Relates to rebates on pari-mutuel wagers at racetracks.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, in relation to rebates and free passes
PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is to stimulate attendance and handle at racing facilities and off track betting facilities throughout New York and clearly authorize in the law the ability of host racetracks, simulcast racetracks, and regional off-track betting corporations (OTBs) to offer rebate benefits to preferred customers and to volume bettors. Under current law. there are no standards for establishing such rebate programs. This bill creates a statutory framework in which to establish such rebate programs while simultaneously expanding the number of persons that are qualified to obtain a free pass, card or badge to enter a race track to include the general public so that race tracks can implement promotional campaigns to increase attendance at race tracks.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1: Adds Racing & Wagering Law section 113 to clearly establish in the law the ability of host racetracks and OTBs to establish rebate programs for new or preferred customers. The definition of a rebate is a reduction in the takeout percentage, adding a bonus on winnings obtained, or awards of merchandise or services for certain previously designated customers. The Racing & Wagering Board must annually approve of the rebate programs.
There are conditions to approving rebate programs. The conditions are that: a disclosure of benefits of past rebate programs is required, rebates are granted solely on the amount wagered or the frequency of betting, accurate record keeping is maintained on rebate program disbursements, and the rebate programs are in the best interests of racing.
Section 2: Effective date.
EXISTING LAW: There is currently no statutory framework to assist a racetrack or OTB to develop and implement a rebate program. Furthermore, under current law, only a select group of public officers and employees engaged in the regulation of racing events and employees of the racing industry that are conducting race meets are allowed to be awarded free passes, cards or badges to enter a horse race track.
JUSTIFICATION: Certain off-shore and out of state betting houses are offering rebate programs for their racing events. These rebate programs may be One reason why increases in New York State betting handle has been depressed. This bill merely authorizes New York racetrack operators and OTBs to offer their patrons the same types of rebate programs that are being offered elsewhere.
Restriction of free passes is an outdated law in need of revision. Under current law, horse owners may obtain free passes, however members of the horse owner's family are precluded from receiving such passes. In addition, attendance at horse racing events has generally been in decline for the past thirty years. This measure will allow horse race track operators to issue more free passes to promote attendance of individuals at live horse racing events. Allowing the issuance of more free passes will not only increase attendance and the excitement of those horse racing events, it may encourage an increase in betting handle at such racing facilities and the patronage of restaurants located at such tracks.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.3286A of 2009/2010 Held in Senate Finance Committee S.6925 of 2005/2006
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3563--A 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 25, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. ADAMS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wager- ing -- recommitted to the Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit- tee AN ACT to amend the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, in relation to rebates and free passes 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 to read as follows: S 113. REBATES. 1. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, "REBATE" SHALL MEAN A PORTION OF PARI-MUTUEL WAGERS, OTHERWISE PAYABLE TO AN ASSOCI- ATION OR CORPORATION CONDUCTING PARI-MUTUEL BETTING AT A RACE MEETING ON RACES RUN THEREAT, WHICH IS PAID TO HOLDERS OF PARI-MUTUEL WAGERING TICKETS AND WHICH REDUCES THE AMOUNT OTHERWISE PAYABLE TO SUCH ASSOCI- ATION OR CORPORATION. REBATES SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, REFUNDS TO HOLDERS OF PARI-MUTUEL WAGERING TICKETS ON ANY PORTION OR PERCENTAGE OF THE FULL FACE VALUE OF A PARI-MUTUEL WAGER, INCREASING THE PAYOFF OF OR PAYING A BONUS ON A WINNING PARI-MUTUEL TICKET, AWARDS OF MERCHANDISE, SERVICES SUCH AS MEALS, PARKING, ADMISSION, SEATING AND PROGRAMS, FREE OR REDUCED COST PARI-MUTUEL WAGERS, AND MONETARY AWARDS. 2. THE RACING AND WAGERING BOARD, UPON APPLICATION OF AN ASSOCIATION OR CORPORATION CONDUCTING PARI-MUTUEL BETTING AT A RACE MEETING ON RACES RUN THEREAT, MAY ANNUALLY APPROVE THE PAYMENT OF REBATES BY SUCH ASSOCI- ATION OR CORPORATION, SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS: A. THE APPLICANT FULLY DISCLOSES THE EXTENT OF THE REBATE PROGRAM. FULL DISCLOSURE SHALL INCLUDE THE DISCLOSURE OF THE MONETARY VALUE OF ALL REBATES PAID TO BETTORS DURING THE PREVIOUS CALENDAR YEAR, AND THEEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD05802-03-1 S. 3563--A 2
TERMS AND CONDITIONS GOVERNING THE AWARD OF REBATES TO BETTORS FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR TO WHICH THE APPLICATION APPLIES; B. THE APPLICANT PROVIDES ASSURANCES THAT THE VALUES OF THE REBATES ARE DETERMINED SOLELY BY (I) THE AMOUNT WAGERED BY A BETTOR, (II) THE AMOUNT PAYABLE TO THE ASSOCIATION OR CORPORATION ON EACH WAGER, AND (III) HOW FREQUENTLY A BETTOR WAGERS; C. THE ASSOCIATION OR CORPORATION MAINTAINS RECORDS OF ALL WAGERS SUBJECT TO A REBATE, FOR A PERIOD OF NOT LESS THAN THREE YEARS; AND D. THE APPLICANT DEMONSTRATES THAT SUCH REBATES ARE IN THE BEST INTER- ESTS OF HORSE RACING. 3. REGIONAL OFF-TRACK BETTING CORPORATIONS MAY OFFER REBATES ON WAGERS MADE ON RACES RUN BY ANY ASSOCIATION OR CORPORATION WHICH OFFERS REBATES PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION. SUCH REBATES SHALL BE SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISIONS ONE AND TWO OF THIS SECTION. 4. UPON THE APPROVAL OF AN ASSOCIATION OR CORPORATION CONDUCTING PARI-MUTUEL BETTING AT A RACE MEETING ON RACES RUN THEREAT, ANOTHER RACING ASSOCIATION OR CORPORATION MAY PROVIDE BETTORS WITH REBATES ON WAGERS ON RACES RUN AT THE RACETRACK OPERATED BY SUCH APPROVING ASSOCI- ATION OR CORPORATION. ALL SUCH REBATES SHALL BE SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISIONS ONE AND TWO OF THIS SECTION. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.