CHAPTER 493

GENERAL PROVISIONS RESPECTING THE POLICE REGULATING PUBLIC UTILITIES IN FURNISHING PRIVATE WIRE SERVICE IN FURTHERANCE OF GAMBLING

AN ACT TO REGULATE PUBLIC UTILITIES IN THE FURNISHING TO OTHERS OF PRIVATE WIRE SERVICE AND OTHER SERVICE FOR THE DISSEMINATION OR RECEIPT OF INFORMATION IN FURTHERANCE OF GAMBLING; TO PROHIBIT THE USE OF SAME FOR GAMBLING PURPOSES; TO MAKE ILLEGAL THE DISSEMINATION OF SUCH INFORMATION IN FURTHERANCE OF GAMBLING; MISDEMEANOR; PENALTIES; JURISDICTION.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met (two-thirds of all the members elected to each branch thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. The following words, terms and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this Section, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(a) "Dissemination" means the act of transmitting, distributing, advising, spreading, communicating, conveying or making known.

(b) "Person" means a corporation (including a public utility), partnership or association, as well as a natural person.

(c) "Private wire" means any and all service equipment, facilities, conduits, poles, wires, circuits, systems by means of which service is furnished for communication purposes, either through the medium of telephone, telegraph, Morse, teletypewriter, loudspeaker or any other means, or by which the voice or electrical impulses are sent over a wire, and which services are contracted for or leased for service between two or more points specifically designated, and are not connected to or available for general telegraphic, telephonic or teletypewriter exchange or toll service, and shall include such services known as "special contract leased wire service," "leased line," "private line," "private system," "Morse line," "private wire," but shall not include the usual and customary telephone or teletypewriter service by which the subscriber may be connected at each separate call to any other telephone or teletypewriter designated by him only through the general telephone or teletypewriter exchange system or toll service.

(d) "Public utility" means a person, partnership, association or corporation, now or hereafter owning or operating in the State of Delaware, equipment or facilities for conveying or transmitting messages or communications by telephone or telegraph to the public for compensation.

(e) "Call Service" means the furnishing of information upon request therefor or by prearrangement over general telegraphic, telephonic or teletypewriter exchange or toll service.

Section 2. It shall be unlawful for any public utility knowingly to furnish to any person any private wire for use or intended for use in the dissemination of information in furtherance of gambling or for gambling purposes, or for any person knowingly to use any private wire in the dissemination of or to receive information in furtherance of gambling or for gambling purposes.

Section 3. It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in the business of, or receive compensation in any form or measure for, the dissemination of or to receive information in furtherance of gambling or for gambling purposes by means of private wire or wires, or by means of a "call service."

Section 4. Any public utility shall, when it is advised in writing by any law enforcement agency acting within its jurisdiction that any service furnished by it is being used in the dissemination of information in furtherance of gambling, or for gambling purposes, revoke its contract to furnish any such service. No public utility shall be liable at law or in equity for any damages or penalties, either civil or criminal, for such revocation of contract.

Section 5. Any person or public utility who or which shall violate any of the provisions of this Act, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay the costs of prosecution and a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed twelve (12) months, or both, at the discretion of the Court.

Section 6. The Municipal Court of the City of Wilmington and the Courts of Common Pleas shall have concurrent jurisdiction of violations of this Act.

Section 7. The provisions of this Act are severable, and if any of its provisions shall be held unconstitutional, the decision of the Court shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions of this Act. It is hereby declared to be the legislative intent that this Act would have been adopted had such unconstitutional provisions not been included herein.

Section 8. This Act shall be deemed an exercise of the police power of the State of Delaware for the protection of the public welfare, health, peace, safety and morals of the people of the State of Delaware, and all of the provisions of this Act shall be liberally construed for the accomplishment of this purpose.

Section 9. All laws and parts of laws insofar as they conflict with this Act, shall to that extent be and the same are hereby repealed.

Section 10. This Act shall take effect immediately upon its becoming a law.

Approved January 28, 1952.