Section 11-65-19

Review of application for operator's license.

(a) A commission shall promptly consider any application for the issuance or transfer of an operator's license submitted to it and shall grant or deny the issuance or transfer of such license based on all information before it, including the results of investigations it deems appropriate. A commission shall deny a license to any applicant unless it finds as follows:

(1) That such applicant is a business entity, whether a corporation, partnership, or other kind of organization, possessing the organizational substance, financial soundness, managerial capability, and business experience with racing and pari-mutuel wagering operations, or with businesses requiring similar managerial experience and skill, that, in the reasonable judgment of the commission, are necessary to conduct horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon or greyhound racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon, as the case may be, at the location for which an operator's license is being sought;

(2) That the racing facility which is to be the location of the applicant's prospective operations will be suitable for its intended purposes, whether horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon or greyhound racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon or both, and can be reasonably expected to provide the physical plant and location necessary for a successful operation, taking into account projected capital and operating costs, capacity, access, public appeal, and other relevant factors;

(3) That the applicant shall have made, or shall have committed to make, arrangements satisfactory to the commission for the detection and prosecution of any corrupt or fraudulent act, practice, or conduct in connection with all licensed activities, including utilization of the services of a protective agency acceptable to the commission; and

(4) That the applicant has a business plan for conducting horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon or greyhound racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon or both, as the case may be, in accordance with high standards of security, service, and accommodation to the public, as well as in accordance with such standards of the industry, whether horse racing or greyhound racing, that the commission reasonably considers to be appropriate for operations of the nature planned by the applicant, taking into account the size, location, and other relevant characteristics of the sponsoring municipality and its surrounding area.

(b) A commission shall deny the issuance or transfer of an operator's license to any applicant unless it finds that more than 50 percent of both the ownership interest and the voting interest in the applicant (and the applicant's general partner in the event the applicant is a limited partnership) is owned, directly or indirectly by persons who have a substantial presence in the state. For purposes of this subsection, a person shall be deemed to have a substantial presence in the state under any of the following circumstances:

(1) If a natural person, then such person has been domiciled in the state for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the date of the application for a license;

(2) If a corporation, then such corporation is incorporated under Title 10, or is incorporated under comparable laws of another state and is licensed or qualified to do business in the state and, in addition, satisfies one of the following alternative sets of conditions:

a. Such corporation has maintained its principal place of business, and has actively done business, in the state for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the date of application for a license, as evidenced either by the employment of at least 100 employees in the state or by the employment of $500,000.00 in assets held in the state during such period; or

b. More than 50 percent of both the ownership interest and the voting interest in such corporation is owned, directly or indirectly, by natural persons described in subdivision (b)(1), or by one or more corporations described in subdivision (b)(2)a, or by any combination of such natural persons and corporations;

(3) If a limited partnership, then such limited partnership is formed or registered under Title 10, and has maintained its principal place of business and at least 50 percent of its assets in the state for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the date of application for the license, and its general partner has maintained its principal place of business or residence in the state for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the date of such application;

(4) If a general partnership, then such partnership has maintained its principal place of business and at least 50 percent of its assets in the state for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the date of application for the license;

(5) If a financial institution, then such financial institution is a corporation or other legal entity doing business in the state as a bank, national banking association, state banking corporation, trust company, industrial or other loan company, building and loan association, or insurance company and has maintained its principal place of business in the state for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the date of application for the license;

(6) If a trust or custodianship, then at least 50 percent of the corpus of such trust or custodianship is situated in the state and the trustee or custodian of such property has a substantial presence in the state under any of the standards set forth in this subsection (b); or

(7) If an estate, then such estate is the estate of a person described in subdivision (b)(1), or at least 50 percent of the property of such estate consists of real estate located in the state or tangible personal property which has been located within the state for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the date of application for the license.

(c) The provisions of this section which permit an operator's license to be granted only if more than 50 percent of both the ownership interest and the voting interest in the licensee is owned, directly or indirectly, by persons who have a substantial presence in the state shall not be construed (i) to impair the foreclosure rights of any mortgagee holding a mortgage on any racing facility owned, leased, or otherwise used by such licensee that secures debt incurred to finance the costs of constructing or purchasing such racing facility or (ii) to impair the rights of any mortgagee holding such a mortgage, or the rights of any other person, to which such racing facility may be sold in foreclosure, to take and hold title to such racing facility, to lease or sell the same, and to apply for and receive an operator's license from the commission to conduct racing and pari-mutuel wagering activities at such racing facility upon compliance with all other applicable provisions of this chapter, irrespective of whether the aforesaid condition of substantial presence in the state shall be satisfied by persons owning, directly or indirectly, more than 50 percent of both the ownership interest and the voting interest in such mortgagee or in any person to which such racing facility shall be sold, as the case may be.

(d) A commission shall deny the issuance or transfer of an operator's license to an applicant if it finds that for any reason the issuance or transfer of such license to such applicant would not be in the interests of the people of the sponsoring municipality or that the applicant, or any officer, general partner, or director of the applicant, (i) is a disqualified person, (ii) has knowingly made a false statement of a material fact in the application or has deliberately failed to disclose any information called for in the application, or (iii) is not qualified to do business in the state or is not subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of the state.

(Acts 1984, No. 84-131, p. 159, §19; Acts 1987, No. 87-615, p. 1069, §4; Acts 1991, No. 91-187, p. 246, §17.)