February 19, 2013
GAMING POLICY BOARD
By: Duke Chen, Legislative Analyst II
You asked for information on the Gaming Policy Board, specifically when it was created and its purpose.
The Gaming Policy Board and the Division of Special Revenue (DSR) were created in 1979 (PA 79-404) and assumed powers previously held by the Commission on Special Revenue, which administered a state lottery, horse racing, and off-track betting (OTB). In 2011, PA 11-51 moved the Gaming Policy Board into the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP). This public act also eliminated DSR and transferred its responsibilities to DCP.
Currently, the Gaming Policy Board works in cooperation with DCP to implement and administer the gambling statutes. By law, board members (1) must post a $25,000 performance bond with the state and (2) are prohibited from certain gambling-related and political actions.
In 2013, the Governor's bill: An Act Streamlining State Government and Increasing Effectiveness (HB 6363) proposes to eliminate the Gaming Policy Board and have DCP assume its responsibilities.
POWERS AND DUTIES
By law, the Gaming Policy Board must work in cooperation with DCP to implement and administer the state's gambling laws. Among other things, the board must:
1. approve, suspend, or revoke pari-mutuel and OTB licenses;
2. approve contracts for facilities, goods, components, or services needed for pari-mutuel and OTB-related activities;
3. set racing and jai alai meeting dates;
4. impose fines on pari-mutuel and OTB licenses;
5. approve the types of permitted pari-mutuel betting;
6. advise the DCP commissioner on OTB operations;
7. help the DCP commissioner develop gambling regulations; and
8. hear appeals for certain gambling permit suspensions and revocations (CGS § 12-557e).
The board has five members and the DCP commissioner, who serves as an ex officio non-voting member. The governor appoints the board members, with the legislature's consent, for staggered four-year terms (CGS § 12-557d).
No more than three board members in office at the same time can be members of the same political party. At least four must have training or experience in at least one of the following fields: (1) corporate finance, (2) economics, (3) law, (4) accounting, (5) law enforcement, (6) computer science, or (7) the pari-mutuel industry. At least two fields must be represented at all times. Members are paid $50 for each day they conduct board business and are reimbursed for expenses.
The powers of the board are vested in the members. All actions at board meetings must be taken by the affirmative vote of at least four members. Four members constitute a quorum. If there are vacancies, a majority of the members qualify as a quorum (CGS § 12-558).
By law, board members cannot:
1. accept any job with the gambling industry for a period of two years after terminating service on the board;
2. engage in any ex parte communication with anyone regulated under the gambling statutes on any matter pending or impending before the board;
3. actively participate in political management and campaigns, including holding office in a political party, organization, or club; campaigning for a candidate in a partisan election by making speaches, writing on a candidate's behalf, soliciting votes, and making contributions of time and money to political parties;
4. own any interest in dealing with any lottery, racing, fronton, or betting business or have any property or premises used for such activity; or
5. wager at an OTB facilty, race track, or fronton or purchase any lottery tickets (CGS §§ 12-557d and 12-561).
By law, board members must post a $25,000 performance bond with the state. If the governor determines that the bond has or is likely to become invalid or insufficient, he can require the member to renew it. The cost of the bonds is part of the necessary expenses of the board (CGS § 12-558).