Section 11-65-14

Commission licenses required for certain activities; conditions relating to award and use of licenses.

(a) No person shall construct or establish a horse racetrack or racing facility where horse races are to be held and pari-mutuel wagering permitted, or own, lease, or otherwise have the use and enjoyment of, any such racetrack or racing facility in the commission municipal jurisdiction unless such person has obtained a horse racing facility license issued by a commission in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, which license, when granted or transferred to the holder thereof, shall authorize such holder to construct, establish, own, lease, or otherwise have the use and enjoyment of, a horse racetrack or racing facility in the commission municipal jurisdiction where horse races can be lawfully held and pari-mutuel wagering thereon permitted, all subject to and in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

(b) No person shall conduct any pari-mutuel wagering on horse races, or conduct any horse races at which wagering of any kind is permitted with such person's knowledge or acquiescence, in the commission municipal jurisdiction unless such person has obtained an operator's license to conduct horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon under the provisions of this chapter, which license, when granted or transferred to the holder thereof, shall authorize such holder to conduct horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon in the commission municipal jurisdiction at the racing facility covered by such license, all subject to and in compliance with the provisions of this chapter. No horse racing operator licensed by a commission shall be required to obtain a horse racing facility license or any other license from the commission with respect to the ownership or use of any racing facility in order to conduct horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon at the facility covered by such operator's license.

(c) No person shall conduct any pari-mutuel wagering on greyhound races or any other kind of dog races, or conduct any dog races at which wagering of any kind is permitted with such person's knowledge or acquiescence, in the commission municipal jurisdiction unless such person has obtained an operator's license to conduct greyhound racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon under the provisions of this chapter, which license, when granted or transferred to the holder thereof, shall authorize such holder to conduct greyhound racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon in the commission municipal jurisdiction at the racing facility covered by such license, all subject to and in compliance with the provisions of this chapter. No greyhound racing operator licensed by a commission shall be required to obtain a horse racing facility license or any other license from the commission with respect to the ownership or use of any racing facility in order to conduct greyhound racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon at the facility covered by such operator's license.

(d) As licensed and regulated by a commission under the provisions of this chapter, horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon and greyhound racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon shall be separate activities which, subject to the rules, regulations, and orders of the commission, may be conducted at the same racing facility. A commission shall permit an operator holding both a license for horse racing and a license for greyhound racing to schedule both kinds of racing at different times on the same racing day or to schedule only one kind of racing on any given racing day, as in the judgment of such operator may be most economically advantageous. A commission may not require a greyhound racing operator to conduct horse racing to any extent as a condition of maintaining its license for greyhound racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon in good standing or, alternatively, require a horse racing operator to conduct greyhound racing to any extent as a condition of maintaining its license for horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon in good standing.

(e) No license issued under the provisions of this chapter shall be transferable without the approval of the commission which issued such license. The commission's review of any proposed transfer of a license and its approval or disapproval thereof shall be subject to rules and regulations adopted by the commission, but approval for the transfer of any license shall not be unreasonably withheld. No transfer of any license shall be approved by the commission unless the proposed transferee of such license satisfies all qualifications and requirements that would be applicable to the original recipient of such license under this chapter.

(f) When presented with the opportunity of issuing or transferring any license under the provisions of this chapter, whether a horse racing facility license, an operator's license for horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon or an operator's license for greyhound racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon, a commission, in the exercise of its judgment and discretion, may determine the conditions under which applicants shall be allowed or induced to apply for such license, which conditions may involve, without limitation, (i) a public and open competition in which all interested persons shall be encouraged and permitted to submit applications or (ii) a controlled selection process in which only one applicant having particular qualifications will be evaluated by the commission and given an exclusive right to apply for and be awarded such license, subject to such applicant's fulfillment of all qualifications and conditions required by the provisions of this chapter for the award of such license. The Legislature expressly authorizes a commission, both retroactively and prospectively, to grant, and to contract to grant and transfer, licenses on an exclusive basis to a single prospective licensee, without allowing competition from other persons who might be interested in such licenses, in circumstances where the racing activities under the jurisdiction of the commission have been disrupted by severe and protracted financial and managerial difficulties of the commission's prior licensees and there is a need to grant or transfer licenses to one or more persons having particular qualifications in order to implement a plan to put such racing activities on a new financial basis with new management, including, without limitation, a plan for reorganization under the bankruptcy laws of the United States. The Legislature hereby expressly authorizes, ratifies, and confirms the right and authority of a commission to enter into a valid and enforceable contract to grant to a prospective licensee a license to operate greyhound racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon, and to protect such license from the future issuance of competing licenses for both horse racing and greyhound racing, without considering other applicants for such license, in furtherance of a plan of reorganization which depends upon the projected financial benefits of greyhound racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon under the management of such prospective licensee, even though the commission entered into such contract prior to (i) the enactment of amendments to this chapter which, subject to compliance with the election requirements of Section 11-65-4, authorize the commission to license and regulate greyhound racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon and (ii) the approval of the commission's authority to license and regulate greyhound racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon by the voters of the host county and the commission municipal jurisdiction in an election held pursuant to subsection (b) of Section 11-65-4. Such contract shall be valid from the date of its execution and delivery, but the obligation thereunder of the commission to grant a license for greyhound racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon shall not be enforceable until the voters of the host county and the commission municipal jurisdiction shall have authorized the commission to license and regulate greyhound racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon in an election held pursuant to subsection (b) of Section 11-65-4. Nothing contained in this subsection (f) with respect to the retroactive validation of a commission's contract to issue a license for greyhound racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon shall be construed to limit the right and duty of the commission to deny the award of the license pursuant to such contract if the commission reasonably and in good faith determines that the prospective licensee does not meet the qualifications established by this chapter for the award of the license.

(Acts 1984, No. 84-131, p. 159, §14; Acts 1991, No. 91-187, p. 246, §12.)