The following were among actions taken at Tuesday's meeting of the Prince George's County Council. For more information, call 952-6005.
GAMBLING RESTRICTIONS -- The council gave preliminary approval to legislation that would require charity organizations to have been in operation in the county for at least two years in order to hold fund-raising gambling events and would limit those events to two per week per organization.
Council members James M. Herl, Jo Ann T. Bell and F. Kirwan Wineland said they proposed the legislation, which includes 18 regulations, to further restrict charity-run gambling events, such as Las Vegas-style nights run by church and volunteer fire departments.
The legislation includes a curfew that would require organizations to hold gambling events only between 2 and 11 p.m. Sunday and noon and 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday.
The legislation also would prohibit cash betting at events and cashing personal checks of more than $200 for players at any event. Additionally, the legislation would prohibit dealers and supervisors of events from participating in games and would prohibit the serving of free alcoholic beverages.
Operators of organizations that do not comply with the regulations could face a $1,000 fine, a six-month jail sentence, or both under the proposed legislation.
Current law allows county and state charity groups to hold as many gambling events as they like for a fee of $50 a night, but prohibits dice games and cash prizes of more than $1,000. The law places few other restrictions on the events.
Council members said the proposed legislation was introduced following accusations from citizens that some groups were running the charity events like big gambling businesses.
EVICTION TASK FORCE REPORT -- The council heard a task force report that recommends county officials notify tenants of their pending evictions at least several weeks in advance and give tenants the option of storing their belongings in a county-owned facility for 30 days after they are evicted.
The report was completed last year by representatives of the county court system and the sheriff's office, but council members had not requested a presentation until last month, after a Glenarden woman was evicted from her apartment in temperatures below 22 degrees.
Following the woman's highly publicized eviction, the council passed an emergency bill that prohibits county residents from being evicted when the temperature drops below 25 degrees or if there is more than a 50 percent chance of snow.
Members of the task force said their reports are intended to further improve the county's eviction process.
The task force recommended the county clerk send a copy of an eviction notice to the tenant as soon as a county distict court judge orders the eviction.
Currently, tenants receive notices only days before their eviction date or on the day of the eviction.
The report also recommends the county provide a storage facility to evicted tenants at a nominal fee. The report said evicted tenants' belongings are often left by the side of the road and rummaged through by passersby.