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CHAPTER 100. Harness Racing
Subchapter I. Delaware Harness Racing Commission
As used in this chapter:
(1) “Commission” means the Delaware Harness Racing Commission.
(2) “Commissioner” means a member of the Delaware Harness Racing Commission.
(3) “Harness racing,” “harness races,” “harness horse racing” or “harness horse races” means and includes only any racing of horses in which the horses competing or participating are harnessed to a sulky, carriage or similar vehicle and are not mounted by a jockey.45 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 10; 28 Del. C. 1953, § 501; 66 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 261(a);
The Harness Racing Commission shall be a unit of the Department of Agriculture. The Secretary of Agriculture shall promulgate those rules and regulations relating to the establishment of the Harness Racing Commission as such a unit. The Harness Racing Commission and all employees in positions authorized in the Annual Appropriations Act assigned to the Harness Racing Commission shall report directly to the Secretary.66 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 261(a); 75 Del. Laws, c. 89, § 305;
(a) The Delaware Harness Racing Commission is continued. The Commission shall consist of 5 members.
(b) Not more than 3 Commissioners shall be of the same political party. One Commissioner shall be appointed from each county of the State and shall be a bona fide resident of the county for which appointed. No person shall be appointed to the Commission nor be an employee thereof nor officiate at pari-mutuel meetings conducted in this State who is licensed or regulated, directly or indirectly, by the Commission other than for the position to which the person is appointed nor shall the person have any legal or beneficial interest, direct or indirect, pecuniary or otherwise, in any firm, association or corporation so licensed or regulated or which participates in pari-mutuel meetings in any manner. No person shall be a member of the Commission who is not of good moral character or who has been convicted of, or is under indictment for, a felony under the laws of Delaware or any other state, or the United States.
(c) The term of office of each Commissioner shall be 6 years from April 22 in the year of such Commissioner’s appointment and until such Commissioner’s successor shall qualify.
(d) Members of the Harness Racing Commission shall receive a $150 stipend for each meeting. The Chairperson of the Commission shall receive $250 per meeting. The Commission shall meet no more than 16 times per year. Each Commissioner shall be entitled to be paid such Commissioner’s reasonable expenses for traveling to and from any office of the Commission on official business.
(e) Vacancies in the Commission for any reason other than expiration of term of office shall be filled by the Governor for the unexpired term of any Commissioner. The Governor shall appoint a bona fide resident of the proper county for a full term of 6 years when there is a vacancy by reason of expiration of term.45 Del. Laws, c. 303, §§ 1, 2, 4, 5; 47 Del. Laws, c. 23, § 1; 28 Del. C. 1953, § 502; 58 Del. Laws, c. 511, § 62; 63 Del. Laws, c. 143, §§ 9, 10; 63 Del. Laws, c. 390, § 7; 66 Del. Laws, c. 171, §§ 2-4; 66 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 261(a); 72 Del. Laws, c. 94, § 281; 84 Del. Laws, c. 42, § 37;
The Governor shall remove any or all of the Commissioners for inefficiency, neglect of duty or misconduct in office, first giving to him or her or them, a copy of the charges filed against him or her or them and an opportunity of being publicly heard in person or by counsel in his or her or their defense upon not less than 10 days written notice. If any of the Commissioners is removed from office, the Governor shall file in the office of the Secretary of State a complete statement of all charges made against the Commissioner and the Governor’s findings thereof, together with a complete record of the proceedings.45 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 2; 47 Del. Laws, c. 23, § 1; 28 Del. C. 1953, § 503; 66 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 261(a); 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1;
The primary purpose of the Commission is to regulate and oversee the sport of harness racing, within this State in the public interest. The Commission shall possess the powers and duties specified in this chapter and also the powers necessary or proper to enable it to carry out fully and effectually all the purposes of this chapter. The jurisdiction, supervision, powers and duties of the Commission shall extend under this chapter to any person who holds or conducts any meeting within this State at which harness horse racing is permitted for any stake, purse or reward and upon which wagering or betting is conducted as provided in this chapter. The Commission shall possess all necessary powers and duties to regulate the conduct of all grooms, drivers and owners and their employees, of all harness racing horses entered or to be entered in any harness racing meet authorized by the Commission under this chapter. For this purpose, the said Commission may promulgate and prescribe such rules and regulations as it may deem proper and necessary.45 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 1; 28 Del. C. 1953, § 504; 52 Del. Laws, c. 233, § 1; 63 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 11; 66 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 261(a);
The Commission shall establish and maintain offices at such places within this State and shall meet at least monthly during the period when any association is conducting a harness horse racing meet and at such other times as it deems necessary. A majority of the Commissioners shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business, for the performance of any duty and for the exercise of any power of the Commission.45 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 4; 47 Del. Laws, c. 23, § 1; 28 Del. C. 1953, § 506; 63 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 12; 66 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 261(a); 68 Del. Laws, c. 214, § 1;
(a) The Commission may appoint such officers, clerks, stenographers, inspectors, racing officials, veterinarians and such other employees as it deems necessary, consistent with the purposes of this chapter. The Commission for the purpose of maintaining integrity and honesty in racing shall prescribe by administrative regulation the powers and duties of the persons employed under this section and qualifications necessary to competently perform these duties.
(b) In addition to any minimum qualifications promulgated by the Commission, all applicants for the position of steward or race judge must be certified by a national organization approved by the Commission. An applicant for the position of steward or race judge must also have been previously employed as a steward, patrol judge or other racing official at a harness racing meeting for a period of not less than 45 days during 3 of the past 5 years, or have at least 5 years of experience as a licensed driver who has also served not less than 1 year as a licensed racing official at a harness racing meeting or have 10 years of experience as a licensed harness racing trainer who has also served not less than 1 year as a licensed racing official at a harness racing meeting.
(c) The Commission may appoint a racing inspector or investigator for each harness racing meet. Such racing inspector shall perform all duties prescribed by the Commission consistent with the purposes of this chapter. Such racing inspector shall have full and free access to the books, records and papers pertaining to the pari-mutuel system of wagering and to the enclosure or space where the pari-mutuel system is conducted at any harness racing meeting to which the racing inspector shall be assigned to the purpose of ascertaining whether the holder of such permit is operating in compliance with the Commission’s rules and regulations. The racing inspector shall investigate whether such rules and regulations promulgated by the Commission are being violated at such harness racetrack or enclosure by any licensee, patron or other person. Upon discovering any such violation, the racing inspector shall immediately report his or her findings in writing and under oath to the Commission or its designee as it may deem fitting and proper. The racing inspector or investigator shall be devoted full time to the duties of the office and shall not hold any other position or employment, except for performance of similar duties for the Thoroughbred Racing Commission.
(d) All employees appointed under subsections (a) through (c) of this section shall serve at the pleasure of the Commission and are to be paid a reasonable compensation. No person shall be appointed to hold any such office or position who holds any official relation to any person, association or corporation engaged in or conducting harness horse racing within the State. The full compensation of the presiding judge, associate judges and track veterinarian and no more than that portion of the compensation of the state steward paid by the licensed persons or association as of June 30, 1998, shall be paid by the Commission subject to pro rata reimbursement by the licensed persons or associations conducting harness racing meets under this chapter. Increases in costs of the aforementioned officials 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 shall determine and insure that such employees perform their duties in the public interest. No Commissioner, racing official, steward or judge whose duty is to insure that the rules and regulations of the Commission are complied with shall bet on the outcome of any race regulated by the Commission or have any financial or pecuniary interest in the outcome of any race regulated by the Commission.
(e) The Commission may employ an Administrator of Racing who shall perform all duties prescribed by the Commission consistent with the purposes of this chapter. The Administrator of Racing shall be appointed by the Governor after consideration of candidates jointly submitted by the Harness Racing Commission and the Thoroughbred Racing Commission. The Administrator of Racing shall be devoted full time to the duties of the office and shall not hold any other office or employment, except that the Administrator of Racing can perform the same duties as Administrator of Racing for the Thoroughbred Racing Commission. The Administrator of Racing shall be the representative for the Commission at all race meetings. The Administrator of Racing shall attend all meetings of the Commission and shall keep a complete record of its proceedings and preserve, at its general office, all books, maps, documents and papers entrusted to its care. The Administrator of Racing shall be the executive officer of the Commission and shall be responsible for keeping all Commission records and carrying out the rules and orders of the Commission. The Commission may appoint the Administrator of Racing to act as a hearing officer to hear appeals from administrative decisions of the steward or racing judges.45 Del. Laws, c. 303, §§ 2, 4; 47 Del. Laws, c. 23, § 1; 28 Del. C. 1953, § 507; 57 Del. Laws, c. 740, § 10; 61 Del. Laws, c. 2, § 1; 63 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 13; 66 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 261(a); 68 Del. Laws, c. 214, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 414, § 1;
The Secretary 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 prescribes.45 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 4; 47 Del. Laws, c. 23, § 1; 28 Del. C. 1953, § 508; 66 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 261(a); 68 Del. Laws, c. 214, § 1;
The annual operating budget act shall appropriate ASF revenue to the Harness Racing Commission for operational expenses. The Commission’s revenues, derived from fees, fines and licenses, shall be used to cover its respective operational expenditures. The Harness Racing Commission shall maintain three positions used for the State Steward, the Presiding Judge and one Associate Judge. These positions shall be exempt from the classified service as provided in Chapter 59 of Title 29. The compensation for these positions shall be determined by the Harness Racing Commission. Persons appointed by the Commission to fill these positions shall be eligible for membership in the State Pension Plan, for coverage under the life and health insurance programs for State employees, and for worker’s compensation benefits as State employees, but, because of the nature of these positions, they shall not be eligible for annual leave, sick leave or compensatory time. Should revenues be insufficient to cover the operational costs of the Commission, funds may be transferred from state lottery revenues collected under the authority of § 4815 of Title 29 to cover such shortfalls with the concurrence of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Controller General.73 Del. Laws, c. 322, § 2; 75 Del. Laws, c. 88, § 21(2);
The Commission shall make an annual report to the Governor on or before the 1st day of January in each year. The report shall include a statement of receipts and disbursements by the Commission and any additional information and recommendations which the Commission deems of value.45 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 4; 47 Del. Laws, c. 23, § 1; 28 Del. C. 1953, § 511; 66 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 261(a); 68 Del. Laws, c. 214, § 1;
(a) The Commission may establish categories of licenses and impose license fees as specified in subsection (b) of this section for persons participating in pari-mutuel harness racing meets under the jurisdiction of the Commission.
(b) Any person required by the Commission to be licensed to participate in pari-mutuel harness racing during any calendar year shall, at the time of making application for such license, pay the Commission a fee as follows: for each owner, trainer, driver or groom, or a combination thereof, $50; provided, however, that the fee for applying for only a groom’s license shall be $20.70 Del. Laws, c. 589, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 227, § 1;
(a) The Commission may establish categories of licenses and impose license fees as specified in subsection (b) of this section for persons serving as racing officials at pari-mutuel harness race meets under jurisdiction of the Commission.
(b) Any person required by the Commission to be licensed to serve as a racing official during any calendar year shall at the time of making application for such license pay to the Commission a fee, as follows:
(1) State steward, $125.
(2) Presiding judge, $100.
(3) Associate judge, $75.
(4) Paddock judge, horse identifier and equipment checker or patrol judge, $50.
(5) State veterinarian or lasix veterinarian, $50.
(6) Breath analyzer, veterinary assistant, paddock inspector, laboratory personnel and all other paddock personnel, $50.
(7) Racing secretary, $100.
(8) Assistant racing secretary, $50.
(9) Official starter, clerk of the course, official charter or official timer, $50.
(10) For any other person designated by the Commission to be licensed as a pari-mutuel racing official, $50.70 Del. Laws, c. 589, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 227, §§ 2-5;
(a) The Commission may establish categories of licenses and impose license fees as specified in subsection (b) of this section for persons working for a licensee during pari-mutuel harness race meetings under the jurisdiction of the Commission.
(b) The Commission shall require persons working for a licensee during any calendar year to be licensed and at the time of making application for such license pay to the Commission a fee, as follows:
(1) Vendor, $50;
(2) Photographer, $50;
(3) For employees of a vendor, employees of a photographer, concession stand workers, maintenance personnel, parking lot attendants, admission staff, security personnel, mutual employees, timer or totalizator and film patrol workers, $20; and
(4) For any other persons designated by the Commission to be licensed to work for a race meet licensee during a pari-mutuel harness race meet, $20.70 Del. Laws, c. 589, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 227, §§ 6, 7;
The Commission shall require that any person who is required to be licensed to participate in pari-mutuel harness racing, under the jurisdiction of the Commission, be fingerprinted by the Commission or its designee for purposes of a criminal history check on such applicant. Any person required by the Commission to be fingerprinted as part of the license application process shall also be responsible for payment to the State Bureau of Identification for the cost of fingerprinting and conducting state and federal criminal history checks. The State Bureau of Identification shall be the intermediary for the purpose of this section for the receipt of said federal criminal history records.70 Del. Laws, c. 589, § 1;
Pursuant to § 101(10) of this title, the Delaware Harness Racing Commission is authorized to apply for and utilize administrative inspection warrants issued by the Secretary of Agriculture for the purpose of conducting administrative inspections and seizures of property at any location within the State where harness racing horses are stabled or otherwise located.79 Del. Laws, c. 135, § 2;