Gamblers Anonymous Guidance Code

Approved as of Cancun – Spring ’18

Please click here for the Spanish version of the Guidance Code


Article I – Name Article XI – Regional Service Office (R.S.O.)
Article II – Guidance Code Article XII – Area Delegates
Article III – Objects Article XIII – Board of Regents
Article IV – Declaration Article XIV – Officers of Board of Regents
Article V – Summary of Operations Article XV – International Service Office (I.S.O.)
Article VI – Members Article XVI – International Executive Secretary of I.S.O.
Article VII – Groups Article XVII – Area Location of Trustees
Article VIII – Board of Trustees Article XVIII – Election of Trustees
Article IX – Officers Article XIX – Voting
Article X – Intergroup Guidelines Article XX – Amendments

Article I – Name

Section 1:
The name of this non-profit Fellowship shall be: Gamblers Anonymous


Article II – Guidance Code

Section 1:
The Guidance Code of Gamblers Anonymous is not to be construed as a legal document. The Guidance Code is a statement of the aims, purpose and service structure of the Fellowship.


Article III – Objects

Section 1:
The specific and primary purposes for which this Fellowship is formed are as follows:

  1. To contact compulsive gamblers no matter where they may be and help them overcome a gambling problem.
  2. To carry the message of Gamblers Anonymous to the compulsive gambler who still suffers, through the medium of personal contact, telephone, mail, newspapers, films, radio, television, houses of worship, charitable organizations, service clubs, Internet and by whatever dignified method that is approved by the Board of Trustees within the framework of the Unity Program.
  3. To distribute Gamblers Anonymous literature to compulsive gamblers and to any person, organization or institution which desires some.
  4. To encourage interest and knowledge of the activities and program of Gamblers Anonymous with the peace officers, educational institutions, penal institutions, judges, probation officers, parole officers, doctors, newspapers, motion picture companies, radio broadcasting companies, television broadcasting companies, houses of worship, charitable organizations and service clubs of the world.
    Cancun ’15

Article IV – Declaration

Section 1:
We are dedicated to the proposition that a structurally sound Fellowship based and granted in democratic and spiritual principles will not only strengthen us, but will win the confidence, respect and help of people everywhere, as we extend a stronger hand to compulsive gamblers in every part of the world. Therefore, in order to build the greatest strength for ourselves and others we set forth the following principles for our recovery, unity and guidance.

Principles for Recovery

  1. We admitted we were powerless over gambling – that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to a normal way of thinking and living.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of this Power of our own understanding.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral and financial inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature or our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have these defects of character removed.
  7. Humbly asked God (of our understanding) to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having made an effort to practice these principles in all our affairs, we tried to carry this message to other compulsive gamblers.

Principles to Maintain Unity

  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon group unity.
  2. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
  3. The only requirement for Gamblers Anonymous membership is a desire to stop gambling.
  4. Each group should be self-governing except in matters affecting other groups or Gamblers Anonymous as a whole.
  5. Gamblers Anonymous has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to the compulsive gambler who still suffers.
  6. Gamblers Anonymous ought never endorse, finance or lend the Gamblers Anonymous name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
  7. Every Gamblers Anonymous group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
  8. Gamblers Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
  9. Gamblers Anonymous as such ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
  10. Gamblers Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the Gamblers Anonymous name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
  11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, television and Internet.
  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of the Gamblers Anonymous program, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

Article V – Summary of Operations

Section 1:
The Fellowship shall be guided in our overall program as follows:

Category Article Page
1 Members IV, V, VI 2-4
2 Groups VII 4-6
3 Board of Trustees VIII, IX, XVII, XVIII 6-13; 25-26
4 Intergroup Guidelines X 13-15
5 Regional Service Office XI 16-18
6 Area Delegates XII 18
7 Board of Regents XIII, XIV 18-22
8 International Service Office XV 22
9 International Executive Secretary XVI 22-25
10 Voting XIX 27
11 Amendments XX 28

Article VI – Members

Section 1:
No one is more important in this Fellowship than the individual member. He or she has no ruler or superior, but he or she may select a person or group of persons to represent him or her and his or her rights in this Fellowship.


Article VII – Groups

Section 1:
Whenever two or more persons with a desire to stop gambling meet together on a regular, weekly scheduled basis to discuss their gambling problem, they will be known as a group, only if they commit themselves to follow Gamblers Anonymous’ Guidance Code and limit their use, display and distribution to only approved and appropriate Gamblers Anonymous literature. They are also to notify the International Service Office (I.S.O.) of their existence.

Section 1A:
Meetings may be classified as special interest meetings; such as “Women Preferred,” “Gay/Lesbian Preferred,” “Men Preferred,” etc. but no meeting can exclude other Gamblers Anonymous members who wish to attend who don’t match the room preference.
Cherry Hill ’11

Section 2:
No new group will be qualified to vote on any issues affecting Gamblers Anonymous as a whole until they have conducted regular weekly meetings for a three (3) month period.

Section 3:
Each group is self-governing however, by tradition each group should elect a SECRETARY-TREASURER (can be the same person), PRESSURE RELIEF GROUP CHAIRMAN, GROUP REPRESENTATIVE, PUBLIC RELATIONS REPRESENTATIVE, who will assume the workload necessary to keep the group together and in operation. Their term of service will be decided by each individual group. However, inasmuch as the International Service Office (I.S.O.) Fiscal operating year is July 1st through June 30th, it is suggested that group trusted servants (group representatives excepted) be elected for a six (6) month period with their term of service starting on January 1st and July 1st. It is further suggested that no secretary, treasurer, group representative, pressure relief group chairman, or public relations representative be elected that has not abstained from gambling for at least six (6) months, unless it is a brand new group. This suggestion is based upon experience.

Section 4:
Abstinence from gambling and regular attendance of at least thirty-nine (39) Gamblers Anonymous meetings (exceptions can be made, via group conscience decisions, for medical reasons, and military stationed overseas) in the prior 12 months, by the member’s own admission, is required for pinnings and for all successive anniversaries. Date of abstinence starts from your first meeting after your last bet.
Boston ’12

Section 5:
All Gamblers Anonymous literature, books, and service pins should be purchased from Gamblers Anonymous through the International Service Office (I.S.O.) except when otherwise approved by the Board of Trustees. Copying of any GA approved literature is prohibited, unless specifically designated for that purpose. Such designation will be listed on the item(s), where applicable.
San Diego ’16

Section 6:
Only members of Gamblers Anonymous may be trusted servants of groups or Intergroups.

Section 7:
Gamblers Anonymous approved literature is any publication or item that has been approved by the Board of Trustees and is sold or distributed by the International Service Office (I.S.O) and/or any Regional Service Office (R.S.O.), and/or any Intergroup. Foreign language translations of Gamblers Anonymous approved literature are deemed to be approved if the final product has followed the necessary steps outlined by the Board of Trustees.
Cancun ’15

Section 8:
Gamblers Anonymous appropriate literature is limited to local area member telephone lists, meeting and direction lists, flyers regarding events sponsored by the local rooms(s), Intergroup(s), surrounding area(s) or conference committees. Other appropriate material must be designated as such by the Board of Trustees.


Article VIII – Board of Trustees

Section 1:
The Fellowship shall be guided by a Board of Trustees who are members of Gamblers Anonymous and have completely abstained from gambling for a period of two (2) years and have had regular attendance at Gamblers Anonymous meetings, both by their own admission. Board of Trustees defines regular attendance for International officers as having attended a minimum of thirty-nine (39) meetings per year, by the member’s own admission. This does not include Intergroup meetings or picnics but does include Birthday meetings. This Board shall not exceed as many Trustees as necessary by the Board of Trustees.
Boston ’12

Section 1A:
All decisions of the Board of Trustees, passed in the form of a motion are binding. In the event of conflicting decisions, the most recent decision will prevail. However, provisions of the Guidance Code supersede all Board of Trustee decisions.
Vancouver ’13

Section 2:
Trustees shall be elected to office as outlined in Article XVIII.

Section 3:
The term of office of Trustees shall be for two (2) years starting on July 1st, of even years and concluding June 30 of the following even year.
Cherry Hill ’15

Section 4:
Any Trustee is automatically removed from office for gambling by his/her own admission. Current or past Trustees who return to gambling and subsequently come back to G.A. should not have a voice at the BOT meeting until they have 2 years of abstinence, the same qualification as becoming a Trustee. Gambling, for the compulsive gambler is defined as follows: Any betting or wagering, for self or others, whether for money or not, no matter how slight or insignificant, where the outcome is uncertain or depends upon chance or “skill” constitutes gambling. He or she may be removed for other acts on his or her part, which are detrimental to Gamblers Anonymous as a whole, as per established Trustee Removal Procedures, or for not attending Gamblers Anonymous meetings. Removal requires 2/3 vote for expulsion by the Board of Trustees at the next physical meeting of the Board of Trustees.
Boston ’12

Section 5:
Any vacancies of the Board of Trustees shall be filled by a special election in the area where the vacancy has occurred. This temporary term to run until the following even year ending on June 30th.

Section 5A:
The election process explained in Article VIII, Section 5 above will also apply to a new geographical area that has just been approved by the Board of Trustees.

Section 6:
50% plus 1 of the elected Trustees of the Board of Trustees, must be present at any meeting to constitute a quorum. Absentee Ballots shall be included to determine the number present at any meeting for the purpose of a quorum.
Vancouver ’13

Section 6A:
Current Trustees who cannot physically attend a Trustee meeting can only be represented by submitting an absentee ballot. The Board of Trustees will designate the voting provisions of absentee ballots. Proxies will not be allowed for any aspect of any Trustee meetings, physical or otherwise.
Houston ’14

Section 7:
The Board of Trustees primary function shall be to insure the most effective exchange of thoughts and ideas between all Gamblers Anonymous groups and to act for our Fellowship in an official and executive capacity on all matters affecting Gamblers Anonymous as a whole, except in matters coming under the jurisdiction of the Board of Regents or International Executive Secretary.

Section 8:
The Board of Trustees shall act as guardians of the Twelve Steps of RECOVERY and the Twelve Step UNITY PROGRAM and must be guided by these precepts in all their decisions.

Section 9:
To change the Twelve Steps of RECOVERY and Twelve Step UNITY PROGRAM, it shall require a two-thirds (2/3) majority by not less than the physical presence of 2/3 of the eligible voting members of the Board of Trustees at two (2) consecutive physical meetings.

Section 10:
The Board of Trustees shall act in an advisory capacity only in the operation of the International Service Office (I.S.O.). It is the intent of the duties entrusted to the Board of Regents of the International Service Office (I.S.O) that they should not enact any changes in the Articles of Incorporation or the By-Laws of the International Service Office (I.S.O.) without the majority of the Board of Trustees and the Board of Regents.

Section 11:
The Board of Trustees unequivocally will have the sole right to add to, delete or change any word of the Twelve Steps of RECOVERY, the Twelve Step UNITY PROGRAM and the Twenty Questions. All Gamblers Anonymous literature or books must be first approved by the Board of Trustees before being published. No changes can be made in any Gamblers Anonymous literature by the International Service Office (I.S.O.) without the approval of the Board of Trustees. Changes can only be made by the Board of Trustees at two (2) consecutive physical meetings of the Board of Trustees. Deletions of any literature must be done by the same procedure used to approve them, omitting any procedures through a merit vote.
Cherry Hill ’17

Section 11A:
The Board of Trustees will have the right to approve the translation to a foreign language any audio, video or written approved Gamblers Anonymous literature it deems necessary to meet the needs of our entire International Fellowship.

Section 11B:
Procedures for translation, printing and sale of approved and appropriate Gamblers Anonymous literature into other languages will be as follows:

  1. Obtain a one-time approval of the Gamblers Anonymous Board of Trustees to translate Gamblers Anonymous approved and appropriate literature. This approval shall remain in effect until revoked by the Gamblers Anonymous Board of Trustees.
  2. Approval shall not be granted if another area has been granted permission to translate into the same language. In such event, all areas that use the same language will coordinate a revision of existing translated literature that meets all area requirements. If different dialects are being used, a separate set of literature will be printed to meet the needs of the members of all those areas. Each set of literature will be clearly marked with the dialect difference. If the language has national dialects that render the currently approved language unusable in certain areas, permission must be granted by the Board of Trustees for such translation.
  3. Translations must be as close to ‘Word for Word’ as possible.
  4. Once an area receives approval for literature translation, all translated versions must be sent in an editable format to the International Service Office (I.S.O.). Additionally, all files necessary to reprint the literature must be provided in an editable format to the International Service Office.
  5. Literature that is translated, as per the procedures of Gamblers Anonymous Board of Trustees, will be deemed Gamblers Anonymous approved or appropriate literature.
  6. Areas that get approval for translation are obligated to update their translated literature as changes dictate by the Gamblers Anonymous Board of Trustees. Updated versions should be sent in an editable format to the International Service Office (I.S.O.) with the editable files necessary to print the revised versions.
  7. Translated literature should be administrated and sold through the Regional Service Office (R.S.O.). In the absence of a Regional Service Office (R.S.O.), the Intergroup or the collective efforts of the rooms should administrate the process.
  8. Pricing should be minimal, it is suggested that profits be split between the area and International Service Office. It is further suggested that any initial translation costs provided by the International Service Office be refunded to the International Service Office.
  9. Gamblers Anonymous approved literature with copyrights owned by a third party cannot be translated, printed or sold without the permission of that third party.
  10. All translated material must reference the original document that was used along with the date of the original document that was used. All translated material must show the date of when the material was translated.
    Houston ’14

Section 12:
The Board of Trustees can call for a vote of the groups at any time for any purpose which they desire. Voting procedure shall be followed in the manner provided for in Article XIX.

Section 13:
It shall be the responsibility of the Board of Trustees to determine the date and place of our International Conferences.

Section 14:
It shall be the responsibility of the Chairman to prepare the agenda for the Board of Trustees meeting. Items may only be submitted to the Chairman through a current member or past member of the Board of Trustees and must be done so no later than sixty (60) days prior to the opening date of the meeting. The Chairman will confirm receipt of the item no later than forty-five (45) days prior to the opening date of the meeting.

Section 14A:
Only current and/or former members of the Board of Trustees and current members of the Board of Regents shall be permitted to speak at a Trustee meeting. Exceptions to this section shall be made for discussions on conference site selection and when a Gamblers Anonymous member authors an agenda item and wishes to speak on that item.

Section 15:
It shall be the responsibility of the Board of Trustees to acquaint all members of our Fellowship with the financial need of our International Service Office (I.S.O.), so that it may operate effectively to the best interest of all members.

Section 16:
The International Executive Secretary of our International Service Office (I.S.O.) shall not be eligible to be elected a Trustee or Regent while holding the office of International Executive Secretary of the International Service Office (I.S.O.).

Section 17:
No Trustee shall receive compensation from the International Service Office (I.S.O.) for his or her services rendered as a Trustee.

Section 18:
Any Trustee that misses (2) consecutive Board meetings is automatically removed from the Board of Trustees, and the area in which he or she serves shall be duly notified to hold an election for that vacant Trustee position. A quick response meeting will count for attendance at the Board of Trustees meeting. Absentee ballots from Board of Trustees members from areas outside of the U.S.A. and Canada will count as physical presence at the Board of Trustees physical meetings.
San Diego ’16

Section 19:
No member may belong to the Board of Trustees and the Board of Regents at the same time.

Section 20:
A member of the Board of Trustees or Board of Regents may be a member of other committees outside Gamblers Anonymous concerning compulsive gambling.

Section 21:
The Board of Trustees or Chairman of the Board of Trustees may utilize qualified active Gamblers Anonymous members in specific assignments on committees who will be responsible to the Board of Trustees.

Section 22:
With the exception of items coming from a Board of Trustees committee, upon the defeat of a motion, any similar motion may not be brought up for a vote for a period of two (2) years.
Tampa ’14

Section 23:
The Board of Trustees shall elect the members of the Board of Regents at the Spring Conference of the odd years. The term of office shall be for a period of two (2) years commencing July 1 and ending June 30 of the next odd year. The Trustees should seek the guidance of the meetings in their area prior to the election.
Boston ’12


Article IX – Officers of the Board of Trustees

Section 1:
The officers of the Board of Trustees shall consist of a Chairman, #1 Co- Chairman, #2 Co-Chairman and such other officers as may be appointed by the Board of Trustees. They are required to be a member of gamblers Anonymous and must have two years abstinence from gambling to be eligible to serve.

Section 2:
No Officer of the Executive Board may serve as Trustee. In the event a member of the Executive Board needs to be replaced, outside of the regularly scheduled bi-annual elections, any Trustee is eligible to be elected, but must resign his/her Trustee position after the close of the Trustee meeting in which he/she was elected.
San Diego ’16

Section 3:
Upon election of a new Chairman and 1st and 2nd Co-Chairmen of the Board of Trustees, it will be their responsibility to fulfill votes and suggestions approved by the previous Board.

Section 4:
Board of Trustees meetings may be conducted by mail, fax or email, or electronically through a platform approved by the Board of Trustees. However a majority of current Trustees are needed for a quorum. A majority vote of the quorum shall carry any measure voted upon except as provided for in Section 2 of Article VIII and Article XX.
Los Angeles ’11

Section 5:
The International Executive Secretary shall be responsible to send a copy of all minutes of the Board of Trustees meeting to all members of the Board of Trustees within thirty (30) days after each meeting.
Tampa ’14

Section 6:
A copy of the minutes of each Board of Trustees meeting shall be kept on file at the International Service Office (I.S.O.). Minutes of all Board meetings will be available for inspection by any member of our Fellowship during regular operating hours of the International Service Office (I.S.O.) and also published in the next International Service Office (I.S.O.) Bulletin.

Section 7:
No officer of the Board of Trustees shall receive compensation for service rendered as an officer.

Section 8:
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees and both Co-Chairmen have a $10,000.00 per year expenditure total, approved by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees and paid by the International Service Office (I.S.O.). The total combined annual expenditure cannot exceed $10,000.00. The International Executive Secretary shall supply the Board of Trustees with a detailed accounting of said expenditures within sixty days of the close of the fiscal year.
Cherry Hill ’17


Article X – Intergroup Guidelines

Section 1:
An Intergroup is a group of local groups, which meet together to discuss mutual problems and work with one another for the common good of all.

Section 2:
All groups in a geographical area should belong to the Intergroup, but no group can be expelled from an Intergroup without approval of the Board of Trustees.

Section 3:
Trusted servants to carry the workload of the Intergroup shall be elected in a manner selected by the groups comprising the Intergroup. However, it is suggested that the term of office be for the calendar year.

Section 4:
All Gamblers Anonymous literature, books and service pins should be purchased from Gamblers Anonymous through the International Service Office (I.S.O.), except when otherwise approved by the Board of Trustees.

Section 5:
Functions of Intergroup:

  1. To disseminate Gamblers Anonymous information and disseminate or sell approvedGamblers Anonymous literature to any group or individual requesting same.
  2. The Intergroup shall be answerable to those groups that it represents and the Board of Trustees where it affects Gamblers Anonymous as a whole.
  3. The Intergroup shall, if it so desires, publish a bulletin or newsletter at regular intervals.
  4. Any newly formed Gamblers Anonymous group shall be able to participate but not vote in the business portion of the Intergroup meeting until being in existence for a period of no less than three (3) months, assuming, of course, that the group meets all requirements of a Gamblers Anonymous group. It is the responsibility of each group to send a representative to their local Intergroup meeting in order to ensure that their group has input on every vote and that the majority of groups are represented.
    Boston ’12
  5. Intergroup meetings should be held at least once per month and copies of the minutes should be forwarded to all member groups and the International Service Office (I.S.O.).
  6. Each group shall have the right to elect representatives and alternates equal to the number of representative and alternates of any other group.
  7. The order of business of the Intergroup shall be conducted by the trusted servants in accordance with the Guidance Code.
  8. The Intergroup should be supported financially by the member groups.
  9. The trusted servants of Intergroup are accountable for the responsible use, recordkeeping, reconciliation and reporting of all financial transactions, including but not limited to funds received, disbursed and generated through all Intergroup bank accounts used for any activity or event approved by or benefiting the Intergroup.
  10. Trusted servants of the Intergroup should consist of a CHAIRMAN, ASSISTANT CHAIRMAN, TREASURER, PUBLIC RELATIONS REPRESENTATIVE, RECORDING SECRETARY, PRESSURE RELIEF GROUP CHAIRMAN, and any other trusted servants deemed necessary by the Intergroup.
    1. Duties of the CHAIRMAN shall be to conduct the meeting in an orderly fashion, to prepare the agenda, with assistance of other trusted servants.
    2. Duties of the ASSISTANT CHAIRMAN should be to perform the Chairman’s duties when the Chairman is absent, keep an accurate record of group representatives and take the Intergroup attendance.
    3. Duties of the RECORDING SECRETARY shall be to take minutes of all meetings and notify all groups of meeting dates of Intergroup Open Meetings and changes, additions and deletions of any current group meeting, and mail the minutes to all parties as outlined in Paragraph 5.
    4. Duties of the TREASURER are to collect, record and prepare for disbursement all funds collected from the groups, to prepare monthly statement of finances, to see that pins and literature are available to groups upon request and should be one of two signatures required on checks.
    5. Duties of the PUBLIC RELATIONS REPRESENTATIVE shall be to disseminate information, inform Regional Service Office and International Service Office (I.S.O.) of any public relations effort, and be responsible for creating public relations activities in the Intergroup area within the framework of the Guidance Code.
    6. Duties of the PRESSURE RELIEF GROUP CHAIRMAN shall be to be responsible for educating the groups on pressure relief, maintaining updated forms and giving assistance to groups where needed.
  11. The Intergroup should publish a meeting list for the area, and should send a copy to the International Service Office (I.S.O.) every time there is a revision.
  12. Wherever possible, the Intergroup should hold the election for the Trustees that are to be selected from their area, and they should include other groups not members of the Intergroup who fall within the Trustees’ geographic area.
  13. No trusted servant of the Intergroup shall receive compensation for service rendered as a trusted servant of the Intergroup.
  14. All information posted on any Gamblers Anonymous Websites shall be in compliance with the 12 Steps of Recovery and the 12 Steps of Unity.
  15. An Intergroup does not have the right to set stricter requirements and responsibilities, pertaining to the election of Trustees, other than those which are contained in either the Guidance Code or the Responsibilities of International Trustees of Gamblers Anonymous, as listed in the Gamblers Anonymous Information Packet.
    San Diego ’16

Article XI – Regional Service Office (R.S.O.)

Section 1:
Certain areas where sufficient active groups exist and meet on a regular basis to address mutual groups concerns may be known as a Regional Service Office (RSO), if approved by the Board of Trustees. Each area selects its own name to identify their RSO.
Phoenix ’16

Section 2:
Any collection of groups or Intergroup from a determined area must present its intentions of establishing an RSO to The Board of Trustees for approval; an RSO will be granted when an area is able to comply with requirements and criteria set by the BOT. Any area, Intergroup or collection of groups wanting an R.S.O. must submit to The Board of Trustees credible evidences establishing the need for an RSO; documentation must be submitted to The Board of Trustees as an agenda item for the trustee meeting, with attachments to complete the request. The following items must be supplied when applying for a RSO:
a-Evidence of groups support and consultation with those groups
b-Letter of demand from the Intergroup or collection of groups
c-Description of present situation
d-State current needs
e-State RSO purpose
Phoenix ’16

Section 3:
Each group that belongs to an RSO is self-governing; therefore such group is not mandated to be answerable to a RSO. However, in the interest and observance of Unity and efficiency, all groups should make an effort to support its RSO and the International Service Office (ISO)
Phoenix ’16

Section 4:
Trusted servants to carry the workload of the RSO should be selected and elected according to the guidelines established by the groups forming the RSO.
Phoenix ’16

Section 5:
Members who are actively serving in their RSO as coordinator or treasurer, are required to have abstain from gambling for at least two consecutive years; trusted servants serving as assistant coordinator, public relations representative, recording secretaries and additional services will have their abstinence time determined by the guidelines established by their RSO, but no less than one full year of abstinence.
Phoenix ’16

Section 6:
All G.A. literature, books, and service pins should be purchased from Gamblers Anonymous through the I.S.O. except when otherwise approved by the Board of Trustees.

Section 7:
Any R.S.O. that is formed shall be an arm of the I.S.O., and:

  1. Disseminate Gamblers Anonymous information and sell approved Gamblers Anonymous literature to any group or individual requesting same.
  2. The R.S.O. should be confined to a geographical area, such as Northeast, Middle Atlantic etc.
  3. The R.S.O. shall be answerable to those groups that it represents and to the Board of Trustees. A statement of revenues and expenses of the RSO must be sent to the ISO, to the groups forming the RSO and to the Chairman of the Board of Trustees every six months.
  4. The R.S.O. shall, if it so desires, publish a bulletin or newsletter at regular intervals.
  5. Any newly formed G.A. group, in an Area where a RSO exists, shall be able to vote in the business portion of the R.S.O. meetings after being in existence for a period of not less than three (3) months.
  6. R.S.O. meetings should be held once a month and copies of the minutes shall be forwarded to ISO and to all groups and Intergroups in the Regional area.
  7. Each group shall have the right to be represented at the RSO level.
  8. The trusted servants of the Regional Office should consist of a COORDINATOR, ASSISTANT COORDINATOR, TREASURER, PUBLIC RELATIONS REPRESENTATIVE AND RECORDING SECRETARY.
    The Duties of the COORDINATOR shall be to conduct the meeting in an orderly fashion and to prepare the agenda.
    The ASSISTANT COORDINATOR should preside when the Coordinator is absent, and should keep an accurate record of Group Representatives and take the meeting attendance.
    The TREASURER shall keep a record of income and disbursements and have them available at all meetings.
    The RECORDING SECRETARY shall take minutes of all meetings and notify groups of meeting dates.
    The PUBLIC RELATIONS REPRESENTATIVES shall disseminate information about Gamblers Anonymous to the media where no Intergroup exists or in conjunction with an existing Intergroup, and exchange results with other groups.
  9. The RSO shall be able to form committees to take care of the workload assigned to the RSO.
  10. The R.S.O. should be supported financially by the groups in the area that it represents.
  11. The R.S.O. shall at all times adhere to the Guidance Code.
  12. No trusted servant of a R.S.O. shall receive compensation for service rendered as a trusted servant of a R.S.O.
    Phoenix ’16

Section 8:
Any Regional Service Office (R.S.O.) that offers or produces non GA- approved or GA appropriate material or utilizes Gamblers Anonymous intellectual property without the specific written approval of the International Service Office (I.S.O.), will cease to be an R.S.O. unless full compliance is achieved within 60 days of notification of the problems by the I.S.O.
Phoenix ’16


Article XII – Area Delegates

Section 1:
Area delegates will not be elected until our Fellowship grows larger, and only then when the plan of Area Delegates is approved by the Board of Trustees.


Article XIII – Board of Regents

Section 1:
The International Service Office (I.S.O.) shall be guided by a Board of Regents of nine (9) members of Gamblers Anonymous who have abstained from gambling for at least two (2) years. This Board shall be elected at the Spring Conference of the odd years. (Every 2 years).
Tampa ’10

Section 2:
Regents should be elected from the area within the Fellowship who are within reasonable traveling distance from the International Service Office (I.S.O.), so that they may be able to attend every meeting and be available on immediate notice for any emergency meetings which may become necessary.

Section 3:
The term of office of Regents shall be for two (2) years starting on July 1st of the odd years and ending on June 30th of the following odd year.
Tampa ’10

Section 4:
Any Regent is automatically removed from office for gambling by his/her own admission. Gambling, for the compulsive gambler is defined as follows: Any betting or wagering, for self or others, whether for money or not, no matter how slight or insignificant, where the outcome is uncertain or depends upon chance or “skill” constitutes gambling. Or he or she may be removed for other acts on his or her part that are detrimental to Gamblers Anonymous as a whole. Removal will require a two-thirds (2/3) vote for expulsion by the Board of Trustees at the next physical meeting.

Section 5:
The sole purpose of the Board of Regents is to supervise the operations of the International Service Office (I.S.O.) and see that it is operated effectively and efficiently.

Section 6:
Five (5) members of the Board of Regents shall constitute a quorum. Only a written proxy shall be counted in determining the number present for the purpose of a quorum.

Section 7:
It shall be the responsibility of the Board of Regents to annually employ a certified public accountant who is not a member of Gamblers Anonymous to examine the books and record of our International Service Office (I.S.O.) and to advise the Board of Trustees and International Executive Secretary of the results of the audit and the audit published in the next International Service Office (I.S.O.) Bulletin.

Section 8:
Any expenditures by the Board of Regents will be limited to $2,500.00, except for approved Gamblers Anonymous literature and normal operating expenses as outlined in the Annual Budget for a particular Fiscal year. Any other item must first be approved by a majority vote by the Board of Trustees. If the Board of Regents as a fiduciary determines there is an emergency situation, the Board of Regents may act without the approval of the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees time to notify the Board of Regents regarding the Budget is sixty (60) days.
San Diego ’16

Section 9:
On or before February 1st of each odd year any member of Gamblers Anonymous with at least 2 years of abstinence from gambling can submit their name to the I.S.O. to be included on the Board of Regents ballot. Previous service as Regent of the Corporation or as a Trustee of Gamblers Anonymous, total abstinence from gambling and home group of nominee shall be listed alongside the name of each nominee. A biography not to exceed 400 words and phone number (both optional) would be included as an attachment to the ballot. Each recognized Gamblers Anonymous meeting should be contacted by their area Trustee(s) so that the groups at their option, have involvement in the voting process. Each Trustee based on guidance from their groups and their personal knowledge, will be able to select no more than nine (9) Regents from the ballot.

Section 10:
The election of the Board of Regents shall be by written ballot. The International Executive Secretary shall prepare the ballot, listing thereon the names of all eligible members submitted. The International Executive Secretary shall mail the ballots to the Trustees on or before March 1st of each odd year.

Each Trustee shall be entitled to vote one (1) ballot, which shall reflect the opinion of the fellowship that they serve.

Each vote must appear on the official ballot and be signed by the Trustee, sealed and either mailed to the International Service Office (I.S.O.) or hand delivered to the Spring Board of Trustees meeting each odd year.

Sealed ballots will remain unopened in the “BALLOT” envelope, and will be handed to the Chairman of the Board of Trustees during the first session of the Trustee meeting of the Spring Conference each odd year. Absentee ballots will be sent to the International Service Office (I.S.O.) and must be received in the envelope marked “BALLOT” no later than seven (7) days prior to the start of the Spring Trustees meeting. All ballots will be counted by three (3) former Trustees or former Regents prior to the end of the meeting. Any member who is a candidate shall be excluded from the ballot counting. The Chairman of the Board of Trustees will determine who will count the ballots.

After the counting of the ballots, each newly elected Board of Regents member will be asked by the International Executive Secretary to confirm their election. Any ties will be broken by a written vote at the Trustees meeting by the Trustees in attendance. The order that the nominees came in shall be kept by the International Executive Secretary. The results of said election shall be announced immediately after the counting and shall be published in the minutes of the Spring Trustees meeting.
Tampa ’10


Article XIV – Officers of Board of Regents

Section 1:
The officers of the Board of Regents shall consist of a CHAIRMAN, VICE CHAIRMAN, SECRETARY, ASSISTANT SECRETARY and TREASURER, plus any others deem necessary by the Board of Regents.

Section 2:
The officers shall be elected by the Board of Regents in a manner approved by the Board of Regents.

Section 3:
It will be the responsibility of the CHAIRMAN to hold meetings of the Board of Regents at least once a month.

Section 4:
The SECRETARY of the Board of Regents shall be responsible to deliver or mail a copy of all minutes of the Board of Regents to the Board of Trustees and the International Executive Secretary.

Section 5:
A copy of the minutes of each Board of Regents meeting shall be kept on file at the International Service Office (I.S.O.). Minutes of all Board meetings will be available for inspection by any member of our Fellowship during regular operating hours of the International Service Office (I.S.O.) and published in the International Service Office (I.S.O.) Bulletin.

Section 6:
No officer or member of the Board of Regents shall receive compensation from the International Service Office (I.S.O.) for services rendered as an officer.


Article XV – International Service Office (I.S.O.)

Section 1:
An International Service Office (I.S.O.) shall be established to conduct the National and International affairs of our Fellowship.

Section 2:
The operation of the International Service Office (I.S.O.) shall be the responsibility of the International Executive Secretary, who will be under the guidance of the Board of Regents and Board of Trustees. However, all business affairs of this office shall be under direct supervision of the Board of Regents.

Section 3:
The International Service Office (I.S.O.) must be operated at all times in the interest and for the entire membership of Gamblers Anonymous.

Section 4:
Each group and/or Regional Office should make every effort to send monthly contributions to the International Service Office (I.S.O.) so that this very vital and important function of our Fellowship can continue to stabilize unity within Gamblers Anonymous and carry the message to the compulsive gambler who still suffers.

Section 5:
The Fiscal Business Year of the International Service Office (I.S.O.) shall be from July 1st through June 30th.


Article XVI – International Executive Secretary of I.S.O.

Section 1:
The Board of Regents will have the responsibility of hiring, determining salary and compensation including benefits, maintaining and if necessary, terminating the person for the position of International Executive Secretary of the International Service Office. All procedures for this responsibility will be outlined in a separate procedure manual, which is maintained and amended, as necessary by the Board of Regents. This document will be available to members of Gamblers Anonymous at the International Service Office.

Section 2:
The International Executive Secretary is automatically removed from office for gambling by his/her own admission. Gambling, for the compulsive gambler is defined as follows: Any betting or wagering, for self or others, whether for money or not, no matter how slight or insignificant, where the outcome is uncertain or depends upon chance or “skill” constitutes gambling, or other acts on his/her part that are detrimental to Gamblers Anonymous as a whole. Should the International Executive Secretary be terminated or unable to carry out the functions, duties and responsibilities of the position, the Chair of the Board of Regents will temporarily assume the position of the International Executive Secretary until the Board of Regents hires a permanent International Executive Secretary.
Tampa ’14

Section 3:
The International Executive Secretary shall be solely responsible for the efficient operation of the International Service Office (I.S.O.). He or she will be under the guidance and the direct supervision of the Board of Regents.
Tampa ’14

Section 4:
The International Executive Secretary will be solely responsible for collecting, banking and accounting of all funds of the International Service Office (I.S.O.).

Section 5:
The International Executive Secretary shall be responsible to publish a monthly Gamblers Anonymous Bulletin and to distribute the Bulletin using economical and efficient methods approved by the Board of Regents and in compliance with the Guidance Code.
San Diego ’16

Section 6:
The International Executive Secretary shall attend all International Conferences and International Meetings of the Board of Trustees. His/her expenses to these meetings shall be paid by the International Service Office (I.S.O.).

Section 7:
The International Executive Secretary shall be the recording secretary of the Board of Trustees at all annual International Conferences and International Meetings of the Board of Trustees, and perform such other duties as required by them. The minutes of the Board of Trustees meetings shall be sent to all Trustees within thirty (30) days of the meetings.
Los Angeles ’11

Section 8:
The International Executive Secretary, or other designated individual, in coordination with the International Executive Secretary, as determined by the Board of Regents, shall be responsible to provide receipts for donations made to the International Service Office (I.S.O.), unless group or member making the donation requests that no receipt be sent. The International Executive Secretary, or other designated individual, in coordination with the International Executive Secretary, as determined by the Board of Regents, shall mail Gamblers Anonymous literature and/or Gamblers Anonymous pins within 5 business days after donation or requisition is received in the International Service Office (I.S.O.).
Ontario ’17

Section 9:
The International Executive Secretary will be responsible for the safekeeping of all minutes of the Board of Trustees and Board of Regents and books and records of the International Service Office (I.S.O.).

Section 10:
The International Executive Secretary shall tally and inform all groups of results of voting within 60 days in the Lifeline Bulletin of the closing date of any International membership voting, including any voting by the Board of Trustees.


Article XVII – Area Location of Trustees

Section 1:
Existing areas that wish to redefine their borders, new areas previously not covered by any other Gamblers Anonymous area that wish to be recognized, and new areas that wish to be recognized by splitting off from existing areas in any configuration, may submit agenda items to accomplish this at any physical Trustee meeting, as needed by the areas concerned, providing they follow such procedures, as outlined in the Guidance Code. This also applies for any area that wishes to change the number of Trustees allocated to them.
Orlando ’13

Section 1A:
Any overseas area that was newly approved by the Board of Trustees less than 5 years ago, will be allowed to request changes in the number of Trustees for that area at any Trustee meeting through an agenda item.
Los Angeles ’11

Section 2:
Due to anticipated growth of Gamblers Anonymous groups in various parts of the world, the geographic locations of Trustees may change from time to time.

Section 2A:
To request a new geographical area, or a geographical realignment of an existing area, the following information must be received by the Chair of the Board of Trustees. This information must be received prior to the closing of the agenda in which the area wishes to be recognized.
1. The number of Gamblers Anonymous meetings in the proposed new or realigned geographical area.
2. The approximate number of Gamblers Anonymous members in the proposed new or realigned geographical area.
3. The geographical size and boundaries of the proposed new or realigned geographical area.
4. The number of Trustee(s) requested for the proposed new or realigned geographical area.
5. The submitter and/or presenter of the agenda item asking for a proposed new or realigned geographical area must have written documentation stating they are authorized to make the request for the new or realigned area. Said documentation should include a letter from the local area Intergroups involved (if any), and or some kind of documentation from the local groups involved in the request for the new area.
Vancouver ’13

Section 3:
How can Board of Trustees members be elected in large geographical areas? Notify each group to send nominations to the International Service Office (I.S.O.) and International Service Office (I.S.O.) makes ballots and returns them to the groups. Each group has one vote in electing their Trustee.


Article XVIII – Election of Trustees

Section 1:
The Board of Trustees shall have full responsibility to define the area covered by each Trustee and/or Trustees.

Section 2:
It shall be the responsibility of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees to notify all Intergroups and Trustees, prior to January 15th of each even year, of the number of Trustees eligible to be elected from their respective areas for the upcoming two (2) year period of July 1st even year to€“ June 30th even year, as determined by the Board of Trustees.
San Diego ’16

Section 3:
Each area selected from which a Trustee or Trustees are to be elected shall hold their own individual area election prior to May 15th and elect a Trustee and/or Trustees if the area is represented by more than one Trustee.

Section 4:
Each area entitled to elect a Trustee or Trustees, on or before June 1st, shall notify the International Executive Secretary of the International Service Office (I.S.O.) of the Trustee and/or Trustees elected.

Section 5:
The International Executive Secretary shall list the results of the Board of Trustee election in the Life-Line bulletin within 90 days of the deadline for areas to notify the I.S.O. of the Trustee Election results. The listing will include area number, location, Trustee(s) elected and vacancies.
Cherry Hill ’15

Section 6:
When a new Trustee 2 year term starts and there is a Trustee vacancy in any area that has been there since the beginning of the previous 2 year Trustee term it shall be removed from the current Confidential Trustee Listing. The area(s) involved will need to resubmit to the Board of Trustees for those Trustee vacancies when they can be filled.
San Diego ’16

Section 7:
Election for the Chair of the Board of Trustees and any other officer of the Board of Trustees will take place at the first physical meeting in the odd year. Current trusted servants carry on until trusted servants are elected.


Article XIX – Voting

Section 1:
Group and area voting shall be conducted in a manner selected by each group and or area. On issues which necessitate a vote of a group or of the Board of Trustees the vote will be conducted in a manner prescribed by, and incorporated in, the Rules and Procedures of the Board of Trustees.
Orlando ’13

Section 2:
Institutional groups or meetings that do not meet in a physical location will not be allowed to vote on any issues, which affect groups other than their own.
Tampa ’10


Article XX – Amendments

Section 1:
The Guidance Code may be amended by the Board of Trustees by a two- thirds (2/3) majority at two (2) consecutive Board of Trustees meetings with at least a quorum present at each voting. Within thirty (30) days after an amendment is adopted, the International Executive Secretary shall notify each member of the Board of Trustees, the Board of Regents and each group of such change.

Section 2:
All approved amendments shall be immediately made a part of the Guidance Code and date of adoption shown.

Section 3:
An up-to-date permanent file of the Guidance Code shall be maintained by the International Executive Secretary of the International Service Office (I.S.O.) and a current copy (including all and any amendments or replacements) shall be made available during office hours for inspection by any member.

Section 4:
Any alterations of, additions to, or removal of any wording in the Guidance Code shall constitute an amendment.

Section 5:
The Guidance Code shall be reprinted, at least every other year, if any change has been made. Copies shall be sent to all Gamblers Anonymous groups, each member of the Board of Trustees and each member of the Board of Regents.