SENATE BILL 410
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023
William F. Burt
RELATING TO GAMING CONTROL; UPDATING THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH A RACETRACK GAMING OPERATOR'S LICENSE CAN BE VOIDED; UPDATING RACETRACK LICENSE APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 60-1A-8 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2007, Chapter 39, Section 8) is amended to read:
"60-1A-8. RACETRACK LICENSES--APPLICATIONS--SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS.--
A. It is a violation of the Horse Racing Act for a person to hold a public horse race or a race meet for profit or gain in any manner unless the person has been issued a racetrack license by the commission and has been authorized by the commission to hold the horse race or race meet on specific dates.
B. An application for a racetrack license shall be submitted in writing on forms designated by the commission. An applicant shall affirm that information contained in the application is true and accurate. The application shall be signed by the applicant or the applicant's agent, and the signature shall be notarized.
C. A racetrack license shall be valid for a period not to exceed one year. The commission may renew a racetrack license upon expiration of the term of the license.
D. Renewal applications for racetrack licenses shall be filed no later than June 1 of each year. The race dates for the upcoming year shall be set by the commission after the commission receives all renewal applications.
E. An application and renewal application shall specify the dates and days of the week of the race meet that the applicant is requesting the commission to approve. In making its request for race days, a racetrack licensee shall use its business judgment in considering the welfare of the racehorses, available purse funds for distribution in races, its desired minimum daily purse figure, horses available to participate in races, factors impacting pari-mutuel wagering, the ability to operate a safe race meet, staffing and other factors it deems relevant. In setting the number of days for each racetrack licensee's race meet, the commission shall consider each racetrack licensee's business judgment regarding the race days requested.
F. An application shall be filed not less than sixty days prior to the first day the proposed horse race or race meet is to be held.
G. The fee for a new racetrack license issued pursuant to this section shall not exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000).
H. The commission may schedule a date for a hearing on the application for a new racetrack license to determine the eligibility of the applicant pursuant to the Horse Racing Act or as needed for determining the eligibility for the renewal of a racetrack license. The applicant shall be notified of the hearing at least five days prior to the date of the hearing. The applicant has the right to present testimony in support of the application. Notice shall be mailed to the address of the applicant appearing upon the application for the racetrack license. Notice of the hearing date, time and location shall be postmarked by United States mail five days prior to the date of the hearing. Deposit of the hearing notice in United States mail constitutes notice.
I. If, after a hearing on the application, the commission finds the applicant ineligible pursuant to the provisions of the Horse Racing Act or rules adopted by the board, the racetrack license shall be denied.
J. If there is more than one application for a racetrack license pending at the same time, the commission shall determine the racing days that will be allotted to each successful applicant. Upon renewal, the commission shall determine the racing days that will be allotted to each applicant upon terms and conditions established by the commission.
K. A person shall not have a direct, indirect or beneficial interest of any nature, whether or not financial, administrative, policymaking or supervisory, in more than two horse racetracks in New Mexico. For purposes of this subsection, a person shall not be considered to have a direct, indirect or beneficial interest in a horse racetrack if the person owns or holds less than ten percent of the total authorized, issued and outstanding shares of a corporation that is licensed to conduct a race meet in New Mexico, unless the person has some other direct, indirect or beneficial interest of any nature, whether or not financial, administrative, policymaking or supervisory, in more than two licensed horse racetracks.
L. To determine interest held in a racetrack, to the extent that the interest is based on stock ownership:
(1) stock owned, directly or indirectly, by or for a corporation, partnership, estate or trust shall be considered as being owned proportionately by its shareholders, partners or beneficiaries;
(2) an individual shall be considered as owning the stock, directly or indirectly, if it is held by an immediate family member. For purposes of this paragraph, an "immediate family member" includes only the individual's siblings, spouse or children; and
(3) stock constructively owned by a person by reason of the application of Paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be considered to be actually owned by the person; and stock shall be constructively owned by an individual by reason of the application of Paragraph (2) of this subsection if the purpose of the constructive ownership is to make a person other than the individual applicant appear as the owner of the stock.
M. A corporation holding a racetrack license shall not issue to a person shares of its stock amounting to ten percent or more of the total authorized, issued and outstanding shares, and a corporation holding a racetrack license shall not issue shares of its stock that would, when combined with that stock transferee's existing shares owned, total more than ten percent of the total authorized, issued and outstanding shares of the corporation, unless:
(1) the corporation gives written notice to the commission at least sixty days before the contemplated stock transfer that the person to whom the stock is being transferred will become an owner of ten percent or more of the total authorized, issued and outstanding shares of the corporation; and
(2) the corporation receives written approval from the commission of the proposed transfer.
N. A determination made by the commission of a matter pursuant to this section shall be final and not subject to appeal."
SECTION 2. Section 60-2E-27 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1997, Chapter 190, Section 29, as amended) is amended to read:
"60-2E-27. GAMING OPERATOR LICENSEES--SPECIAL CONDITIONS FOR RACETRACKS--NUMBER OF GAMING MACHINES--DAYS AND HOURS OF OPERATIONS.--
A. A racetrack licensed by the state racing commission pursuant to the Horse Racing Act to conduct live horse races or simulcast races may be issued a gaming operator's license to operate gaming machines on its premises where live racing is conducted.
B. A racetrack's gaming operator's license shall [automatically become void if]:
(1) become automatically void if the racetrack no longer holds an active license to conduct pari-mutuel wagering; or
[(2) the racetrack paid gaming tax to the state on its net take in an amount greater than eight million dollars ($8,000,000) in the prior fiscal year pursuant to Section 60-2E-47 NMSA 1978 and fails to maintain a minimum of four live race days a week with at least nine live races on each race day during its licensed race meet, except as provided in Subsection F of this section; or
(3) the racetrack paid gaming tax to the state on its net take in an amount equal to eight million dollars ($8,000,000) or less in the prior fiscal year pursuant to Section 60-2E-47 NMSA 1978 and fails to maintain a minimum of three live race days a week with at least ten live races on each day during its licensed race meets, except as provided in Subsection F of this section.]
(2) become voidable by formal action of the board if the racetrack fails to maintain at least the number of race days as set by the state racing commission pursuant to Section 60-1A-8 NMSA 1978, except as provided by Subsection F of this section.
C. Unless a larger number is allowed pursuant to Subsection D of this section, a gaming operator licensee that is a racetrack may have up to six hundred licensed gaming machines.
D. By execution of an allocation agreement, signed by both the allocating racetrack and the racetrack to which the allocation is made, a gaming operator licensee that is a racetrack may allocate any number of its authorized gaming machines to another gaming operator licensee that is a racetrack. To be valid, the allocation agreement must bear the written approval of the board and the state racing commission, and this approval shall make specific reference to the meeting at which the action of approval was taken and the number of votes cast both for and against the approval. By allocating a number of its authorized machines to another racetrack, the allocating racetrack automatically surrenders all rights to operate the number of machines allocated. No racetrack shall operate or be authorized to operate more than seven hundred fifty gaming machines.
E. Gaming machines on a racetrack gaming operator licensee's premises may be played only on days when the racetrack is either conducting live horse races or simulcasting horse race meets. On days when gaming machines are permitted to be operated, a racetrack gaming operator licensee may offer gaming machines for operation for up to eighteen hours per day; provided that the total number of hours in which gaming machines are operated does not exceed one hundred twelve hours in a one-week period beginning on Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. and ending at 8:00 a.m. on the following Tuesday. A racetrack gaming operator licensee may offer gaming machines for play at any time during a day; provided that the total hours of operation in each day from just after midnight of the previous day until midnight of the current day does not exceed eighteen hours. A racetrack gaming operator licensee shall determine, within the limitations imposed by this subsection, the hours it will offer gaming machines for operation each day and shall notify the board in writing of those hours.
F. Maintaining fewer live race days or fewer live races on each race day during a licensed race meet does not constitute a failure to maintain the minimum number of live race days or races as required by [Paragraphs] Paragraph (2) [and (3)] of Subsection B of this section if the licensee submits to the board written approval by the state racing commission for the licensee to vary the minimum number of live race days or races, and the variance is due to:
(1) the inability of a racetrack gaming operator licensee to fill races as published in the licensee's condition book as long as the same type of canceled race is run within the following two race weeks as the race season permits;
(2) severe weather or other act, event or occurrence resulting from natural forces;
(3) a strike or work stoppage by jockeys or other persons necessary to conduct a race or meet;
(4) a power outage, electrical failure or failure or unavailability of any equipment or supplies necessary to conduct a race or meet;
(5) hazardous conditions or other threats to the public health or safety; or
(6) any other act, event or occurrence that the board finds is not within the control of the licensee even with the exercise of reasonable diligence or care.
G. Alcoholic beverages shall not be sold, served, delivered or consumed in the area restricted pursuant to Subsection F of Section 60-2E-26 NMSA 1978."
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