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In 1957, a Constitutional amendment made the game of bingo lawful provided that is was sponsored and conducted by volunteer fire companies, veterans’ organizations, religious or charitable organizations, or fraternal societies, and that the profits derived from such activities be used for the promotion or achievement of such organizations.1 That same year an act was passed to provide for referendums on bingo and the regulation and control of the game. The question appeared on the 1958 general elections ballot. A Bingo Control Commission was created in 1957. The Commission was empowered to adopt, amend, and repeal rules and regulations governing the issuance and amendment of licenses to conduct the game of bingo and to lease the equipment necessary to play the game. The Commissioners were authorized to institute measures to assure that the game was fairly and properly conducted, and not for commercial purposes or for private profit other than permitted by the Constitution and its amendments. In addition, the Commissioners were responsible for continuously studying and investigating the operation and administration of this law, and were authorized to investigate violations of this act and recommend criminal prosecution to the Attorney General. Finally, the Commission was to submit biennial reports to the Governor and the General Assembly.2
In 1969, control over the administrative, ministerial, budgetary and clerical functions, including but not limited to appointment, removal, compensation and duties of employees of the Bingo Control Commission was given to the Division of Business and Occupational Regulation under the Department of Administrative Services (RG 1340).3 Until that time, the Commission had been governed by its own board members.
In 1981, the Delaware Gaming Control Board was created with the primary objective to protect the public through the regulation and policing of sports, amusements and other activities involving gambling. It assumed the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the former Bingo Control Commission and remained under the regulatory jurisdiction of the Department of Administrative Services. The Board possesses the power to develop and enforce standards of professional compentence; to investigate public complaints regarding gaming activities; to serve as judge at formal complaint hearings and administer necessary sanctions against persons or organizations regulated by the Board. Composition of the Board is equally divided between all sports, amusements, and other activities under the Board’s jurisdiction. All members are appointed by the Governor for a term of five years. Any member absent three consecutive meetings or attending less than half of the yearly meetings is automatically resigned from office. Minutes of the meetings are maintained by the Division of Business and Occupational Regulation.4 In 1986, meetings were reduced from once a month to four times a year or as deemed necessary by the president or majority of members.5 The Division’s name was changed to Professional Regulation. Composition of the Board changed in 1986 to five members equally divided among the activities represented, one of which is to be an active member of the Delaware Volunteer Fireman’s Association.6

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1 51 D.L., ch. 61.

2 51 D.L., ch. 65.

3 57 D.L., ch. 581.

4 63 D.L., ch. 144.

5 65 D.L., ch. 226.

6 65 D.L., ch. 325.

7 65 D.L., ch. 355.
mm/April 4, 1988; April 22, 1988
mm; revised (addition) October 4, 1988; December 29, 1988; February 27, 1998

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