4) Any gaming event as specified in ? 1-2-108;
(5) Any or all of the above for a 1 week period once annually in conjunction with a volunteer fireman?s carnival.
(C) Any permit issued under this section during 1992 shall be valid until December 31, 1993. Permits issued after January 1, 1993, shall be valid for a calendar year.
(D) Tip jars and punchboards not operated by the organization but for its benefit shall be subject to the issuance fee established in ? 1-2-107(C)(2).
(E) The issuance fee provided in ? 1-2-107(D) shall be due on all tip jar bags and punchboards used by a volunteer fire, rescue, ambulance or auxiliary group.
(Ord. 92-21-056, 9-22-1992; Ord. 93-02-066, 1-19-1993)

Any legal comments?