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Charitable Bingo Operations Division

The Charitable Bingo Operations Division of the Texas Lottery Commission is responsible for regulating all aspects of licensed bingo activities. The division ensures that bingo games are conducted fairly and the proceeds are used for authorized purposes. The division consists of Licensing and Accounting Department, Compliance and Education Department, and Audit Department.

Director of Charitable Bingo

Michael Farrell

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Michael brings extensive government experience at the local, state, federal and foreign levels, along with expertise in leadership, management and strategic operations that is necessary to guide the agency’s Charitable Bingo Operations Division.

Michael spent seven years with the Texas Workforce Commission as the director of Infrastructure Services and Risk Management before transitioning to director of Risk and Security Management.

In his most recent role, he was responsible for continuity of operations, privacy, physical security, and risk programs, including management of the agency's Occupational Safety and Health Program.

Michael served more than 25 years with the US Coast Guard, retiring as Captain in 2009.

During those years, he drove ships and small boats, flew helicopters, jumped out of helicopters, and was a diplomat in Mexico City. During his aviation days, he was in a movie starring Kevin Costner.

Outside of his military career, Michael previously held positions with the Abrams Learning and Information Systems Inc. working for DPS. He is also an adjunct professor at both St. Edward’s University and the University of Phoenix.

Michael received a Master of Arts degree in Computer Resources and Information Management from Webster University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the US Coast Guard Academy.

Licensing and Accounting Department

The Licensing Section processes original, renewal, temporary and amendment applications for licensed authorized organizations, lessors, manufacturers, distributors and unit accounting. All applications go through a determination process to ensure eligibility and conformance with the Bingo Enabling Act and Rules. The Licensing Section also processes applications for individuals applying to be a registered bingo worker.

The Accounting Section records quarterly reports and payments to ensure proper fees and taxes are paid. They also designate the fee allocations to local jurisdictions and the state from the prize fees collected, enforce collection actions against delinquent licensees and ensure the required charitable distributions are reported.

Compliance and Education Department

The Education Section provides training and information to licensees and the public. Educating our licensees on best practices and trends will increase awareness and better inform those we license. We provide online training to assist in areas important to understand and to be aware of in the industry including emphasizing the responsibilities of a licensee. Through education and training, we strive to meet overall voluntary compliance of our bingo licensees in Texas.

The Compliance Section is responsible for testing and approving bingo products used in Texas. Bingo products include bingo paper, instant and event pull tabs and electronic cardminders. Additionally, the section administers sanctions such as an administrative penalty to persons that violate the Bingo Enabling Act and/or the Charitable Bingo Administrative Rules. The objectives for applying an administrative penalty are to protect the public, encourage compliance with the Bingo Enabling Act and the Charitable Bingo Administrative Rules, deter future violations, offer opportunities for rehabilitation as appropriate, punish violators, and deter others from committing violations.

Audit Department

The Audit Department conducts audits, inspections and investigations of licensed authorized organizations, lessors, manufacturers, distributors and accounting units. The goal of these enforcement activities is to ensure compliance with the Bingo Enabling Act and the Charitable Bingo Administrative Rules. These efforts help to determine that all proceeds derived from bingo are used for a lawful purpose and charitable bingo games are conducted fairly. Audit activities are conducted in accordance with professional standards set forth in the Bingo Audit Methodology and Standards Handbook which provides a framework for performing high-quality audit work with competence, integrity, objectivity, and independence. Audit will conform to all policies and procedures of the Texas Lottery Commission.

Audit Charter

This charter sets forth the framework within which the Charitable Bingo Operations Division-Audit department will operate to conduct audits.

Role

The Audit Department (Audit) is established within the Charitable Bingo Operations Division, and will perform its duties consistent with the Division’s regulatory objective. Its responsibilities are an integral part of the Division’s statutory charge to provide strict control and close supervision over bingo conducted in the state so that bingo is fairly conducted and the proceeds from bingo are used for an authorized purpose.

Professional Standards

Audit will conduct audit activities in accordance with professional standards set forth in the Bingo Audit Methodology and Standards Handbook which provides a framework for performing high-quality audit work with competence, integrity, objectivity, and independence. Audit will conform to all policies and procedures of the Texas Lottery Commission.

Organizational Structure

Audit shall report directly to the Charitable Bingo Operations Division Director.

Independence

All audit activities shall remain free of influence by any element in the organization or licensee, including matters of audit selection, scope, procedures, frequency, timing, or report content to permit maintenance of an independent and objective mental attitude necessary in performing audit activities.

Auditors shall have no direct operational responsibility or authority over any of the activities they review. Accordingly, they shall not develop nor install systems or procedures, prepare records, or engage in any other activity which would normally be audited.

Access to Records

Members of the Audit Department shall have unrestricted access to all licensee management and staff including volunteers and all records that are relevant to the designated scope and objectives of the engagement.

Scope of Activities

The scope of activities conducted by Audit encompasses the examination and evaluation of the adequacy and effectiveness of the licensees’ compliance with the Bingo Enabling Act and the Charitable Bingo Administrative Rules.

Audit Planning

Audit leadership shall submit to the Charitable Bingo Operations Division Director an annual audit plan and risk assessment to include a summary of the audit work schedule and staffing plan for the year. Any significant deviation from the formally approved annual audit plan shall be communicated to and approved by the Charitable Bingo Operations Division Director.

Reporting

A final, written report will be prepared and issued by Audit leadership following the conclusion of each audit and will be provided to the auditee and distributed as appropriate. A copy of each audit report will be forwarded to the Charitable Bingo Operations Division Director for the Determination Process to consider appropriate administrative penalties and actions that may include revocation of license.

The audit report will provide for the auditee’s response and corrective action taken or to be taken in regard to the specific findings and recommendation, if applicable. The auditee’s response should include agreement or disagreement with the findings and recommendations, and the timetable for anticipated completion of action to be taken and an explanation for any recommendations not addressed.

Audit may conduct appropriate follow-up on audit findings and recommendations as warranted.

Quality Assurance

Audit will maintain an effective quality assurance review process to include adequate supervision, training and internal quality review to ensure compliance with agency policies, procedures and professional standards set forth in the Bingo Audit Methodology and Standards Handbook.

Periodic Assessment of Charter

This charter will be reviewed periodically by the Charitable Bingo Operations Director and Audit leadership to assess the continued adequacy and recommend changes if needed.

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