HOUSE BILL NO. 512
AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 2 AND SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 3 OF THE DELAWARE CODE AND THE LAWS OF DELAWARE RELATING TO HARNESS RACING.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1 . Amend Chapter 100, Title 3, Delaware Code, by adding thereto a new Section 10032 to read as follows:
"Section 10032. Delaware-owned or bred races.
(a) Persons licensed to conduct harness horse racing meets under this Chapter may offer non-stakes races limited to horses wholly owned by Delaware residents or sired by Delaware stallions.
(b) For purposes of this section, a Delaware bred horse shall be defined as one sired by a Delaware stallion who stood in Delaware during the entire breeding season in which it sired a Delaware bred horse or a horse whose darn was a wholly-owned Delaware mare at the time of breeding as shown on the horse's United States Trotting Association registration or eligibility papers. The breeding season means that period of time beginning February 1 and ending August 1 of each year.
(c) All horses to be entered in Delaware owned or bred races must first be registered and approved by the Commission or its designee. The Commission may establish a date upon which a horse must be wholly-owned by a Delaware resident(s) to be eligible to be nominated, entered, or raced as Delaware-owned. In the case of a corporation seeking to enter a horse in a Delaware-owned or bred event as a Delaware-owned entry, all owners, officers, shareholders, and directors must meet the requirements for a Delaware resident specified below. In the case of an association or other entity seeking to enter a horse in a Delaware owned or bred event as a Delaware-owned entry, all owners must meet the requirements for a Delaware resident specified below. Leased horses are ineligible as Delaware owned entries unless both the lessor and the lessee are Delaware residents as set forth in this section.
() The following actions shall be prohibited for Delaware-owned races and such horses shall be deemed ineligible to be nominated, entered, or raced as Delaware-owned horses.
(i) Payment of the purchase price over time beyond the date of registration;
(ii) Payment of the purchase price through earnings beyond the date of registration;
(iii) Payment of the purchase price with a loan, other than from a commercial lender regulated in Delaware and balance due beyond the date of registration;
(iv) Any management fees, agent fees, consulting fees, or any other form of compensation to non-residents of Delaware, except industry standard training and driving fees; or
() Leasing a horse to a non-resident of Delaware.
(e) The Commission or its designee shall determine all questions about a person's eligibility to participate in Delaware-owned races. In determining whether a person is a Delaware Resident, the term "resident" shall mean the place where an individual has his or her permanent home, at which that person remains when not called elsewhere for labor or other special or temporary purposes, and to which that person returns in seasons of repose. For purposes of this section, the term "residence" shall mean a place a person voluntarily fixed as a permanent habitation with an intent to remain in such place for the indefinite future.
(f) The Commission or its designee may review and subpoena any information which is deemed relevant to determine a person's residence, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) Where the person lives and has been living;
(2) The location of the person's source(s) of income;
(0) The address used by the person for the payment of taxes, including federal, state and property taxes;
(1) The state in which the person's personal automobiles are registered;
(2) The state issuing the person's driver's license;
(3) The state in which the person is registered to vote;
(4) Ownership of property in Delaware or outside of Delaware;
(0) The residence used for U.S.T.A. membership and U.S.T.A. registration of a horse, whichever is applicable;
(0) The residence claimed by a person on a loan application or other similar document;
(0) Membership in civic, community, and other organizations in Delaware and elsewhere.
None of these factors when considered alone shall be dispositive, except that a person must have resided in the State of Delaware in the preceding calendar year for a minimum of one hundred and eighty three (183) days. Consideration of all of these factors together, as well as a person's expressed intention, shall be considered in arriving at a determination. The burden shall be on the applicant to prove Delaware residency and eligibility for Delaware-owned or bred races. The Commission may promulgate by regulation any other relevant requirements necessary to ensure that the licensee is a Delaware resident. In the event of disputes about a person's eligibility to enter a Delaware-owned or bred race, the Commission shall resolve all disputes and that decision shall be final.
(g) Each owner and trainer, or the authorized agent of an owner or trainer, or the nominator (collectively, the "entrant"), is required to disclose the true and entire ownership of each horse with the Commission or its designee, and to disclose any changes in the owners of the registered horse to the Commission or its designee. All licensees and racing officials shall immediately report any questions concerning the ownership status of a horse to the Commission racing officials, and the Commission racing officials may place such a horse on the steward's or judge's list. A horse placed on the steward's or judge's list shall be ineligible to start in a race until questions concerning the ownership status of the horse are answered to the satisfaction of the Commission or the Commission's designee, and the horse is removed from the steward or judge's list.
(h) If the Commission, or the Commission's designee, finds a lack of sufficient evidence of ownership status, residency, or other information required for eligibility, prior to a race, the Commission or the Commission's designee, may order the entrant's horse scratched from the race or ineligible to participate.
(i) After a race, the Commission or the Commission's designee, may upon reasonable suspicion, withhold purse money pending an inquiry into ownership status, residency, or other information required to determine eligibility. If the purse money is ultimately forfeited because of a ruling by the Commission or the Commission's designee, the purse money shall be redistributed per order of the Commission or the Commission's designee.
(j) If purse money has been paid prior to reasonable suspicion, the Commission or the Commission's designee may conduct an inquiry and make a determination as to eligibility. If the Commission or the Commission's designee determines there has been a violation of ownership status, residency, or other information required for eligibility, it shall order the purse money returned and redistributed per order of the Commission or the Commission's designee.
(k) Anyone who willfully provides incorrect or untruthful information to the Commission or its designee pertaining to the ownership or breeding of a Delaware-owned or bred horse or pertaining to the declaration of a horse in a race restricted to Delaware owned or bred horses or who commits any other fraudulent act in connection with the entry or registration of a Delaware-owned or bred horse, in addition to other penalties imposed by law, shall be subject to mandatory revocation of licensing privileges in the State of Delaware for a period to be determined by the Commission in its discretion except that absent extraordinary circumstances, the commission shall impose a minimum revocation period of two years and a minimum fine of $5,000 from the date of the violation of these rules or the decision of the Commission, whichever occurs later.
(l) Any person whose license is suspended or revoked under subsection (k) of this section shall be required to apply for reinstatement of licensure and the burden shall be on the applicant to demonstrate that his or her licensure will not reflect adversely on the honesty and integrity of harness racing or interfere with the orderly conduct of a race meeting. Any person whose license is reinstated under this subsection shall be subject to a two year probationary period; and may not participate in any Delaware-owned or bred race during this probationary period. Any further violations of this section by the licensee during the period of probationary licensure shall, absent extraordinary circumstances, result in the Commission imposing revocation of all licensure privileges for a five year period along with any other penalty the Commission deems reasonable and just.
(m) Any suspension imposed by the Commission under this subsection shall not be subject to the stay provisions of 29 Del. C. Section 10144
Approved July 13, 1998.