Provides that antitrust laws shall not apply to any joint agreement entered into, in consultation with and jointly approved by the state gaming commission and the attorney general, by or among non-profit associations, thoroughbred racing associations or corporations, harness racing associations or corporations, quarter horse racing associations or corporations and regional off-track betting corporations to coordinate the dates and times under which they will conduct programs of racing and offer pari-mutuel wagering; also provides that such laws shall not apply to agreements entered into to sell, transfer, assign or purchase the rights to broadcast, simulcast, electronically transmit or offer pari-mutuel wagering on horse races.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, in relation to antitrust exemptions for horse racing agreements
PURPOSE: To permit racetracks and other racing event producers or retailers to band together to establish agreements governing the scheduling of their races and to establish joint agreements involving the sale and purchase of broadcasting and simulcasting rights.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1; Adds a new Racing & Wagering Law section 113-a to grant antitrust immunity to certain agreements among entities licensed by the State Gaming Commission to conduct wagering. These entities would be granted anti-trust immunity to develop agreements which coordinate the dates and times of their races and are also given immunity to enter into contracts involving the joint purchase or sale of their broadcasts, simulcasts, and electronic transmissions. All such agreements must be approved by the State Gaming Commission and the NYS Attorney General. The standard of review is that such agreements must protect the continued viability of the State's horse racing and agricultural industries.
EXISTING LAW: Such agreements may, under current law, violate the State and Federal anti-trust laws.
JUSTIFICATION: Attendance at racetracks and real betting handle in New York has been falling rapidly for the past 40 years. Racetracks need a better way of competing with other gambling and entertainment attractions. This bill allows such racing event producers and retailers to combine forces to make joint arrangements on both the scheduling and the times of their races, or to sell and/or purchase broadcast and simulcast rights. Making such joint cooperative arrangements may lead to better national market penetration of the State's racing products and help to reduce overhead costs and competition among New York's racing producers so that OTB's can effectively market each racetrack's products.
All agreements would need to be approved by the State Gaming Commission and the NYS Attorney General so that only those agreements that promote the State's legitimate interests in advancing our local horse racing and agricultural industries would be approved. This bill ensures that future joint agreements do not run afoul of the Federal and State anti-trust laws. It is arguable that some joint arrangements between competitive racetracks could pose antitrust questions. The need to preserve the State's ailing racetracks should, however, outweigh any limited anticompetitive effects of any joint marketing or horse race production agreements: The U.S. Supreme Court, under Parker v. Brown, 317 US 341 (1943) grants states the statutory authority to confer immunity for the Sherman Anti-trust Act for certain government sanctioned activities. The second
section of this bill is modeled on 15 U.S.C. Section 1291 which grants anti-trust immunity to broadcasts for certain professional leagues.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2010: S.6197 - Referred to Racing, Gaming & Wagering 2011: S.623 - This bill while similar to the current bill, has additional safeguards included to protect the public interest and reflects the concerns outlined in Veto Message 27 of S.623. 2012: S. 7170 (Klein) / A. 10310 (Pretlow)
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: 180 days after it shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3026 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 28, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. KLEIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wager- ing AN ACT to amend the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, in relation to antitrust exemptions for horse racing agreements THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law is amended by adding a new section 113-a to read as follows: S 113-A. ANTITRUST EXEMPTIONS. STATE AND FEDERAL ANTITRUST LAWS SHALL NOT APPLY TO ANY JOINT AGREEMENT ENTERED INTO, IN CONSULTATION WITH AND JOINTLY APPROVED BY THE STATE GAMING COMMISSION AND THE ATTORNEY GENER- AL, BY OR AMONG NON-PROFIT RACING ASSOCIATIONS, THOROUGHBRED RACING ASSOCIATIONS OR CORPORATIONS, HARNESS RACING ASSOCIATIONS OR CORPO- RATIONS, QUARTER HORSE RACING ASSOCIATIONS OR CORPORATIONS, AND REGIONAL OFF-TRACK BETTING CORPORATIONS TO COORDINATE THE DATES AND TIMES UNDER WHICH THEY WILL CONDUCT PROGRAMS OF RACING AND OFFER PARI-MUTUEL WAGER- ING. IN ADDITION, SUCH ANTITRUST LAWS SHALL NOT APPLY TO JOINT AGREE- MENTS ENTERED INTO, IN CONSULTATION WITH AND JOINTLY APPROVED BY THE STATE GAMING COMMISSION AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY OR AMONG NON-PROFIT RACING ASSOCIATIONS, THOROUGHBRED RACING ASSOCIATIONS OR CORPORATIONS, HARNESS RACING ASSOCIATIONS OR CORPORATIONS, QUARTER HORSE RACING ASSO- CIATIONS OR CORPORATIONS, AND REGIONAL OFF-TRACK BETTING CORPORATIONS TO SELL, TRANSFER, ASSIGN OR PURCHASE THE RIGHTS TO BROADCAST, SIMULCAST, ELECTRONICALLY TRANSMIT OR OFFER PARI-MUTUEL WAGERING ON HORSE RACES. THE STATE GAMING COMMISSION AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SHALL JOINTLY CONSIDER AND APPROVE SUCH AGREEMENTS AND THE TERMS THEREIN TO FURTHER THE STATE'S INTEREST IN ENSURING THE VIABILITY AND CONTINUED EXISTENCE IN THIS STATE OF THE HORSE RACING AND AGRICULTURE INDUSTRIES. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD07679-02-3