2002 Texas Attorney General Reports and Opinions 1 (2002)

handle is hein.sag/sagtx0081 and id is 1 raw text is: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL . STATE OF TEXAS
JOHN CORNYN
January 2, 2002
Mr. C. Tom Clowe, Jr.                 Opinion No. JC-0449
Chair, Texas Lottery Commission
P.O. Box 16630                        Re: Whether the Texas Lottery Commission is
Austin, Texas 78761-6630              authorized to approve or disapprove secondary
components or features of an electronic bingo card-
minding device unrelated to the game of bingo that
allow a player to play various games, such as video
poker, during a bingo occasion, and related questions
(RQ-0383-JC)
Dear Mr. Clowe:
You ask about the Texas Lottery Commission's (Commission) authority to approve or
disapprove secondary components or features of an electronic bingo card-minding device unrelated
to the game of bingo that allow a player to play various games, such as video poker, during bingo
occasions.' We conclude that the Commission is required to examine the secondary components or
features of an electronic bingo card-minding device and disapprove them if they allow a player to
play a game of chance or use a gambling device during a bingo occasion. We also conclude that
the described video poker game is a prohibited game of chance. Finally, we conclude that the
video poker game, as described to us, is a prohibited gambling device only if it records the
cancellation or removal of credits awarded; and the credits awarded provide a benefit to which a
price can be assigned other than an immediate right of replay. The Commission must determine, in
the first instance, whether the video poker game is a gambling device that meets this criterion.
Your request relates to an electronic bingo card-minding device. A 'bingo card-minding
device' . . . [is] an electronic or computerized device that allows a bingo player to store, display[,]
and mark a bingo card face. Request Letter, supra note 1, at 1; see also 16 TEx. ADMIN. CODE
 402.541 (2001) (defining card-minding device). It essentially allows a player to electronically
track the bingo numbers drawn and to similarly mark his or her cards. See Request Letter, supra
note 1, at 1.
The Commission by rule requires manufacturers of bingo card-minding devices to submit
identical prototypes of all such devices for the Commission's approval before they are sold, leased,
or otherwise furnished to any person in the state or used in the conduct of bingo for public play. See
'See Letter from C. Tom Clowe, Jr., Chair, Texas Lottery Commission, to Honorable John Cornyn, Texas
Attorney General (May 17, 2001) (on file with Opinion Committee) [hereinafter Request Letter].

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