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Maple Valley City Council votes to allow non-profits to hold social card games for fundraisers
The Maple Valley City Council amended an ordinance that will non-profits to hold social card games at their Nov. 26 meeting.
According to City Manager David Johnston, the Greater Maple Valley Community Center wanted to host a Texas Hold ‘em tournament as a fundraiser approximately a year ago.
When it went to the Washington State Gaming Commission to obtain a license for the event, they were informed that they could not receive a license due to the municipal code prohibiting it. According to Johnston, the Community Center then approached the city and asked them to consider changing it so non-profits would be able to use it as a fundraiser.
Under an ordinance passed in 1999, social card games are prohibited in the city limits. Under state law, social card games are defined "a card game that constitutes gambling and is authorized by the commission."
Maple Valley Municipal Code
It is unlawful within the City limits for any person to allow any premises or any facilities to be used for, to participate in, or to conduct as a commercial stimulant or otherwise any social card game as defined in RCW 9.46.0282, except as otherwise allowed by RCW 9.46.0311. Subject to the exception set forth herein, this prohibition shall apply to all zoning districts within the City.
"Social card game" as used in this chapter means a card game that constitutes gambling and is authorized by the commission under RCW 9.46.070. Authorized card games may include a house-banked or a player-funded banked card game. No one may participate in the card game or have an interest in the proceeds of the card game who is not a player or a person licensed by the commission to participate in social card games. There shall be two or more participants in the card game who are players or persons licensed by the commission. The card game must be played in accordance with the rules adopted by the commission under RCW 9.46.070, which shall include but not be limited to rules for the collection of fees, limitation of wagers, and management of player funds. The number of tables authorized shall be set by the commission but shall not exceed a total of fifteen separate tables per establishment.
Charitable, nonprofit organizations — Authorized gambling activities.
The legislature hereby authorizes bona fide charitable or nonprofit organizations to conduct bingo games, raffles, amusement games, and fund-raising events, and to utilize punchboards and pull-tabs and to allow their premises and facilities to be used by only members, their guests, and members of a chapter or unit organized under the same state, regional, or national charter or constitution, to play social card games authorized by the commission, when licensed, conducted or operated pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.