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Financial Management

Gaming

 

Contents

Introduction
Frequently Asked Questions
Narrative
Additional Resources
Applicable Laws

 

Introduction    Back to Top

The State of Alaska provides that municipalities and other qualified organizations may obtain a permit and conduct games of chance to raise money to support certain activities (educational, political, civic, public, charitable, patriotic or religious purposes). The ability of a qualified organization to conduct games of chance and use the net proceeds is considered a privilege and requires that the organization receive a permit issued by Department of Revenue and conduct the "gaming" activities according to Alaska Statutes and Regulations. Gaming is closely regulated and has many restrictions on it.

In the State of Alaska gaming is regulated under Alaska Statutes Title 5 (AS 05.15.010 - .690; see Current Alaska Statutes) and the Alaska Administrative Code15 AAC .160. These laws establish the process required to receive a permit to conduct gaming and identify the procedures for and restrictions on how the games are conducted. Department of Revenue has oversight of gaming in the State of Alaska and maintains a website with applicable forms and other information, as well as a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions that complement the questions addressed in this chapter.

Many municipalities, tribal governments, and non-profit community "improvement corporations" are active in the gaming business and have chosen gaming as a way to finance activities beneficial to the local residents without imposing additional taxes or increasing the charges for services. There are also communities that choose to avoid gaming because of the social costs of gambling. Regardless of what the community decides on this issue, it remains a local choice. If the residents of a municipality or established village hold an election and the vote favors a prohibition on gaming, no gaming operations may be conducted within five miles of the boundaries of the municipality or in unincorporated areas within 5 miles of the boundaries of a municipality or within the perimeter of the established village (AS 05.15.620; see Current Alaska Statutes).

There are some special accounting, tracking, and reporting requirements for gaming that a permittee needs to be aware of. The Division of Community and Regional Affairs within the Department of Community and Economic Development (Commerce) has staff available to assist local governments with this. Commerce also publishes the "Model Financial Record Keeping System" manual, which contains information on setting up a record keeping system for gaming and provides sample record keeping forms.

 

Frequently Asked Questions    Back to Top

Who is allowed to offer gaming activities, such as bingo and pull-tabs?

Gaming activities may be conducted by a "qualified organization" as defined in AS 05.15.690(see Current Alaska Statutes) if the organization has a current permit issued by Department of Revenue and has a "member in charge" and alternate who have passed Department of Revenue's examination (AS 05.15.020;see Current Alaska Statutes). Frequently, municipalities, tribal governments, and non-profit community "improvement corporations" are the qualified organizations that conduct gaming in a community; however, there are other entities that can also qualify.

In order to continue to qualify for a permit, the municipality or qualified organization must maintain certain activity records, file reports, and keep the financial records of gaming activities separate. Local Government Specialists with the Department of Community and Economic Development can provide assistance on setting up gaming records. The permittee must also use the proceeds from gaming activities for only those eligible uses identified in statutes and regulations and authorized by Department of Revenue. There must be a separate bank account set up for gaming activities.

Can someone other than the qualified organization that is issued the permit conduct the games?

Gaming permits are not transferable to another entity. The organization or municipality that received a permit can, however, allow a "vendor" or "operator" to conduct the gaming activity on their behalf for a set fee (AS 05.15.165; AS 05.15.188; see Current Alaska Statutes). The vendor or operator must be registered with or licensed by the State of Alaska.

Once a municipality obtains a permit what geographic area is it good for?

AS 05.15.040 (see Current Alaska Statutes) limits municipal gaming operations to within the boundaries of the municipal government that holds the permit. The municipality should have a map showing its municipal boundaries. Local Boundary Commission staff within the Department of Community and Economic Development (Commerce) also maintains an inventory of municipal boundary maps and descriptions.

Is there a limit to the number of bingo games that may be held within a specific time frame?

Yes. AS 05.15.060 (a)(7) limits any permittee to 14 Bingo sessions a month and 35 Bingo games a session. State regulations further limit the number of sessions that an operator may hold to 11 and no more than 4 sessions within a 24 hour period with a one hour break between sessions (15 AAC 160.580).

Local ordinances may also place certain restrictions on when and how often gaming activities may occur (AS 05.15.124).

Can a community prohibit gaming within its boundaries?

Yes. AS 05.15.620 (see Current Alaska Statutes) authorizes a community to hold an election to vote on whether to prohibit gaming. If the residents of a municipality or established village hold an election and the vote favors a prohibition on gaming, no gaming operations may be conducted within five miles of the boundaries of the municipality or within the perimeter of the established village (AS 05.15.620). Municipalities use the election procedure in the municipality's local election ordinance to conduct this type of election. For unincorporated communities the Division of Elections conducts the election.

May a municipality limit who gets permits to conduct gaming within its municipal boundaries?

AS 05.15.030 (see Current Alaska Statutes) requires that a municipality be notified by an applicant for a gaming permit if the activity will take place within its boundaries. A municipality may submit a resolution protesting the issuance of a permit and stating the reasons for the protest. This protest does not guarantee that a permit will not be issued; however, Department of Revenue gives careful consideration to such a protest when deciding to issue a permit.

A municipality may regulate operators or vendors who conduct games for permittees. AS 05.15.124 (see Current Alaska Statutes) authorizes a municipality to prohibit by ordinance an operator or a vendor from conducting gaming activities within the municipality.

Are there reports that a permittee must file?

Yes. AS 05.15.080 (see Current Alaska Statutes) describes quarterly and annual reports and fees required of municipalities and qualified organizations to maintain their permits to conduct gaming. AS 05.15.020 (see Current Alaska Statutes) may require payment of certain fees based on the information contained in these reports. Even if an organization with a gaming permit does not conduct any gaming activity during the year, the organization must still file the annual report showing "zero" financial activity.

Under this statute, quarterly reports must be filed by the 45th day following each calendar quarter in which the permittee had gross receipts of $50,000 or more from gaming activities. The quarterly report must include the type of activity conducted, the date and location of the activity, the amount of gross receipts, the amount of authorized expenses, the value of prizes awarded, the amount of net proceeds, and other information the department may require. If, however, the only activity conducted during a calendar quarter is a raffle or lottery, then the report can be filed after the raffle or lottery is completed.

An annual report must be filed with Department of Revenue by March 15 following the year in which activities were conducted, accompanied by the payment of any fee required under AS 05.15.020(b) (see Current Alaska Statutes). The report must list the types of activities conducted, and, for each activity, the total amount of gross receipts, the total amount of authorized expenses, the total value of prizes awarded, and the total amount of net proceeds.

Forms and instructions are available on the Department of Revenue's Tax Division, Gaming Section website.

Are there restrictions on who may be the "member in charge"?

Yes. AS 05.15.112 (see Current Alaska Statutes) requires, among other things, that each permittee has a "member in charge." This person is responsible for ensuring that the games are conducted according to the state's regulations and statutes. The member in charge must be a member of the qualified organization, or the board of directors, or an employee of the municipality if the permittee is a municipality. The member in charge must be familiar with the gaming regulations and laws and successfully pass a test established by the Gaming Unit of the Department of Revenue.

Individuals with certain types of criminal convictions may be prohibited from gaming involvement and serving as a member in charge. Under certain circumstances this prohibition may be removed. (AS 05.15.105; see Current Alaska Statutes).

Are there restrictions on the use of the proceeds?

Yes. AS 05.15.150 (see Current Alaska Statutes) limits the use of net proceeds to political, educational, civic, public, charitable, patriotic, or religious uses. There are specific activities that cannot be supported through charitable gaming revenues including: the direct or indirect payment to a lobbyist; the erection, acquisition, improvement, maintenance, or repair of real, personal, or mixed property unless it is used exclusively for one or more of the permitted uses; or the direct or indirect payment of any portion of the net proceeds of a charitable gaming activity, except the proceeds of a raffle and lottery; to aid candidates for public office or groups that support or oppose candidates for public office, or to a political party or to an organization affiliated with a political party; or to a group, as that term is defined in AS 15.13.400 (see Current Alaska Statutes), or a political group, as that term is defined in AS 15.60.010 (see Current Alaska Statutes), that seeks to influence the outcome of an election.

The proceeds must also be spent within a year, with a few exceptions. The ability to carry money over past a year must be granted by the Department of Revenue.

 

Narrative    Back to Top

There are limits on the charitable gaming activities authorized by the State of Alaska. Some of these are: Bingo, Pull-tabs, Raffles, and various race and fish classics and contests. (AS 05.15.180; see There are limits on the charitable gaming activities authorized by the State of Alaska. Some of these are: Bingo, Pull-tabs, Raffles, and various race and fish classics and contests. (AS 05.15.180; see Current Alaska Statutes).

It is allowable to use money received from gaming activities for local government operations to further the activities of local government, with certain restrictions. These restrictions are spelled out in statute (AS 05.15.150; see Current Alaska Statutes). Proceeds from gaming activities used to further services provided by the local government must be tracked and reported in the annual report.

The following are some of the major requirements for a qualified organization to conduct gaming activities for the benefit of the community. A complete review of the statute and regulations is recommended for any organization or municipality interested in gaming activities.

Gaming permittees must:

  • Designate a "Member In Charge" to oversee the operation and sign official reports to the Department of Revenue (AS 05.15.112; see Current Alaska Statutes).
  • Keep all proceeds of the operation in a separate bank account whose records are subject to reporting and inspection (15 AAC 160.820; see Alaska Administrative Code).
  • Donate proceeds for authorized charitable purposes as described in law (AS 05.15.150; see Current Alaska Statutes). In addition to paying prize awards, authorized uses described in AS 05.15.150 are: political, educational, civic, public, charitable, patriotic, or religious uses as defined in AS 05.15.150. If there is a question about whether your situation is an authorized use, contact Department of Revenue, Tax Division, Gaming Section.
  • Applications for a permit must be sent to Department of Revenue, the nearest municipal government to the game's location. The municipal government is given the opportunity to comment on the application to the Department of Revenue. In practical terms these comment(s) would not block issuance of the permits unless they identify serious legal problems (AS 05.15.030; see Current Alaska Statutes).
  • Organizations qualified to receive a permit include: municipalities and qualified political, charitable, educational, civic or service organizations, police or fire departments, and a number of other non-profit organizations, such as a dog musher's association. (AS 05.15.690(36); see Current Alaska Statutes).
  • To qualify for a permit an organization must be operated "not for profit," must have been in existence for at least three years, and must have at least 25 members (AS 05.15.690(36) and 15 AAC 160.020) [see Current Alaska Statutes and Alaska Administrative Code).
  • Use of proceeds is subject to the limitations spelled out in AS 05.15.150 and includes only ordinary, necessary and reasonable expenses and donations (AS 05.15.150 - .160; see Current Alaska Statutes).
  • All expenses must be paid by check. All prizes may be paid in cash, but each winner must sign a receipt in order to receive the award. These receipts are available from Department of Revenue. All checks written from the gaming account require two signatures. Winners of Pull-tabs that exceed $50 per ticket must be recorded using the receipts. All bingo winners are recorded on a Bingo Winners List (forms are available from Department of Revenue). See 15 AAC 160. 820-.830 in the Alaska Administrative Code.
  • Reports to Department of Revenue include quarterly reports if proceeds exceed $50,000 for that quarter. Otherwise, every permittee must file an annual report (AS 05.15.080; see Current Alaska Statutes).
  • All workers are employees and are paid by check with deduction of taxes for hours worked. Employees cannot be paid in bingo cards or Pull-tabs. Permittees that employ workers to conduct gaming activities must have an employee identification number (EIN) and prepare W-2s. Permittees are required to keep all gaming related records and supporting documents for three years from the due date or date of filing, whichever is later (AS 05.15.060 and 15 AAC 160.870; see Current Alaska Statutes and Alaska Administrative Code).
  • The "Member In Charge"(MIC) and any alternates must pass a test provided by Department of Revenue (AS 05.15.112; see Current Alaska Statutes). This test is an open book test primarily of the rules and legal requirements. The MIC is in charge of preparation, maintenance, and transmittal of all records and reports.
  • It is not necessary to prepare W-2Gs since the State limits on Bingo and Pull-tab prizes is less than the $600 for Pull-tab and $1,200 for Bingo single prize threshold for reporting winnings to the IRS (15 AAC 160.620; see the Alaska Administrative Code).
  • Concession proceeds (pop sales, bingo markers, etc.) should not be deposited in the Gaming account since Department of Revenue wants only Gaming proceeds reflected in the bank balances. Record keeping for concessions should be separate.
  • Eligible expense categories are specifically listed in the laws governing gaming (AS 05.15.150 - .160 and 15 AAC 160.780 - .810; see Current Alaska Statutes and Alaska Administrative Code). These should be incorporated into the Chart of Accounts for the Gaming account. Permits are renewed each calendar year. If a timely renewal application is filed, the Department of Revenue will issue a temporary permit effective through February 15 (15 AAC 160.110(f); see Alaska Administrative Code).).

It is allowable to use money received from gaming activities for local government operations to further the activities of local government, with certain restrictions. These restrictions are spelled out in statute (AS 05.15.150; see Current Alaska Statutes). Proceeds from gaming activities used to further services provided by the local government must be tracked and reported in the annual report.

The following are some of the major requirements for a qualified organization to conduct gaming activities for the benefit of the community. A complete review of the statute and regulations is recommended for any organization or municipality interested in gaming activities.

Gaming permittees must:

  • Designate a "Member In Charge" to oversee the operation and sign official reports to the Department of Revenue (AS 05.15.112; see Current Alaska Statutes).
  • Keep all proceeds of the operation in a separate bank account whose records are subject to reporting and inspection (15 AAC 160.820; see Alaska Administrative Code).
  • Donate proceeds for authorized charitable purposes as described in law (AS 05.15.150; see Current Alaska Statutes). In addition to paying prize awards, authorized uses described in AS 05.15.150 are: political, educational, civic, public, charitable, patriotic, or religious uses as defined in AS 05.15.150. If there is a question about whether your situation is an authorized use, contact Department of Revenue, Tax Division, Gaming Section.
  • Applications for a permit must be sent to Department of Revenue, the nearest municipal government to the game's location. The municipal government is given the opportunity to comment on the application to the Department of Revenue. In practical terms these comment(s) would not block issuance of the permits unless they identify serious legal problems (AS 05.15.030; see Current Alaska Statutes).
  • Organizations qualified to receive a permit include: municipalities and qualified political, charitable, educational, civic or service organizations, police or fire departments, and a number of other non-profit organizations, such as a dog musher's association. (AS 05.15.690(36); see Current Alaska Statutes).
  • To qualify for a permit an organization must be operated "not for profit," must have been in existence for at least three years, and must have at least 25 members (AS 05.15.690(36) and 15 AAC 160.020) [see Current Alaska Statutes and Alaska Administrative Code).
  • Use of proceeds is subject to the limitations spelled out in AS 05.15.150 and includes only ordinary, necessary and reasonable expenses and donations (AS 05.15.150 - .160; see Current Alaska Statutes).
  • All expenses must be paid by check. All prizes may be paid in cash, but each winner must sign a receipt in order to receive the award. These receipts are available from Department of Revenue. All checks written from the gaming account require two signatures. Winners of Pull-tabs that exceed $50 per ticket must be recorded using the receipts. All bingo winners are recorded on a Bingo Winners List (forms are available from Department of Revenue). See 15 AAC 160. 820-.830 in the Alaska Administrative Code.
  • Reports to Department of Revenue include quarterly reports if proceeds exceed $50,000 for that quarter. Otherwise, every permittee must file an annual report (AS 05.15.080; see Current Alaska Statutes).
  • All workers are employees and are paid by check with deduction of taxes for hours worked. Employees cannot be paid in bingo cards or Pull-tabs. Permittees that employ workers to conduct gaming activities must have an employee identification number (EIN) and prepare W-2s. Permittees are required to keep all gaming related records and supporting documents for three years from the due date or date of filing, whichever is later (AS 05.15.060 and 15 AAC 160.870; see Current Alaska Statutes and Alaska Administrative Code).
  • The "Member In Charge"(MIC) and any alternates must pass a test provided by Department of Revenue (AS 05.15.112; see Current Alaska Statutes). This test is an open book test primarily of the rules and legal requirements. The MIC is in charge of preparation, maintenance, and transmittal of all records and reports.
  • It is not necessary to prepare W-2Gs since the State limits on Bingo and Pull-tab prizes is less than the $600 for Pull-tab and $1,200 for Bingo single prize threshold for reporting winnings to the IRS (15 AAC 160.620; see the Alaska Administrative Code).
  • Concession proceeds (pop sales, bingo markers, etc.) should not be deposited in the Gaming account since Department of Revenue wants only Gaming proceeds reflected in the bank balances. Record keeping for concessions should be separate.
  • Eligible expense categories are specifically listed in the laws governing gaming (AS 05.15.150 - .160 and 15 AAC 160.780 - .810; see Current Alaska Statutes and Alaska Administrative Code). These should be incorporated into the Chart of Accounts for the Gaming account. Permits are renewed each calendar year. If a timely renewal application is filed, the Department of Revenue will issue a temporary permit effective through February 15 (15 AAC 160.110(f); see Alaska Administrative Code).

 

Additional Resources   Back to Top

Publications

Sample Documents Internet links

 

Applicable Laws    Back to Top

Alaska State Statutes

  • AS 05.15.010 - .030 DOR authority, annual permit and fees, required notice
  • AS 05.15.040 - .050 issuance, effect, and term of permit, permit suspension/revocation
  • AS 05.15.060 requires drafting of regulations, limits number of games authorized
  • AS 05.15.070 authority for DOR to examine records
  • AS 05.15.080 - .095 reports and fees required of: municipalities and qualified organizations, vendors and operators, agency reports
  • AS 05.15.097 notice to ABC board
  • AS 05.15.100 issuance of permits and licenses
  • AS 05.15.105 persons prohibited from involvement, exceptions
  • AS 05.15.110 authorized activities a privilege
  • AS 05.15.112 member in charge
  • AS 05.15.115 contracts between permittees and operators
  • AS 05.15.120 eligibility for permit
  • AS 05.15.122 operator's license
  • AS 05.15.124 municipal regulation of operators or vendors
  • AS 05.15.128 revocation of operators or vendors
  • AS 05.15.130 department may impose additional requirements
  • AS 05.15.140 proof necessary to qualify for permit
  • AS 05.15.145 multiple-beneficiary permits
  • AS 05.15.150 limitation on use of proceeds
  • AS 05.15.160 authorized expenses
  • AS 05.15.165 operators
  • AS 05.15.167 operator's bond
  • AS 05.15.170 suspension or revocation of permit, license, or vendor registration
  • AS 05.15.180 limitations on authorized activity
  • AS 05.15.181 pull-tab manufacurer's license
  • AS 05.15.183 pull-tab distributor's license
  • AS 05.15.184 pull-tab tax
  • AS 05.15.185 distribution of pull-tab games
  • AS 05.15.187 operation of pull-tab games
  • AS 05.15.188 pull-tab sales by vendors on behalf of permittees; vendor registration
  • AS 05.15.600 cancellation of permits AS 05.15.610 order prohibiting violation
  • AS 05.15.620 through .625 local prohibition on gaming, local option election
  • AS 05.15.640 restriction on broadcasting
  • AS 05.15.680 penalties
  • AS 05.15.690 definitions
  • AS 15.13.400(b)(5) definition of group
  • AS 15.60.010(20) definition of political group

Alaska Administrative Code

  • 15 AAC 160.010 - .030 Permit required, sub-organization permit requirement, permit application form, application fee, required documentation and certifications, notice, operator's license, operator's bond/security
  • 15 AAC 160.040 - .050 Pull-tab manufacturer's license application, distributor's license application
  • 15 AAC 160.070 - .080 Application amendments, supplemental information
  • 15 AAC 160.090 Departmental consideration of local government unit protest
  • 15 AAC 160.100 Fingerprints
  • 15 AAC 160.110 - .140 Issuance, re-issuance or denial of permit or license, permit posting, permit year, temporary authorization, transfer of license prohibited, surrender of license upon suspension or revocation
  • 15 AAC 160.150 Notification of change in name or legal status
  • 15 AAC 160.160 - .170 No prorating of fees, refund of fees
  • 15 AAC 160.190 Operator's license required, operator definition, employee definition
  • 15 AAC 160.200 - .210 Change of operator bond or security, minimum insurance coverage for operators
  • 15 AAC 160.220 - .260 Contracts with permittees, contract requirements, departmental review, deficiencies, operator rental and wage costs, accounting, daily summary of activity, monthly report to permittee,operator expenses
  • 15 AAC 160.270 Operator payment to permittee, payment determination, operator loss
  • 15 AAC 160.290 Operator reports to the department, quarterly report form, reportable items
  • 15 AAC 160.300 Ownership of gaming items
  • 15 AAC 160.310 Review of operator's financial records, CPA licensure, financial statements, demand upon bond or security, release of bond or security
  • 15 AAC 160.340 - .360 Vendor contracts, department review, contract requirements, permit posting, vendor compensation, vendor sales areas
  • 15 AAC 160.370 - .380 Pull-tab manufacture, design requirements, game protection, pull-tab series assembly, packaging, and flare cards
  • 15 AAC 160.390 - .410 Failure to comply, state identification stamps, stamp display, packing slip, manufacturer distribution
  • 15 AAC 160.420 Distributor distribution, invoice, required information
  • 15 AAC 160.430 Manufacturer's monthly report, form, required information
  • 15 AAC 160.440 Distributor's monthly report, form, required information
  • 15 AAC 160.450 Payment for pull-tabs, time limit, payment method
  • 15 AAC 160.460 Pull-tab tax
  • 15 AAC 160.470 Pull-tab games, price, prize payment, accounting
  • 15 AAC 160.480 Limitation on pull-tab sales
  • 15 AAC 160.490 Withdrawal and destruction of pull-tab series, conditions warranting withdrawal and/or destruction, resumption of play
  • 15 AAC 160.500 Alcohol access and permittee employee play prohibited
  • 15 AAC 160.510 - .530 Bingo card sales, pricing, time and location of sale, limitation card type, bingo receipting requirements, cash register receipts
  • 15 AAC 160.560 Disclosure of prizes and procedures, game schedule, rule posting
  • 15 AAC 160.570 Bingo equipment, player inspection, card numbering, equipment prohibitions
  • 15 AAC 160.580 Allowable number of bingo sessions and games
  • 15 AAC 160.590 Conduct of bingo games, braille cards, prize and pattern notification, duplicate cards, calling, ball display, winner, winner verification, prize award
  • 15 AAC 160.600 Bingo prize limitations
  • 15 AAC 160.610 Bingo prize receipting requirements
  • 15 AAC 160.620 Bingo prize limits per game
  • 15 AAC 160.625 Bingo session records, documentation
  • 15 AAC 160.630 Bingo employee identification tags
  • 15 AAC 160.640 - .670 Raffle tickets, numbering, required information, raffle drawings, permit posting, drawing schedule/location, receipt, ownership of raffle prizes, raffle record
  • 15 AAC 160.700 Dog musher's contests, fish derbies, ice classics, salmon classics and king salmon classics, prize award, participant prohibition
  • 15 AAC 160.800 Advertising expenses, depreciation of premises, promotional items
  • 15 AAC 160.810 Net proceeds, payout prohibition, record retention, scholarships
  • 15 AAC 160.820 - .830 Bank account, deposit time limit, separate account, method of accounting, payment method, operator payment of net proceeds
  • 15 AAC 160.840 - .860 Permittee quarterly report, annual report, form, multi-beneficiary reporting
  • 15 AAC 160.860 - .870 Grace periods for reports, request, department discretion, retention of records
  • 15 AAC 160.880 - .890 Suspension or revocation of a permit, license or registration, notice, disposition of money upon suspension or revocation
  • 15 AAC 160.900 Notice of criminal conviction
  • 15 AAC 160.910 - .920 Request for hearing, time to request, hearing
  • 15 AAC 160.930 - .938 Permit, license, registration required, primary gaming location, premises restrictions, permittee activity restriction
  • 15 AAC 160.940 Procedures, statutes, regulations on premises
  • 15 AAC 160.950 Gaming on the airwaves
  • 15 AAC 160.950 Advertisements
  • 15 AAC 160.954 - .959 Prohibited financial interests
  • 15 AAC 160.960 Interest on delinquent fees
  • 15 AAC 160.965 Request for waiver of penalty
  • 15 AAC 160.970 Member in charge restriction
  • 15 AAC 160.975 Permittee and operator tests
  • 15 AAC 160.980 Inspection of premises, books and records
  • 15 AAC 160.985 Advisory and violation notices
  • 15 AAC 160.990 Proof of activity
  • 15 AAC 160.992 Reinstatement of persons prohibited from involvement
  • 15 AAC 160.995 Definitions
  • Revised 1/26/2006

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