Relates to the prohibition on members, officers and employees of the gaming commission and the office of racing promotion and development on wagering and claiming prizes in this state.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law and the tax law, in relation to the operation of the gaming commission
Purpose of the Bill:
This bill would amend the Tax Law and the Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law ("Racing Law") to standardize the prohibition against wagering upon or claiming a prize in any racing or gaming activity conducted within New York State and to authorize the Gaming Commission to obtain criminal fingerprint histories of its employment applicants.
Summary of Provisions:
Section 1 of the bill would amend Racing Law § 107 to provide that no member, officer or employee of the Gaming Commission (or certain members, officers or employees of other State agencies) shall wager upon or claim a prize in any gaming or horse racing activities conducted within the State of New York. The bill would also place this restriction on any spouse, child, brother, sister, parent or other person residing as a member of the same household in the principal place of abode of any of the foregoing persons. The restriction upon a member, officer or employee of another State agency would apply to any member, officer or employee if the duties of such member, officer or employee directly relate to the operation of any gaming activity conducted within the State.
Section 2 would amend Tax Law § 1610 to eliminate the prohibition against certain persons playing Lottery games that is within the Lottery for Education Law (Tax Law Article 34), as such prohibition is replaced by the amended prohibition in Section 1 of the bill.
Section 3 of the bill would amend Racing Law § 104 to authorize the Gaming Commission to obtain criminal fingerprint histories of its employment applicants. It also includes language approved by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to permit national criminal background investigations for license applicants.
Section 4 would amend Tax Law § 1605 to remove the authorization of the former Division of the Lottery to conduct criminal background reviews on its licensees and license applicants from the Lottery for Education Law (Tax Law Article 34), as such authority was granted to the Gaming Commission by Racing Law § 104. Authority to obtain criminal fingerprint histories for licensees and license applicants would be consolidated into the Racing Law under Section 3 of the bill.
Section 5 of the bill makes the act effective immediately, provided, however that Sections 1 and 2 of the bill would take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have became a law. This Section would also provide that the prohibition on, claiming a prize by a prohibited person does not apply to a wager that had been placed lawfully before the effective date of this law.
Racing Law § 107(3) prohibits Gaming Commission employees from wagering upon any racing or gaming activity conducted within New York State, whether or not the wager occurs beyond the State's borders, but it does not address the family and household members of such employees. When the legislation creating the Gaming Commission was enacted, it did not amend the comparable provision in Tax Law § 1610 that prohibits Lottery employees, certain Department of Taxation and Finance employees, and certain family members of their households from playing Lottery games. This created two different standards for Gaming Commission employees, one standard in Racing Law § 104 applicable to all gaming activity, and another standard in Tax Law § 1610 applicable only to Lottery games.
While Tax Law § 1605(e) authorizes the former Division of the Lottery to obtain criminal fingerprint histories of its employment applicants, Racing Law § 104 does not specifically provide the Gaming Commission with such authority. The present law also has two schemes for investigating fingerprint histories, one in Racing Law § 104 and one in Tax Law § 1605.
Prior Legislative History:
This is a new proposal.
Statement in Support:
This bill seeks to set one standard for the wagering restrictions placed upon (i) members, officers or employees of the Gaming Commission and the Office for Racing Promotion and Development, (ii) other State employees who may work on Gaming Commission operations, and (iii) members of their households. Such a standard is important to maintaining the integrity Gaming Commission operations.
Another important aspect of the Gaming Commission is the integrity of its staff While the former Division of the Lottery had authority to obtain criminal histories of its employment applicants, the authority of the Gaming Commission to do so is less clear. This bill would expressly authorize the Gaming Commission to obtain criminal histories of its employment applicants, including those seeking to transfer to the Gaming Commission from other State employment. Full scrutiny of all prospective employees of the Gaming Commission is necessary to enable the Gaming Commission to fulfill its duties with the highest integrity and public confidence.
Finally, because the Federal Bureau of Investigation requires specific authorization in order to permit the Division of Criminal Justice Services to gain access to criminal history information from the national crime database and report such findings to the Gaming Commission, the bill also provides greater specificity as to the persons whose criminal history will be checked.
This act would take effect immediately; provided, however, that sections 1 and 2 take effect 30 days after becoming law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4649 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 16, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. BONACIC -- (at request of the Division of the Lottery) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering AN ACT to amend the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law and the tax law, in relation to the operation of the gaming commission THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 107 of the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, as added by section 1 of part A of chapter 60 of the laws of 2012, is amended to read as follows: 3. (A) No member, officer or employee of the commission OR THE OFFICE OF RACING PROMOTION AND DEVELOPMENT shall wager upon OR CLAIM A PRIZE IN gaming or horse racing activity conducted within the state. (B) NO MEMBER, OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF ANY OTHER AGENCY, AS DEFINED IN SECTION ONE HUNDRED TWO OF THE STATE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE ACT, SHALL WAGER UPON OR CLAIM A PRIZE IN GAMING OR HORSE RACING ACTIVITY CONDUCTED WITHIN THE STATE IF THE DUTIES OF SUCH MEMBER, OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE DIRECTLY RELATE TO THE OPERATION OF ANY GAMING ACTIVITY CONDUCTED WITHIN THE STATE. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS PARAGRAPH, DUTIES DIRECTLY RELATE TO THE OPERATION OF ANY GAMING ACTIVITY IF SUCH DUTIES CONSIST OF (I) MAKING A DECISION, OR ADVISING OR RECOMMENDING A DECISION, ON THE MANNER OR METHOD OF OPERATING A GAMING ACTIVITY IN ORDER TO ASSURE THE ACCURA- CY, SAFETY, FAIRNESS, CREDIBILITY OR INTEGRITY OF SUCH GAMING ACTIVITY, OR (II) INVENTING, CREATING, DESIGNING, REVISING, REPLACING, REGULATING, OVERSEEING, LICENSING, PERMITTING, CERTIFYING, WITNESSING, JUDGING, OFFICIATING, SUPERVISING, MANAGING, CONDUCTING, OR ASSISTING IN GAMING ACTIVITY OR IN ANY PROCEDURE RELIED UPON TO DETERMINE THE OUTCOME OF ANY GAMING ACTIVITY ACCORDING TO THE MANNER OR METHOD PRESCRIBED THEREFOR. (C) NO SPOUSE, CHILD, BROTHER, SISTER, PARENT OR OTHER PERSON RESIDING AS A MEMBER OF THE SAME HOUSEHOLD IN THE PRINCIPAL PLACE OF ABODE OF ANY OF THE PERSONS LISTED IN PARAGRAPH (A) OR (B) OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALLEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD09300-02-3 S. 4649 2
WAGER UPON OR CLAIM A PRIZE IN GAMING OR HORSE RACING ACTIVITY CONDUCTED WITHIN THE STATE. S 2. Section 1610 of the tax law, as added by chapter 92 of the laws of 1976, is amended to read as follows: S 1610. Sales to certain persons prohibited.
[a.]No ticket shall be sold to any person under the age of eighteen years, but this shall not be deemed to prohibit the purchase of a ticket for the purpose of making a gift by a person eighteen years of age or older to a person less than that age. Any licensee or the employee or agent of any licensee who sells or offers to sell a lottery ticket to any person under the age of eighteen shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. [b. No ticket shall be sold to and no prize shall be paid to any of the following persons: (i) any member, officer or employee of the division; or (ii) any member, officer or employee of the department of taxation and finance whose duties directly relate to the operation of the state lottery; or (iii) any spouse, child, brother, sister or parent residing as a member of the same household in the principal place of abode of any of the foregoing persons.]S 3. Subdivision 14 of section 104 of the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, as added by section 1 of part A of chapter 60 of the laws of 2012, is amended to read as follows: 14. (A) To [access the criminal history records of]TRANSMIT FINGER- PRINTS AND THE APPLICABLE FEE IN THE FORM AND MANNER PRESCRIBED BY the division of criminal justice services, pursuant to subdivision eight-a of section eight hundred thirty-seven of the executive law, in connection with executing the responsibilities of the commission relat- ing to the regulation, oversight, licensing, permitting or certif- ication, including fingerprinting, criminal history record checks and background investigations, of (I) persons applying to engage in gaming activities, (II) ANY PERSONS APPLYING FOR EMPLOYMENT WITH THE COMMIS- SION, AND (III) ANY PERSONS APPLYING FOR EMPLOYMENT WITH THE COMMISSION WHO ARE NEW YORK STATE EMPLOYEES SEEKING TRANSFER TO THE COMMISSION OR WHO ARE ON A PREFERRED OR ELIGIBLE LIST, NOTWITHSTANDING ANY LIMITATIONS ON CONDUCTING CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECKS ON SUCH PERSONS CONTAINED IN SUBDIVISION FOUR OF SECTION FIFTY OF THE CIVIL SERVICE LAW AND SUBDI- VISION EIGHT-A OF SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED THIRTY-SEVEN OF THE EXECUTIVE LAW. At the request of the commission, the division of criminal justice services shall submit [a fingerprint card]SUCH FINGERPRINTS, along with the subject's processing fee, to the federal bureau of investigation OR ANY OTHER STATE OR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY HAVING FACILITIES FOR CHECKING FINGERPRINTS FOR PURPOSES OF DETERMINING WHETHER OR NOT CRIMI- NAL CHARGES ARE PENDING AGAINST THE APPLICANT OR WHETHER OR NOT THE APPLICANT HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN CONVICTED OF A CRIME, for the purpose of conducting a NATIONAL criminal history search and returning a report thereon AND THE DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES SHALL PROMPTLY REPORT A FINDING OF SUCH CHARGES AND PREVIOUS CONVICTIONS, IF ANY, TO THE COMMISSION IN WRITING OR BY ELECTRONIC MEANS OR ANY OTHER METHOD AGREED UPON BY THE COMMISSION AND SUCH AGENCY. The commission shall also be entitled to request and receive, pursuant to a written memorandum of understanding filed with the department of state, any information in the possession of the state attorney general relating to the investigation of organized crime, gaming offenses, other revenue crimes or tax evasion. Provided however, the attorney general may withhold any infor- mation that (a) would identify a confidential source or disclose confi-S. 4649 3
dential information relating to a criminal investigation, (b) would interfere with law enforcement investigations or judicial proceedings, (c) reveal criminal investigative techniques or procedures, that, if disclosed, could endanger the life or safety of any person, or (d) constitutes records received from other state, local or federal agencies that the attorney general is prohibited by law, regulation or agreement from disclosing. (B) NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE SIX OF THE PUBLIC OFFI- CERS LAW OR ANY OTHER LAW TO THE CONTRARY, THE COMMISSION MAY WITHHOLD FROM PUBLIC DISCLOSURE ANY CRIMINAL HISTORY INFORMATION. (C) FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION, A PERSON APPLYING TO ENGAGE IN GAMING ACTIVITIES MAY INCLUDE: ANY PERSON OR ENTITY THAT IS APPLYING FOR A LICENSE ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO: A LOTTERY SALES AGENT; A VIDEO LOTTERY GAMING AGENT; A VENDOR; A VENDOR'S SUBCONTRACTOR; AN EMPLOYEE OF AN AGENT; VENDOR OR VENDOR'S SUBCONTRACTOR; AN OFFICER, DIRECTOR, PARTNER, TRUSTEE OR OWNER OF AN AGENT; VENDOR OR VENDOR'S SUBCONTRACTOR; A HORSE OWNER, WHICH INCLUDES PART OWNERS; LESSEES; TRAINERS; ASSISTANT TRAINERS; JOCKEYS; JOCKEY AGENTS; STABLE EMPLOYEES; DRIVERS; AND SUCH OTHER PARTICIPANTS IN HORSE RACING OR PARI-MUTUEL WAGERING ACTIVITIES AS THE COMMISSION SHALL PRESCRIBE BY RULE. S 4. Subdivision e of section 1605 of the tax law, as amended by chap- ter 217 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows: e. The division is hereby authorized to obtain criminal background information on any applicant for, or holder of, a lottery license for the purpose of determining whether a license should be granted, suspended, or revoked.
[The sources of such information include the license applicant or holder, the division of criminal justice services, and any licensing agency which is currently considering a licensing application or which has been granted a presently-held license to the same license applicant or holder. The division shall require each license applicant to submit identifying information which shall include fingerprints unless they are already on file with the division or other state agencies. The fingerprints so obtained shall be forthwith forwarded, and the applicable fee transmitted, to the division of crimi- nal justice services or any other state or federal government agency having facilities for checking fingerprints for the purpose of determin- ing whether or not criminal charges are pending against the applicant or whether or not the applicant had previously been convicted of a crime, and such agency shall promptly report a finding of such pending charges and previous convictions, if any, to the division in writing or by elec- tronic means or any other method agreed upon by the division and such agency. Prior to or upon making a determination not to approve an appli- cation for a lottery license based upon an applicant's criminal history record, the division shall provide such applicant with a copy of article twenty-three-A of the correction law, and inform such applicant of his or her right to seek correction of any incorrect information contained in such record pursuant to regulations and procedures established by the division of criminal justice services. In its discretion, the division may decline to act on any application pending the disposition of any pending charges against the applicant. The division may, after provid- ing notice and an opportunity for a hearing pursuant to the state admin- istrative procedure act, deny a license to any person found to have committed a felony under the laws of the United States or under the laws of the state of New York or any other state or foreign jurisdiction or any crime relating to gaming activities or that is otherwise found toS 5. This act shall take effect immediately; provided however that sections one and two of this act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law and sections one and two of this act shall not apply to a prize claimed after such effective date if the wager upon which the prize was won was lawfully placed before such effective date.S. 4649 4
have engaged in conduct which would be prejudicial to public confidence in the state lottery. All determinations to grant or deny a license pursuant to this section shall be in accordance with subdivision sixteen of section two hundred ninety-six of the executive law and article twen- ty-three-A of the correction law. Notwithstanding the provisions of article six of the public officers law or any other law to the contrary, the division may withhold from public disclosure any criminal history information except that criminal convictions may not be withheld under this provision. For purposes of this article, a licensee may include: a lottery sales agent; a video lottery gaming agent; a vendor; a vendor's subcontractor; an employee of an agent, vendor or vendor's subcontractor; or an offi- cer, director, partner, trustee or owner of an agent, vendor or vendor's subcontractor.]