36.05.02.16

.16 Cards — Receipt, Storage, Inspection, and Removal.

A. Receipt.

(1) A shipment of decks of cards that is received from a manufacturer or supplier shall be unloaded immediately and transported to a secure area which is covered by the facility operatorís surveillance system under the supervision of at least two employees of the facility operator.

(2) The boxes of decks of cards shall be opened and inspected to ensure that the seals on each box are intact, unbroken, and free from tampering.

(a) Boxes that do not appear to be intact, unbroken, and free from tampering shall be immediately inspected to ensure that the decks of cards in those boxes conform to the requirements of this chapter and there is no evidence of tampering with them.

(b) If the decks of cards inspected as required under §A(2)(a) of this regulation show no evidence of tampering, they shall be placed, along with boxes of cards that are intact, unbroken and free from tampering, for storage.

(3) Decks of cards shall be stored in a storage area that the Commission has approved in advance under COMAR 36.05.03.16.

(4) The functions required under §A(1) and (2) of this regulation shall be performed by the employees identified in Regulation .13A(4) of this chapter.

B. Storage. The Commission-approved storage area shall have two separate locks, to which access shall be controlled as follows:

(1) The security department shall maintain one key and the gaming operations department shall maintain the other key.

(2) An employee of the gaming operations department, below a floorperson in the organizational hierarchy, may not have access to the gaming operations department key.

(3) If the facility operator has a separate poker storage area, an employee below a poker supervisor in the organizational hierarchy may not have access to the gaming operations department key to the poker storage area.

C. Distribution.

(1) Except as provided under §E of this regulation, as may be necessary, a floorperson or above, in the presence of a security department employee, shall remove the appropriate number of decks of cards from the approved storage area.

(2) The floorperson or above and the security department employee who removed the decks shall distribute sufficient decks to the pit managers or above and, if applicable, to the poker supervisor.

(3) The number of decks distributed shall include extra decks that shall be placed in the pit stand for the card reserve.

(4) Decks of cards in the pit stand shall be placed in a locked compartment, the keys to which shall be in the possession of the pit managers or above or the poker supervisor or above.

D. Inspection.

(1) If the decks are to be inspected at open gaming tables under §F of this regulation, the pit manager or above shall distribute the decks to the dealer at each table or the poker supervisor shall transport the decks to the poker pit stand for subsequent distribution to the dealer at each poker table either directly by the poker supervisor or through the floorperson assigned to supervise the dealer.

(2) If the decks are to be preinspected and preshuffled at a closed gaming table as permitted under §R of this regulation, the pit manager or above or poker supervisor shall deliver the decks to the dealer and the floorperson or above at the closed gaming table where the preinspection and preshuffling shall be performed.

(3) If the decks have already been preinspected, preshuffled, sealed in containers and placed in the card storage area as permitted under §R(8)(b) or (e) of this regulation, the pit manager or above and a security department employee shall transport the number of sealed containers of cards needed for that gaming day to the gaming pits where the cards will be utilized and shall ensure that the containers are locked in the pit stand.

(4) Consistent with the facility operatorís internal controls, the security department shall maintain a record of the removal of the sealed containers of cards from the approved storage area and the distribution of sealed containers to the gaming pits.

E. Removal.

(1) If the decks of cards to be used for poker are removed from the poker storage area, the poker supervisor or above and a security department employee shall, at times as may be necessary, remove the appropriate number of decks from the poker storage area and distribute the decks under §D(1), (2) or (3) of this regulation.

(2) The number of decks distributed shall include extra decks that shall be placed in the pit stand for the card reserve.

(3) Decks of cards in the pit stand shall be placed in a locked compartment, the keys to which shall be in the possession of the poker supervisor or above.

F. Verification.

(1) Except for decks of cards that are preinspected and preshuffled under §R of this regulation, the dealer shall sort the cards in each deck according to suit and in sequence to verify that all cards are present and visually inspect the backs of the cards for any defects that might compromise the integrity or fairness of the game.

(2) The floorperson or above shall verify the inspection.

G. Unsuitable or Missing Card. If, while inspecting the cards in accordance with §F of this regulation, the dealer finds that a card is unsuitable for use, a card is missing from the deck or an extra card is found, the following procedures shall be observed:

(1) A supervisor or above or a poker supervisor shall bring a replacement deck of cards or card from the card reserve in the pit stand.

(2) The unsuitable deck or card shall be placed in a sealed envelope or container, identified by table number, date and time and signed by the dealer and floorperson assigned to that table or above.

(3) The pit manager or above or a poker supervisor shall maintain the envelope or container in a secure place within the pit until collection by a security department employee.

H. Envelopes and containers used to hold or transport cards shall be:

(1) Transparent;

(2) Designed or constructed with seals so that any tampering is evident; and

(3) Submitted to the Commission and approved under COMAR 36.05.03.16.

I. Damaged Cards.

(1) If any card in a deck appear to be damaged during the course of play, the dealer shall immediately notify a floorperson or above.

(2) If after inspection, the floorperson or above determines that the card is damaged and needs to be replaced, the floorperson shall notify the pit manager or above or the poker supervisor.

(3) The pit manager or above or the poker supervisor shall:

(a) Notify surveillance of a card change;

(b) Bring a replacement deck of cards or card from the pit stand to replace the damaged card or cards;

(c) Place the damaged card face up on the table and remove the matching card from the replacement deck and place it face up on the table;

(d) Turn over both the damaged card and the replacement card to verify that the backs of the cards match;

(e) Place the replacement card in the discard rack;

(f) Tear the damaged card down the center, or cancel the card, and place it face up in the replacement deck; and

(g) Return the replacement deck to the pit stand.

(4) At least once each gaming day, the personnel operating table games shall:

(a) Collect the replacement cards and place the replacement cards in an envelope or container;

(b) Seal the envelope or container;

(c) Attach a label to each envelope or container that identifies the deck as a replacement deck; and

(d) Obtain the signature of the pit manager or above on the label.

(5) On an as-needed basis, the personnel operating poker table games shall:

(a) Collect the replacement decks of poker cards and place the replacement poker cards in an envelope or container;

(b) Seal the envelope or container;

(c) Attach a label to each envelope or container that identifies the deck as a replacement deck; and

(d) Obtain the signature of the poker manager or above, or the poker supervisor, on the label.

(6) The pit manager or above or the poker supervisor shall maintain the sealed envelopes or containers in a secure place within the pit until collection by a security department employee in accordance with §M of this regulation.

(7) This subsection does not apply to cards showing indications of tampering, flaws or other defects that might affect the integrity or fairness of the game.

J. Removing Cards from Active Use.

(1) Personnel operating table games shall put decks of cards that were used for play into envelopes or containers when the decks of cards are removed from active use at the table.

(2) Personnel operating table games shall attach a label to each envelope or container which identifies the table number, date and time the decks of cards where collected and shall be signed by the dealer and floorperson assigned to the table.

(3) The poker supervisor or pit manager or above shall maintain the sealed envelopes or containers in a secure place within the pit until collection by a security department employee.

K. A facility operator shall remove a deck of cards at any time if there is an indication of tampering, flaws or other defects that might affect the integrity or fairness of the game, or at the request of a Commission compliance representative or other Commission employee.

L. Personnel operating table games shall place extra decks or packaged sets of multiple decks in the card reserve with broken seals in a sealed envelope or container, with a label attached to each envelope or container that:

(1) Contains the number of decks or packaged sets of multiple decks that are included;

(2) The date and time the decks were placed in the envelope or container; and

(3) The signature of the floorperson or above for decks used for poker and the pit manager or above for decks used for all other games.

M. At the end of each gaming day or at least once each gaming day, as designated by the facility operator and approved in advance by the Commission under COMAR 36.05.03.16, and at other times as may be necessary:

(1) Except as provided in §M(2) of this regulation, a security department employee shall collect and sign all envelopes or containers with damaged decks of cards, decks of cards required to be removed that gaming day, and all extra decks in the card reserve with broken seals and return the envelopes or containers to the security department;

(2) If an alternative procedure for collecting, destroying or cancelling a deck of cards described in §M(1) of this regulation has been submitted to, and approved by, the Commission, a security department employee:

(a) Shall collect all envelopes or containers and return them to the security department; and

(b) May sign the envelopes or containers; and

(3) A table game department supervisor or above may collect all extra decks with intact seals in the card reserve.

N. Inspection of Cards. When the envelopes or containers of used cards and reserve cards with broken seals are returned to the security department, the cards shall be inspected for tampering, marks, alterations, missing or additional cards, or anything that might indicate unfair play:

(1) For cards used in blackjack, Spanish 21, baccarat, midibaccarat or minibaccarat, the facility operator shall inspect:

(a) All decks used during the day; or

(b) If Commission has approved, as part of the facilityís internal controls, the procedures for selecting the sample size and for ensuring a proper selection of the sample, a sample of decks selected at random or in accordance with an approved stratification plan.

(2) The facility operator shall also inspect:

(a) A deck of cards that the Commission requested the facility operator to remove for the purpose of inspection;

(b) A deck of cards the facility operator removed for indication of tampering;

(c) All cards used for all banked table games other than the games listed in §N(1) of this regulation; and

(d) All cards used for poker.

(3) The procedures for inspecting all decks required to be inspected under this subsection shall include the:

(a) Sorting of cards sequentially by suit or utilizing a machine approved by the Commission capable of reading the cards to determine whether any deck contains missing or additional cards;

(b) Inspection of the backs with an ultraviolet light;

(c) Inspection of the sides of the cards for crimps, bends, cuts or shaving; and

(d) Inspection of the front and back of all plastic cards for consistent shading and coloring.

(4) If during the inspection procedures required for cards used in poker, one or more of the cards in a deck are determined to be unsuitable for continued use, those cards shall be placed in a sealed envelope or container and a two-part Card Discrepancy Report shall be completed in accordance with §N(8) of this regulation.

(5) Upon completion of the inspection procedures required under §N(2) of this regulation, each deck of cards used in poker that is determined suitable for continued use shall be placed in sequential order, repackaged and returned to the approved or poker storage area for subsequent use.

(6) The facility operator shall develop internal control procedures for returning the repackaged cards to the poker card inventory in accordance with §R of this regulation.

(7) An individual performing an inspection shall complete a work order form which details the procedures performed and lists the tables from which the cards were removed and the results of the inspection, and shall sign the form upon completion of the inspection procedures.

(8) The facility operator shall submit to the Commission the training procedures for the employees performing the inspections required under this subsection in its internal controls.

(9) Evidence of tampering, marks, alterations, missing, or additional cards or anything that might indicate unfair play discovered during an inspection, or at any other time, shall be immediately reported to a Commission compliance representative by the completion and delivery of a two-part Card Discrepancy Report.

(a) The two-part report shall include the cards or decks of cards which are the subject of the report.

(b) The cards or decks of cards shall be retained by a Commission compliance representative for further inspection.

(c) The Commission compliance representative receiving the cards shall sign the original and duplicate copy of the Card Discrepancy Report and retain the original, and the facility operator shall retain the duplicate copy.

O. A facility operator shall submit to the Commission for approval internal control procedures for:

(1) A card inventory system, which includes, at a minimum, records of the:

(a) Balance of decks of cards on hand;

(b) Decks of cards removed from storage;

(c) Decks of cards returned to storage or received from a manufacturer or supplier;

(d) Date of each transaction; and

(e) Signatures of the employees involved;

(2) A daily reconciliation of the decks of cards distributed, destroyed or cancelled, returned to the storage area and any the decks of cards in the card reserve; and

(3) A physical inventory of all decks of cards at least once every 3 months;

(a) A physical inventory shall be performed by an individual with no incompatible functions and shall be verified to the balance of decks of cards on hand required in §O(1)(a) of this regulation.

(b) Discrepancies shall immediately be reported to a Commission compliance representative.

P. Destruction or Cancellation. Except for plastic cards used at poker which are of sufficient quality for reuse, decks of cards in an envelope or container that are inspected as required under ßN of this regulation and found to be without any indication of tampering, marks, alterations, missing or additional cards or any indication of unfair play shall be destroyed or cancelled within 7 days of collection.

(1) Cards submitted to the Commission shall be destroyed or cancelled within 5 days of release from the Commission.

(2) Destruction of cards must be by shredding.

(3) Cancellation of cards must be by drilling a circular hole of at least 1/4 inch in diameter through the center of each card in the deck.

(4) The destruction or cancellation of cards shall take place:

(a) [in] In a secure location in the licensed facility covered by the facility operatorís surveillance system, the physical characteristics of which shall be approved by the Commission under COMAR 36.05.03.16; or

(b) If conducted by a vendor that is registered or certified under COMAR 36.03.02.17 and done in accordance with an internal control of the licensed facility that has been approved by the Commission under COMAR 36.03.10.05, at a location other than the facility.

Q. Reused Deck.

(1) If a deck of plastic cards has been determined to not be suitable for reuse by the individual performing the inspection procedures required under subsection §N(3) of this regulation:

(a) The personnel operating table games shall place the deck in a sealed envelope or container with a label attached which identifies the date and time the deck was placed in the envelope or container; and

(b) The poker supervisor or floorperson shall sign the label.

(2) At the end of the gaming day or at other times as may be necessary, the envelope or container shall be collected by a security department employee and returned to the security department for destruction or cancellation in accordance with §P of this regulation.

R. Preinspection and Preshuffling. If a facility operator elects to preinspect and preshuffle cards at a closed gaming table prior to the delivery of the cards to an open gaming table, a dealer and supervised by a floorperson or above with no concurrent supervisory responsibility for open gaming tables shall perform the procedures required under this section.

(1) The facility operator shall provide a Commission compliance representative with a schedule of the proposed time and location for the preinspection and preshuffling at least 24 hours prior to commencement of the process.

(2) The procedures required under §R(1)—(7) of this regulation shall be recorded by the surveillance department and the facility operator shall retain a recording for at least 7 days.

(3) Upon receipt of the decks of cards in accordance with §E of this regulation, the dealer shall perform the procedures in §R(2)—(7) of this regulation independently for each batch of cards that will be sealed in a container in accordance with §R(7) of this regulation with the number of decks of cards in each batch being equal to the number of decks of cards required for the table game in which the decks are intended to be used.

(4) The dealer shall visually inspect the back of each card to assure that it is not flawed, scratched, or marked in a way that might compromise the integrity or fairness of the game.

(5) By hand or by using a machine approved by the Commission, the dealer shall inspect the front of each card to ensure that all cards are present and that there are no extra cards in the deck.

(6) If after inspection a card is determined to be unsuitable for use, or the deck is missing a card or an extra card is found, the following procedures shall occur:

(a) The personnel operating table games shall place the deck containing the unsuitable, missing, or extra card in an envelope or container which shall be identified by table number, date, and time the deck of cards was placed in the envelope or container and signed by the dealer and floorperson or above performing the preinspection and preshuffle; and

(b) The floorperson or above shall maintain the sealed envelope or container containing the deck containing the unsuitable, missing, or extra card until collection by a security department employee at the conclusion of the preinspection and preshuffling procedure.

(7) The dealer shall then shuffle the cards by hand or by using an automated card shuffling device.

(8) Upon completion of the preinspection and preshuffling process of the cards in the batch, the dealer and floorperson or above shall complete a two-part Preshuffled/Preinspected Form or other documentation that includes the:

(a) Time and date the Preshuffled/Preinspected Form was prepared;

(b) Number of decks in the batch;

(c) Table games at which the batch will be utilized if the batch contains more or less than 52 cards per deck;

(d) Signature of the dealer who preinspected and preshuffled the cards, certifying that the cards were preinspected and preshuffled in accordance with this subsection;

(e) Signature of the floorperson or above who witnessed and verified the preinspection and preshuffling;

(f) Time, date and gaming table to which the sealed container of cards is subsequently delivered; and

(g) Signature of the floorperson or above who delivered the sealed container of cards to the gaming table in accordance with §R(9) of this regulation.

(9) The dealer shall place the preinspected and preshuffled batch of cards, together with the Preshuffled/Preinspected Form or other documentation, in a clear container that conforms to the requirements under §H of this regulation and seal the container with a prenumbered label unique to the container.

(10) A facility operator shall include in its internal controls procedures for the maintenance and security of unused seals, and the distribution, return and reconciliation of seals used on containers holding preinspected and preshuffled cards.

(11) The sealed containers of cards shall be transported by:

(a) A pit manager or above or poker supervisor to the gaming pit of the gaming tables where the cards will be utilized and locked in the pit stand; or

(b) An assistant table games shift manager or above and a security department employee to the approved storage area or poker storage area where the cards shall be placed back into the card inventory and segregated from cards that have not been preinspected and preshuffled.

(12) A record of the transport of the sealed containers of cards to the approved storage area shall be maintained by the security department in a manner consistent with the facility operatorís approved internal controls.

(13) When the preinspected and preshuffled cards are needed for play, each container of cards shall be delivered by a floorperson or above to an open gaming table.

(14) Upon delivery, the floorperson or above shall unseal the container, place the decks of cards on the gaming table in front of the dealer, complete and sign the Preshuffled/Preinspected Form, drop the original Preshuffled/Preinspected Form in a locked box in the gaming pit, and forward the copy of the Preshuffled/Preinspected Form to the security department.

(15) The dealer at the gaming table shall then cut the cards in the manner prescribed by the rules governing the particular table game.

S. If the Commission has approved a licensed manufacturer or contractor to provide preinspected and preshuffled decks or batches of decks, a facility operator may use preinspected and preshuffled decks or batches of decks obtained from that licensed manufacturer or contractor in the same manner as decks or batches of decks that are preinspected and preshuffled §R of this regulation.

T. Card Rotation. The facility operator shall change:

(1) The decks of cards used for all banked table games except the games set forth in §T(2)—(5) of this regulation at least every:

(a) 4 hours, if the cards are dealt by hand; and

(b) 8 hours, if the cards are dealt from a manual or automated dealing shoe;

(2) The decks of cards used in blackjack at least every:

(a) 4 hours, if the cards are dealt by hand; and

(b) 24 hours, if the cards are dealt from a manual or automated dealing shoe;

(3) The decks of cards used in mini baccarat at least every 24 hours, if the cards are dealt from a manual or automated dealing shoe;

(4) The decks of cards used in midi baccarat after the play of each dealing shoe; and

(5) The two decks of cards used in poker at least every 24 hours.