DELAWARE RACING COMMISSION
AN ACT to Provide for the Regulation, Control and Licensing of Horse Racing in the State of Delaware, to create a Delaware Racing Commission, and to Prescribe its Powers and Duties and Providing for Salaries and Expenses Therefor, and to Provide for the Fees to be Charged and Taxes to be Collected for the Conduct of Horse Racing within the State of Delaware and the Disposition Thereof.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:
Section 1. That there shall be a Delaware Racing Commission, and the same is hereby created and established, which said Delaware Racing Commission shall be vested with and possessed of the powers and duties in this Act specified, and also the powers necessary or proper to enable it to carry out fully and effectually all the purposes of this Act. The jurisdiction, supervision, powers and duties of the Delaware Racing Commission herein created and established, shall extend under this Act to any and all person or persons, associations or corporations which shall hereafter hold or conduct any meeting within the State of Delaware whereat horse racing shall be permitted for any stake, purse or reward.
Section 2. Said Delaware Racing Commission shall consist of three members all of whom shall be appointed by the Governor and not more than two of whom shall be of the same political party, and one of whom shall be designated by the Governor to be the chairman of the said Commission, and one of whom shall be designated by the Governor to be the Secretary of the said Commission. Each Commissioner at the time of his appointment and qualification shall be a resident of the State of Delaware and shall have resided in said State for a period of at least two years next preceding his appointment and qualification, and he shall also be a qualified voter therein and not less than thirty years of age. One of said Commissioners shall hold office for two years from the beginning of his term of office and until his successor shall qualify. One of said Commissioners shall hold office for four years from the beginning of his term of office and until his successor shall qualify; and one of said Commissioners shall hold office for six years from the beginning of his term of office and until his successor shall qualify. The term of office of each Commissioner shall begin within thirty days from the time this Act takes effect. The Governor at the time of making and announcing said appointment of three Commissioners, as well as in the commission issued by him to each of them, shall designate which of said Commissioners shall serve for the term of two years, and which shall serve for the term of four years, and which shall serve for the term of six years, as aforesaid, and also which shall be the chairman and which shall be the secretary of said Commission. Upon the expiration of each of said terms, the term of office of each Commissioner thereafter appointed shall be six years from the time of his appointment and qualification, and until his successor shall qualify. In case any Commissioner shall be allowed to hold over after the expiration of his term, his successor shall be appointed for the balance of the unexpired term. Vacancies in said Commission shall be filled by the Governor for the unexpired term. Each Commissioner shall be eligible for reappointment in the discretion of the Governor.
The Governor may remove any Commissioner for inefficiency, neglect of duty or misconduct in office, giving to him a cog of the charges against him and an opportunity of being publicly heard in person or by counsel in his own defense, upon not less than ten days notice. If such Commissioner shall be removed, the Governor shall file in the office of the Secretary of State a complete statement of all charges made against such Commissioner and his findings thereof, together with a complete record of the proceedings. No person shall be eligible for appointment or shall hold the office of Commissioner, or be appointed by the Commission, or hold any office or position under the Commission, who holds any official relation to any association or corporation engaged in or conducting racing within the State of Delaware.
Section 3. Before entering upon the discharge of the duties of his office, each member of the Commission shall take oath that he will well and faithfully execute all and singular the duties appertaining to his office according to the laws of the State and the rules and regulations adopted in accordance therewith, and shall give bond to the State of Delaware, with personal or corporate security or securities approved by the Governor in the penalty of $100,000.00, with the condition that he will well and faithfully execute and perform all and singular the duties appertaining to this office according to the laws of this State and the rules and regulations adopted in accordance therewith. Every such bond, when duly executed and approved, shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware, and certified copies under the seal of said Secretary of State may be used as evidence in any Court of this State. It shall be the duty of the Governor at all times when, in his opinion, the security or securities of any member of said Commission shall become or are likely to become invalid or insufficient, to demand and require such member of said Commission forthwith to renew his bond to the State of Delaware with security or securities to be approved by the Governor, in the penalty and according to the form prescribed in this section. Any member of said Commission who shall fail to take oath and give bond with security or securities as aforesaid, within thirty days of the date of his appointment, or who shall fail to renew his bond with security or securities as aforesaid, within thirty days after the same shall have been demanded and required by the Governor, shall be deemed to be guilty of neglect of duty and shall be removable as hereinbefore provided. The cost of any bond given by any member of said Commission under this Section, shall be taken to be a part of the necessary expenses of said Commission and shall be payable as hereinafter provided.
Section 4. Said Commission shall meet at such times and places within the State of Delaware as the Commission shall determine. The members thereof shall be entitled to their reasonable expenses for each meeting so attended, with the exception of the meetings held at the office, which the Commission shall maintain within the City of Wilmington: A majority of the Commissioners shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business, for the performance of any duty, or for the exercise of any power of the Commission. The Commission may appoint such officers, clerks, stenographers, inspectors, experts and employees as may be necessary, all of whom shall serve during the pleasure of said Commission. The Secretary, who shall be a member of the Commission, shall keep a record of all proceedings of the Commission, and shall preserve all books, maps, documents and papers belonging to the Commission or entrusted to its care, and perform such other duties as the Commission may prescribe. The Commission shall make an actual report to the Governor on or before the first day of January, which report shall include a statement of receipts and disbursements by the Commission, and any additional information and recommendations which the Commission may deem of value.
Section 5. The salary of the members of the Commission shall be One Dollar per annum. The salaries of clerks and other employees, and the rental of offices, and other expenses of the Commission, shall not exceed the sum of Three Thousand Dollars per annum.
Section 6. No person or persons, association or corporation shall thereafter hold or conduct any meeting within the State of Delaware whereat horse racing shall be permitted for any stake, purse or reward, except such person, association or corporation as shall be licensed by the Commission as hereinafter provided.
Section 7. Any person or persons, association or corporation desiring to conduct racing within the State of Delaware during any calendar year, shall apply to the Delaware Racing Commission for a license so to do. Such application shall be filed with the Secretary of the Commission on or before a day to be fixed by the Commission. Such application shall specify the days on which such racing is desired to be conducted, or held, and such application shall be in such form and supply such data and information, including a blueprint of track and specifications of surface of same and blueprint and specifications of buildings and grandstand of the applicant, as the Commission may prescribe, which said blueprints and specifications shall be subject to the approval of the Commission, which, at the expense of the applicant, may order such engineering examination thereof as to the Commission may seem necessary. The erection and construction of the track, grandstand and buildings of any applicant for a license to conduct racing under this Act, shall be subject to the inspection of the Commission which, at the expense of the applicant, may employ such inspectors as it may consider necessary for said purpose. Said Racing Commission shall, as soon as practicable during 1933, and on or before the 15th day of January of each year thereafter, award all dates for racing in the State of Delaware within the current year, but the said dates so awarded shall not exceed thirty days in the aggregate, and the decision of the Commission on the award of all such dates shall be final. The Commission shall have power to reject any application for a license for any cause which it may deem sufficient and the action of the Commission shall be final. No one person, corporation or association shall be given a license to conduct racing for more than twenty days in one year, and no person, corporation or association, shall be licensed to hold more than two meetings in any one year, nor shall more than two meetings for racing, with an aggregate of twenty days, be held in any one year on any one track within the State of Delaware.
Ten days before any racing meet may be held under this Act, the person or persons, association or corporation licensed to conduct the meet shall deposit with the Commission insurance against personal injury liability which may be sustained at such meet, said insurance to be in amount approved by the Commission with premium or premiums prepaid.
Not less than five days prior to the opening of any meet authorized by the Commission, the Commission, at the expense of the licensee for said meet, shall cause to be made an inspection of the track, grandstand and buildings where said meet is to be held, and unless said track, grandstand and buildings are found to be safe for animals and persons, or are rendered safe therefor prior to the opening of the meet, the license for said meet shall be withdrawn.
Section 8. Said Commission may in its discretion meet subsequent to the 15th day of January of each year and award dates
for racing within the limits hereinbefore provided on application submitted to it, provided that the days so awarded in no way conflict with the further provisions of this Act.
Section 9. Upon the award of days to any applicant, the Commission shall issue a license for the holding of the meet or meets during the days awarded to such applicant, and said license shall be subject to all rights, regulations and conditions from time to time prescribed by the Commission; and said license shall be subject to suspension or revocation by the Commission for any cause whatsoever which the Commission may, in its discretion deem sufficient. If any license is suspended or revoked, said Commission shall state publicly its reasons for so doing and cause an entry of such reasons to be made on the minute book of the Commission, and its action shall be final, provided, however, the propriety of such action shall be subject to review, upon question of law only, by the Superior Court of the County within which such license was granted, the action of the Commission to stand unless and until reversed by the Court.
Section 10. Racing under this Act shall be limited to animals of the equine species. No racing under this Act shall be held between the hours of sundown and sunrise, nor shall a license be issued by the Commission for flat racing on a track less than one mile in circumference. No steeple chase race shall be run in the infield of a track less than one mile in circumference.
Every license issued under this Act shall contain a condition that all running races or race meetings conducted thereunder shall be subject to the reasonable rules and regulations, from time to time prescribed by the Jockey Club, a corporation organized under the laws of the State of New York, and that all steeple chase races, or steeple chases shall be subject to the reasonable rules and regulations from time to time prescribed by the National Steeple Chase Association, a corporation organized under the laws of the State of New York. Any rule or regulation of such Jockey Club or National Steeple Chase Association may be modified or abrogated by the said Racing Commission, upon giving such Jockey Club or National Steeple Chase Association an opportunity to be heard. Said Commission may make rules governing, restricting or regulating the rate of charge by a licensee for admission, or for the performance of any service, or the sale of any article on the premises of such licensee.
No race shall be authorized or permitted for a purse, stake or reward of less than Seven Hundred Dollars ($700.00) (plate value, if any, shall be considered as a part of the purse, stake or reward) except in the event of a split race, in which case the purse, stake or reward shall be equally divided.
No salary, fee or compensation paid by any person or persons, association or corporation, licensed as hereinbefore provided, to any one person, shall exceed the sum of Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00) per annum.
All proposed extensions, additions or improvements to the buildings, stables, improvements on tracks or property, owned or leased by the licensee under this Act, shall be subject to the approval of the Commission. Said Commission shall have power to compel the production of any and all books, memoranda, or documents showing the receipts and disbursements of any corporation, person or persons, or association licensed under the provisions of this Act to conduct racing meets. The Commission may at any time require the removal of any employee or official employed by any licensee hereunder. The Commission shall also have the power to require that the books and financial or other statements of any person, corporation or association, licensed under the provisions of this Act, shall be kept in any manner which to the Commission may seem best, and the Commission shall also be authorized to visit, to investigate, and to place expert accountants and such other persons as it may deem necessary, in the offices, tracks, or places of business of any such person, corporation or association, for the purpose of satisfying itself that the Commission's rules and regulations are strictly complied with, and the salaries and expenses of such expert accountants or other persons shall be paid by the person, corporation, or association to whom they are assigned. The said Commission shall have the authority to issue, under the hand of its Chairman and the seal of the Commission, subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers and documents, before the Commission, and to administer oath or affirmation to such witnesses whenever in the judgment of the said Commission it may be necessary for the effectual discharge of their duties. If any person shall refuse to obey any such subpoena, or to testify, or to produce any books, papers and documents, then any member of the Commission may apply to the Superior Court of the County in which he or the Commission may be sitting, and, thereupon, the said Court shall issue its subpoena requiring such person to appear and to testify, or to produce such books, papers and documents. Any person failing to obey or refusing to obey a subpoena of the said Court shall be deemed guilty of contempt of court, and shall be punished accordingly. False swearing on the part of any witness shall be deemed perjury and shall be punished as such.
Section 12. Every person or persons, association or corporation licensed to hold racing meets within the State of Delaware as hereinbefore provided, shall pay to the Commission a tax of twenty cents (20c) on each admission ticket sold by the licensee on each day the same shall be used. The licensee may if it desires collect such amount from each ticket holder in addition to the amount or amounts charged for such ticket of admission. Accurate records and books shall at all times be kept and maintained by the licensee showing the paid admission tickets sold and used on each racing day of each horse racing meet. The Commission, or its duly authorized representative or representatives, shall at all reasonable times have access to the admission records of any licensee for the purpose of examining and checking the same, and ascertaining whether or not the proper amount has been, or is being, paid the State of Delaware as herein provided. The Commission may also, from time to time, require sworn statements of the number or numbers of such paid admissions and may prescribe blanks upon which such reports shall be made.
Every person or persons, association or corporation, licensed to hold racing meets within the State of Delaware, as herein-before provided, shall on or before the first day of December of
each year return to the Commission a full statement, under oath, of their receipts from all sources whatsoever during the calendar year, and of all expenses and disbursements, all itemized in the manner and form as shall be directed by the Commission, and with such allowances as may be approved by the Commission showing the net revenue from all sources derived by such person or persons, association or corporation, engaged in or conducting horse racing. The cost of any alterations, additions, changes or improvements made or proposed upon the property owned or leased by any such person and used by it for the convenience and comfort of the public and of the horse owners with the approval of the Commission shall be deducted as running expenses in such statements.
The Commission shall allow a licensee a reasonable annual depreciation on the buildings and equipment used in the holding of racing meets within the State of Delaware.
From any net revenue resulting after the payment of the admission taxes hereinbefore provided for, and after the allowances of the deductions for running expenses and depreciation hereinbefore provided for, and the payment of Federal taxes, if any, the Commission shall allow a licensee a sum not to exceed 4% of the capital investment of the licensee in his or its track, grandstand, buildings and equipment employed in holding racing meets as interest or return on said investment. All net revenue of a licensee remaining shall be set aside and employed by the licensee toward the maintenance of purses, stakes and rewards and for the maintenance and improvement of the track and buildings of the licensee.
Any licensee failing or refusing to pay the amount found to be due by the Commission as the tax on admissions shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be liable to a fine of not more than Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,- 000.00) in addition to the amount due the Commission. All fines up to the amount found to be due the Commission and paid into Court by a licensee found guilty of violating this Section, shall be transmitted and paid over by the Clerk of the Court to the Commission.
Section 13. Before the thirtieth days of June and December in each year, the Commission shall prepare and file with the State Treasurer a full and complete statement of its receipts and disbursements from all sources and shall pay over to the Treasurer of the State all monies in their hands, less the salaries and expenses of the Commission, less any other remittances herein provided.
Section 14. Any person aiding or abetting in the conduct of any meet within the State of Delaware at which racing of horses shall be permitted for any stake, purse or reward, except in accordance with a license duly issued and unsuspended or unrevoked by the Delaware Racing Commission, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) and not more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) for each day of such unauthorized meeting or by imprisonment in the discretion of the Court. It shall be the duty of all officers of the law to cooperate with the Commission for the proper enforcement of this Act, and the Governor may, upon the request of the Commission, order the Superintendent of State Police to assign a sufficient number of patrolmen to prevent horse racing at any track, a license for which has been refused, suspended or revoked by the Commission.
Section 15. No part of this Act shall be construed to apply to racing conducted by an Agricultural Fair Association, nor to harness horse races; nor shall any part of this Act apply to races at which no admission is charged, or at which no form of income by gift, admission, or otherwise is received, and for which no purse, stake or reward in cash, or the equivalent of cash is offered. A trophy, other than cash or the equivalent of cash, shall not be deemed a purse, stake or reward within the meaning of this Section. The Commission shall in all cases have power to and shall determine whether any trophy, reward, purse or stake offered for any race is cash or the equivalent of cash.Section 16. Whoever shall bet or wager any money or valuable thing on the result of any horse race authorized by this Act, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof, shall be fined in a sum not exceeding One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) and imprisoned in the workhouse or jail of the proper county for a period not exceeding two years, or either or both, at the discretion of the Court.
Section 17. And be it further enacted that should any of the Sections or parts of Sections contained in this Act, be held to be unconstitutional and void by the Supreme Court of this State, it is hereby expressly declared that the remaining sections, or parts of sections of said Acts are not to be invalidated thereby, but are to remain in full force and effect as if the sections, or parts of sections held unconstitutional had never been enacted.
All other Acts and parts of Acts inconsistent with this Act, in so far as it or they may affect the racing of thoroughbred horses, are hereby repealed.
Approved June 12, 1933.