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Introduced Version House Bill 4443 History

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H. B. 4443

 

         (By Delegates Ferns, Ferro, Givens, Hartman,

               Jones, R. Phillips, Morgan, Storch,

                    Swartzmiller and Varner)

         [Introduced February 7, 2012; referred to the

         Committee on Government Organization then the Judiciary.]

 

 

A BILL to amend and reenact §19-23-1, §19-23-3 and §19-23-6 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to permitting the racing commission to regulate charity racing events and rule-making authority.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §19-23-1, §19-23-3 and §19-23-6 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 23. HORSE AND DOG RACING.

§19-23-1. License required for horse and dog racing and pari-mutuel wagering in connection therewith; exception.

    (a) No association shall may hold or conduct any a horse or dog race meeting at which where horse or dog racing is permitted for any a purse unless such the association possesses a license therefor from the West Virginia Racing Commission and complies with the provisions of this article and all reasonable rules and regulations of such the Racing Commission.

    (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, the provisions of this article shall not be construed to do not prevent in any way the use without a license of any grounds, enclosure or racetrack owned and controlled by any an association for any a local, county or state fair, horse show or agriculture or livestock exposition, even though horse or dog racing be there conducted, if the pari-mutuel system of wagering upon the results of such horse or dog racing is neither permitted nor not permitted or conducted with the knowledge or acquiescence of the association conducting such the horse or dog racing.

    (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, the racing commission shall authorize and regulate a charity racing event.

§19-23-3. Definitions.

    Unless the context clearly requires a different meaning, as used in this article:

    (1) ‟Horse racing” means any type of horse racing, including, but not limited to, thoroughbred racing and harness racing;

    (2) ‟Thoroughbred racing” means flat or running type horse racing in which each horse participating is a thoroughbred and mounted by a jockey;

    (3) ‟Harness racing” means horse racing in which the horses participating are harnessed to a sulky, carriage or other vehicle and does not include any form of horse racing in which the horses are mounted by jockeys;

    (4) ‟Horse race meeting” means the whole period of time for which a license is required by the provisions of section one of this article;

    (5) "Dog racing” means any type of dog racing, including, but not limited to, greyhound racing;

    (6) “Purse” means any purse, stake or award for which a horse or dog race is run;

    (7) “Racing association” or “person” means any individual, partnership, firm, association, corporation or other entity or organization of whatever character or description;

    (8) “Applicant” means any racing association making application for a license under the provisions of this article or any person making application for a permit under the provisions of this article or any person making application for a construction permit under the provisions of this article;

    (9) “License” means the license required by the provisions of section one of this article;

    (10) “Permit” means the permit required by the provisions of section two of this article;

    (11) “Construction permit” means the construction permit required by the provisions of section eighteen of this article;

    (12) “Licensee” means any racing association holding a license required by the provisions of section one of this article and issued under the provisions of this article;

    (13) “Permit holder” means any person holding a permit required by the provisions of section two of this article and issued under the provisions of this article;

    (14) “Construction permit holder” means any person holding a construction permit required by the provisions of section eighteen of this article and issued under the provisions of this article;

    (15) “Hold or conduct” includes “assist, aid or abet in holding or conducting”;

    (16) “Racing commission” means the West Virginia Racing Commission;

    (17) “Stewards” means the steward or stewards representing the Racing Commission, the steward or stewards representing a licensee and any other steward or stewards whose duty it is to supervise any horse or dog race meeting, all as may be provided by reasonable rules of the Racing Commission which rules shall specify the number of stewards to be appointed, the method and manner of their appointment and their powers, authority and duties;

    (18) “Pari-mutuel” means a mutuel or collective pool that can be divided among those who have contributed their wagers to one central agency, the odds to be reckoned in accordance to the collective amounts wagered upon each contestant running in a horse or dog race upon which the pool is made, but the total to be divided among the first three contestants on the basis of the number of wagers on these;

    (19) “Pari-mutuel clerk” means any employee of a licensed racing association who is responsible for the collection of wagers, the distribution of moneys for winning pari-mutuel tickets, verification of the validity of pari-mutuel tickets and accounting for pari-mutuel funds;

    (20) “Pool” means a combination of interests in a joint wagering enterprise or a stake in such enterprise;

    (21) “Legitimate breakage” is the percentage left over in the division of a pool;

    (22) “To the dime” means that wagers shall be figured and paid to the dime;

    (23) “Code” means the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as heretofore and hereinafter amended;

    (24) “Accredited thoroughbred horse” means a thoroughbred horse that is registered with the West Virginia Thoroughbred Breeders Association and that is:

    (A) Foaled in West Virginia; or

    (B) Sired by an accredited West Virginia sire; or

    (C) As a yearling, finished twelve consecutive months of verifiable residence in the state, except for thirty days’ grace:     (i) For the horse to be shipped to and from horse sales where the horse is officially entered in the sales catalogue of a recognized thoroughbred sales company; or

    (ii) For obtaining veterinary services, documented by veterinary reports;

    (25) “Accredited West Virginia sire” is a sire that is permanently domiciled in West Virginia, stands a full season in West Virginia and is registered with West Virginia Thoroughbred Breeders Association;

    (26) “Breeder of an accredited West Virginia horse” is the owner of the foal at the time it was born in West Virginia;

    (27) “Raiser of an accredited West Virginia horse” is the owner of the yearling at the time it finished twelve consecutive months of verifiable residence in the state. During the period, the raiser will be granted one month of grace for his or her horse to be shipped to and from thoroughbred sales where the horse is officially entered in the sales catalogue of a recognized thoroughbred sales company. In the event the yearling was born in another state and transported to this state, this definition does not apply after the December 31, 2007, to any pari-mutuel racing facility located in Jefferson County nor shall it apply after the December 31, 2012, and thereafter to any pari-mutuel racing facility located in Hancock County. Prior to the horse being shipped out of the state for sales, the raiser must notify the Racing Commission of his or her intentions;

    (28) The “owner of an accredited West Virginia sire” is the owner of record at the time the offspring is conceived;

    (29) The “owner of an accredited West Virginia horse” means the owner at the time the horse earned designated purses to qualify for restricted purse supplements provided in section thirteen-b of this article;

    (30) “Registered greyhound owner” means an owner of a greyhound that is registered with the National Greyhound Association;

    (31) “Fund” means the West Virginia Thoroughbred Development Fund established in section thirteen-b of this article; and

    (32) “Regular purse” means both regular purses and stakes purses; and

    (33) “Charity racing event” means an activity of limited duration consisting of wagering on prerecorded horse or dog races for fundraising purposes by charitable organizations.

§19-23-6. Powers and authority of Racing Commission.

    The Racing Commission has full jurisdiction over and shall supervise all horse race meetings, all dog race meetings and all persons involved in the holding or conducting of horse or dog race meetings and, in this regard, it has plenary power and authority:

    (1) To investigate applicants and determine the eligibility of the applicants for a license or permit or construction permit under the provisions of this article;

    (2) To fix, from time to time, the annual fee to be paid to the Racing Commission for any permit required under the provisions of section two of this article;

    (3) To promulgate reasonable rules implementing and making effective the provisions of this article and the powers and authority conferred and the duties imposed upon the Racing Commission under the provisions of this article, including, but not limited to, reasonable rules under which all horse races, dog races, horse race meetings and dog race meetings shall be are held and conducted, all of which reasonable rules shall be promulgated in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code except that the Racing Commission shall promulgate separate rules, in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a, pertaining to the kinds of legal combination wagers which may be placed in connection with the pari-mutuel system of wagering authorized by this article;

    (4) To register colors and assumed names and to fix, from time to time, the annual fee to be paid to the Racing Commission for any such the registration;

    (5) To fix and regulate the minimum purse to be offered during any horse or dog race meeting;

    (6) To fix a minimum and a maximum number of horse races or dog races to be held on any respective racing day;

    (7) To enter the office, horse racetrack, dog racetrack, kennel, facilities and other places of business of any licensee to determine whether the provisions of this article and its reasonable rules are being complied with, and for this purpose, the Racing Commission, its executive director, representatives and employees may visit, investigate and have free access to any such office, horse racetrack, dog racetrack, kennel, facilities and other places of business;

    (8) To investigate alleged violations of the provisions of this article, its reasonable rules, orders and final decisions and to take appropriate disciplinary action against any licensee or permit holder or construction permit holder for a violation or institute appropriate legal action for enforcement or take disciplinary action and institute legal action;

    (9) By reasonable rules, to authorize stewards, starters and other racing officials to impose reasonable fines or other sanctions upon a person connected with or involved in any horse or dog racing or any horse or dog race meeting and to authorize stewards to rule off the grounds of any horse or dog racetrack any tout, bookmaker or other undesirable individual determined inimical to the best interests of horse and dog racing or the pari-mutuel system of wagering in connection therewith;

    (10) To require at any time the removal of any racing official or racing employee of any licensee for the violation of any provision of this article, any reasonable rule of the Racing Commission or for any fraudulent practice;

    (11) To acquire, establish, maintain and operate, or to provide by contract for the maintenance and operation of, a testing laboratory and related facilities for the purpose of conducting saliva, urine and other tests on the horse or dog or horses or dogs run or to be run in any horse or dog race meeting and to purchase all equipment and supplies considered necessary or desirable in connection with the acquisition, establishment, maintenance and operation of any testing laboratory and related facilities and all such tests;

    (12) To hold up, in any disputed horse or dog race, the payment of any purse pending a final determination of the results thereof;

    (13) To require each licensee to file an annual balance sheet and profit and loss statement pertaining to the licensee's horse or dog racing activities in this state together with a list of each licensee's stockholders or other persons having any beneficial interest in the horse or dog racing activities of the licensee;

    (14) To issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and subpoenas duces tecum for the production of any books, records and other pertinent documents and to administer oaths and affirmations to such witnesses, whenever, in the judgment of the Racing Commission, it is necessary to do so for the effective discharge of its duties under the provisions of this article;

    (15) To keep accurate and complete records of its proceedings and to certify the same as may be appropriate;

    (16) To take any other action that may be reasonable or appropriate to effectuate the provisions of this article and its reasonable rules;

    (17) To provide breeders' awards, purse supplements and moneys for capital improvements at racetracks in compliance with section thirteen-b of this article; and

    (18) To mediate on site, upon request of a party, all disputes existing between the racetrack licensees located in this state and representatives of a majority of the horse owners and trainers licensed at the track which threaten to disrupt any scheduled racing event or events. The Racing Commission shall, upon the request of a party, mediate on site all disputes existing between racetrack licensees and representatives of pari-mutuel clerks which threaten to disrupt any scheduled racing event or events. When a request for mediation is made, the commission shall designate from among its members one person to act as mediator in each dispute that arises. Each opposing party involved in any dispute shall negotiate in good faith with the goal of reaching a fair and mutual resolution. The mediator may issue recommendations designed to assist each side toward reaching a fair compromise. No owner or operator or any horse owner or trainer or any pari-mutuel clerk licensed at the track is required to abide by any recommendation made by any mediator acting pursuant to this subsection; and

    (19) Shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to authorize and regulate a charity racing event.

    The Racing Commission shall not interfere in the internal business or internal affairs of any licensee.



    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to permit the racing commission to authorize and regulate a charity racing event and authorize rule-making authority towards this end.


    Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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