TITLE 3

Agriculture

Horse Racing

CHAPTER 100. HARNESS RACING

Subchapter II. License to Conduct Harness Racing Meet; Taxes


Any person desiring to conduct a harness horse racing meet within the State during any calendar year shall first obtain a license to do so from the Commission.

45 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 7; 47 Del. Laws, c. 23, § 1; 28 Del. C. 1953, § 521; 66 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 261(a).;

(a) The application for a license to conduct a harness horse race meet shall be filed with the Commission on or before the 31st day of December of the year preceding that for which the license is requested but the Commission may, for a good cause, permit an application to be filed at a later date. The application shall specify the days on which harness horse racing is desired to be conducted and shall be in such form and supply such data and information, including a blueprint of the track and specifications of its surface and blueprints and specifications of buildings and grandstand on the land where the meet is to be conducted as the Commission prescribes, provided, however, that it shall not be necessary for the applicant to submit blueprints and specifications with the application if the race meet for which a license is requested is to be conducted at a track for which the Commission granted a license for the preceding year.

The 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 seems necessary. The erection and construction of the track, grandstand and buildings of any applicant for a license to conduct harness horse racing under this chapter shall be subject to the inspection of the Commission, which may order such engineering examination as the Commission deems necessary at the expense of the applicant, and may employ such inspectors as the Commission considers necessary for that purpose.

In the event that an application is made for racing dates in Sussex County in compliance with subsection (c) of this section, it shall not be necessary for the applicant to submit blueprints and specifications with the application if the applicant plans to assign those dates applied for to another county.

(b) The Commission may reject any application for a license for any cause which it deems sufficient, and the action of the Commission shall be final.

(c) The Commission shall, on or before the 15th of September of the year preceding that for which a license is desired, award all dates for harness horse racing in this State for the succeeding year; but the dates so awarded shall not exceed 340 days for any 1 licensee, but may exceed more than 340 days in the aggregate for all licensees. To the extent a licensee under this chapter conducts harness horse races during a given year, it shall, at a minimum, subject to the availability of racing stock, conduct live harness horse races on the same number of days as the licensee conducted live harness horse races between September 1, 1991, and April 1, 1992. The Commission may authorize any person, corporation or association licensed under this chapter to transfer all or a portion of the racing dates awarded to such licensee under this section to the track of any other person, corporation or association licensed under this chapter to conduct racing in this State; provided, that each licensee in Kent County which has requested and been awarded racing dates in any calendar year shall conduct a minimum of 8 weeks of racing at the track of such licensee during such year. Each licensee upon request shall be guaranteed a minimum of 8 weeks of racing. In awarding such racing dates, the Commission shall observe previous traditional seasons. There shall be no racing between the Saturday before and the Saturday after Christmas, unless Christmas falls on a Saturday or Sunday, in which case there shall be no racing between the Monday before Christmas, and the Monday after Christmas. The decision of the Commission regarding racing dates, including concurrent racing dates, shall be final. In addition, the Commission may award additional dates, beyond any limits prescribed elsewhere, for racing days limited exclusively to the receiving and accepting of wagers or bets on electronically televised simulcasts of harness horse races.

(d) The Commission may meet subsequently to the 15th day of January of each year and award dates for harness horse racing within the limits provided in this section on application submitted to it, provided that the days so awarded in no way conflict with this chapter.

(e) No license to conduct harness racing under this section shall be granted except to a private stock corporation formed and existing under the laws of the State for the purpose of conducting harness racing and businesses incident thereto, in compliance with the following conditions and requirements:

(1) Before a license shall be issued under the provisions of this chapter, the applicant shall file with the Commission, in addition to other requirements of this chapter, the names, addresses and terms of office of its directors and officers and at such other time or times thereafter as they may be changed, the names and addresses of such directors and officers, a copy of the certificate of incorporation duly certified by the Secretary of State and a copy of its bylaws. Such applicant shall file with the Commission a copy of any amendment to its certificate of incorporation, duly certified as aforesaid, within 10 days after the effective date of any such amendment;

(2) The board of directors of the applicant shall not be less than 5 in number;

(3) The applicant shall have no other office except in the State;

(4) Every applicant for a license shall file with the Commission at the time of application for a license a statement of its resources and liabilities. The Commission shall have access at all times to the books, records and accounts of the licensee;

(5) No license shall be issued unless a majority of the board of directors and officers shall be bona fide residents of the State.

45 Del. Laws, c. 303, §§ 7, 8; 47 Del. Laws, c. 23, § 1; 28 Del. C. 1953, § 522; 49 Del. Laws, c. 192, §§ 1-4; 51 Del. Laws, c. 5; 51 Del. Laws, c. 337; 52 Del. Laws, c. 183; 52 Del. Laws, c. 276, § 1; 54 Del. Laws, c. 297; 55 Del. Laws, c. 223, §§ 1-5; 57 Del. Laws, c. 230; 57 Del. Laws, c. 455; 58 Del. Laws, c. 72; 60 Del. Laws, c. 4, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 261(a); 68 Del. Laws, c. 214, § 2; 68 Del. Laws, c. 254, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 446, § 23.;

(a) Any person upon applying to the Commission for a license to conduct a harness horse racing meet during any calendar year shall at the time of making the application pay to the Secretary of Finance a fee of $2,000.

(b) Any person who is granted a license by the Commission to conduct a harness horse racing meet during any calendar year shall at the time the license is granted pay to the Secretary of Finance an additional fee of $1,000.

45 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 5; 47 Del. Laws, c. 23, § 1; 28 Del. C. 1953, § 523; 57 Del. Laws, c. 741, § 30A; 66 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 261(a); 72 Del. Laws, c. 227, §§ 8, 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 the applicant. The license shall be subject to all rights, regulations and conditions from time to time prescribed by the Commission.

45 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 9; 28 Del. C. 1953, § 524; 66 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 261(a).;

Any license issued by the Commission shall be subject to suspension or revocation by the Commission for any cause whatsoever which the Commission deems sufficient. If any license is suspended or revoked, the Commission shall state publicly its reasons for so doing and cause an entry of the reasons to be made on the minute book of the Commission and its action shall be final. The propriety of such action shall be subject to review, upon questions of law only, by the Superior Court of the county within which the license was granted. The action of the Commission shall stand unless and until reversed by the Court.

45 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 9; 28 Del. C. 1953, § 525; 66 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 261(a).;

Every license issued under this chapter shall contain a condition that all harness races or racing meets conducted thereunder shall be subject to the reasonable rules and regulations from time to time prescribed by the United States Trotting Association. Any rule or regulation of the United States Trotting Association may be modified or abrogated by the Commission upon giving the United States Trotting Association an opportunity to be heard. All grooms, drivers and owners and their employees of any horses entered, or to be entered, in any harness racing meet licensed under this chapter shall be subject to said rules and regulations prescribed as aforesaid by the said United States Trotting Association. Said rules of the United States Trotting Association may be modified or abrogated by the Commission upon giving the United States Trotting Association an opportunity to be heard.

45 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 10; 28 Del. C. 1953, § 526; 52 Del. Laws, c. 233, § 2; 66 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 261(a).;

Not less than 5 days prior to the opening of any meet authorized by the Commission, the Commission, at the expense of the licensee for the meet, shall cause to be made an inspection of the track, grandstand and buildings where the meet is to be held and unless the track, grandstand and buildings where the meet is to be held are found to be safe for animals and persons, or are rendered safe prior to the opening of the meet, the license for the meet shall be withdrawn.

45 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 7; 47 Del. Laws, c. 23, § 1; 28 Del. C. 1953, § 527; 66 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 261(a).;

(a) The Commission may make rules governing, restricting or regulating the rate or charge by a licensee for admission, or for the performance of any service, or the sale of any article on the premises of a licensee; provided, however, that where the Commission imposes a penalty on any person, such penalty shall not apply to that person's spouse unless such spouse has committed the same offense.

(b) All proposed extensions, additions or improvements to the buildings, stables or improvements on tracks or property owned or leased by a licensee under this chapter shall be subject to the approval of the Commission.

(c) The Commission may compel the production of any and all books, memoranda or documents showing the receipts and disbursements of any person licensed under the provisions of this chapter to conduct racing meets.

(d) The Commission may at any time require the removal of any employee or official employed by any licensee hereunder.

(e) The Commission may require that the books, records and financial or other statements of any person licensed under the provisions of this chapter shall be kept in such form or in such manner as the Commission prescribes. The Commission may visit, investigate and place expert accountants and such other persons as it deems necessary, in the offices, tracks or places of business of any such person for the purpose of satisfying itself that the Commission's rules and regulations are strictly complied with. The salaries and expenses of such expert accountants or other persons shall be paid by the person to whom they are assigned.

(f) The Commission may issue, under the hand of any Commissioner and the seal of the Commission, subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers and documents before the Commission and may administer oaths or affirmations to the witnesses whenever in the judgment of the Commission it is necessary for the effectual discharge of its duties. If any person refuses to obey any subpoena, or to testify, or to produce any books, papers or documents, then the Commission may apply to the Superior Court of the county in which the Commission is sitting, and, thereupon, the Court shall issue its subpoena requiring the person to appear and to testify, or to produce the books, papers and documents. Whoever fails to obey or refuses to obey a subpoena of the Court shall be 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.

(g) The Commission shall promulgate administrative regulations for effectively preventing the use of improper devices, the administration of drugs or stimulants or other improper acts for the purpose of affecting the speed or health of horses in races in which they are to participate. The Commission is also authorized to promulgate administrative regulations for the legal drug testing of licensees. The Commission is authorized to contract for the maintenance and operation of a testing laboratory and related facilities, for the purpose of saliva, urine or other tests for enforcement of the Commission's drug testing rules and regulations. The licensed persons or associations conducting harness racing shall reimburse the Commission for all costs of the drug testing program established pursuant to this section. Increases in costs of the aforementioned testing program shall be reasonable and related to expansion in the number of days of racing and the number of races held, the need to maintain competitive salaries, and inflation. The Commission may not unreasonably expand the drug testing program beyond the scope of the program in effect as of June 30, 1998. Any decision by the Commission to expand the scope of the drug testing program that occurs after an administrative hearing, at which the persons or associations licensed under § 10022 of this title consent to such expansion, shall not be deemed an unreasonable expansion for purposes of this section. The Commission, in addition to the penalties contained in § 10026 of this title, may impose penalties on licensees who violate the drug testing regulations including imposition of fines or assessments for drug testing costs. By January 1, 1999, the Commission shall present recommendations to the General Assembly regarding the implementation of additional penalties, including forfeiture of horses, which may be imposed on a licensee whose horse tests positive for illegal drugs.

45 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 10; 47 Del. Laws, c. 23, § 2; 28 Del. C. 1953, § 528; 66 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 261(a); 68 Del. Laws, c. 214, § 3; 71 Del. Laws, c. 414, § 2.;

Every licensee shall file with the Department of Finance not later than 4 months after the close of its fiscal year a statement, duly certified by an independent public accountant, of its receipts from all sources whatsoever during the fiscal year and of all expenses and disbursements, itemized in the manner and form directed by the Department of Finance, showing the net revenue from all sources derived by the licensee during the fiscal year covered by such statement.

45 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 11; 28 Del. C. 1953, § 529; 52 Del. Laws, c. 276, § 2; 57 Del. Laws, c. 741, § 30B; 66 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 261(a).;

(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 dam 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.

(d) 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.

(1) Payment of the purchase price over time beyond the date of registration;

(2) Payment of the purchase price through earnings beyond the date of registration;

(3) 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;

(4) Any management fees, agent fees, consulting fees or any other form of compensation to nonresidents of Delaware, except industry standard training and driving fees; or

(5) Leasing a horse to a nonresident 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;

(3) The address used by the person for the payment of taxes, including federal, state and property taxes;

(4) The state in which the person's personal automobiles are registered;

(5) The state issuing the person's driver's license;

(6) The state in which the person is registered to vote;

(7) Ownership of property in Delaware or outside of Delaware;

(8) The residence used for U.S.T.A. membership and U.S.T.A. registration of a horse, whichever is applicable;

(9) The residence claimed by a person on a loan application or other similar document;

(10) 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 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 2 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 2-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 5-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 § 10144 of Title 29.

71 Del. Laws, c. 417, § 1.;