HB7

HB7

The Senate is expected to vote next Wednesday on HB 7, a bill which would all but shut down the stateā€™s Internet cafes. There has been much discussion about whether the bill will pass as introduced or with amendments.

It now appears the following will not be included in HB 7:

  • The inclusion of an emergency clause, which would make the legislation effective immediately upon signature by the Governor. Normally a bill becomes effective 90 days after signed by the Governor. With HB 7, an emergency clause
    would also prevent advocates of Internet cafes from overturning the law with a ballot referendum because of a lack of time;
  • Language that would permit fraternal and veterans organizations to legally operate ā€˜video raffle terminalsā€™ which act like slot machines but have winners determined like instant bingo games. Such organizations have been given until
    August 1 to have their gaming machines legalized or face enforcement action by the stateā€™s attorney generalā€™s office.

The following may still be included:

  • Replace the $10 prize limit with a 3-5% limit on gross receipts of a business that can be paid out in sweepstakes;
  • Add language relating to ā€˜skilled gamesā€™. Tic Tac Fruit is an example of this type of game. Most of these businesses have either ceased operation or switched to an Internet cafĆ©. There is some concern that if HB 7 passes as introduced that
    Internet cafƩ owners will switch to skilled gaming parlors.
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