Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 1090

January Session, 2015

 

LCO No. 5123

 

*05123_______PS_*

Referred to Committee on PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY

 

Introduced by:

 

(PS)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING GAMING.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 12-557b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

As used in this chapter, sections 12-579 and 12-580, [and] chapter 226b, and sections 3 and 4 of this act, and section 53-278g, as amended by this act, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Consumer Protection;

(2) "Department" means the Department of Consumer Protection;

(3) "Business organization" means a partnership, incorporated or unincorporated association, firm, corporation, trust or other form of business or legal entity, other than a financial institution regulated by a state or federal agency which is not exercising control over an association licensee; [and]

(4) "Control" means the power to exercise authority over or direct the management and policies of a person or business organization;

(5) "Authorized games" means any game played with cards, dice, equipment or any mechanical, electromechanical or electronic device or machine for money, checks, credit or any representative of value, including, but not limited to, blackjack, poker, dice, money-wheels, roulette, baccarat, chuck-a-luck, pan game, over and under, acey-deucy, beat the dealer, bouncing ball, slot machines and such other games as the Commissioner of Consumer Protection may approve;

(6) "Casino gaming facility" means any room or rooms in which authorized games are conducted; and

(7) "Gross operating revenue" means the total of the winnings from patrons in a casino gaming facility less the total of the losses paid to patrons as prizes.

Sec. 2. Section 12-574 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

(a) (1) No person or business organization may conduct a meeting at which racing or the exhibition of jai alai is permitted for any stake, purse or reward or operate the off-track betting system unless such person or business organization is licensed as an association licensee by the commissioner. Any such licensee authorized to conduct a meeting or operate the off-track betting system shall indemnify and save harmless the state of Connecticut against any and all actions, claims, and demands of whatever kind or nature which the state may sustain or incur by reason or in consequence of issuing such license.

(2) The Commissioner of Consumer Protection may issue up to three casino gaming facility licenses to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut to authorize such tribes to act jointly to establish and operate up to three casino gaming facilities in the state, provided (A) the tribes shall execute a memorandum of understanding with the Attorney General pursuant to section 3 of this act, and (B) the establishment of a casino gaming facility in any municipality shall be subject to the approval of the legislative body of the municipality which shall be given only after a public hearing on the proposal to establish such casino gaming facility. Any such licensee authorized to establish a casino gaming facility shall indemnify and save harmless the state of Connecticut against any and all actions, claims and demands of whatever kind or nature which the state may sustain or incur by reason or in consequence of issuing such license.

(b) No person or business organization may operate any concession at any meeting at which racing or the exhibition of jai alai is permitted or any concession which is allied to an off-track betting facility or to a casino gaming facility unless such person or business organization is licensed as a concessionaire licensee by the commissioner.

(c) No person or business organization awarded the primary contract by an association licensee or awarded any contract by a casino gaming facility licensee to provide facilities, components, goods or services which are necessary for the operation of the activities authorized by the provisions of section 12-572 or by the provisions of subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of this section may do so unless such person or business organization is licensed as a vendor licensee by the commissioner.

(d) No person or business organization may provide totalizator equipment and services to any association licensee for the operation of a pari-mutuel system unless such person or business organization is licensed as a totalizator licensee by the commissioner.

(e) No business organization, other than a shareholder in a publicly traded corporation, may exercise control in or over an association, a concessionaire, a vendor or a totalizator licensee unless such business organization is licensed as an affiliate licensee by the commissioner. The commissioner shall issue affiliate licenses to qualified business organizations.

(f) No person may participate in this state in any activity permitted under this chapter as an employee of an association, concessionaire, vendor, totalizator, [or] affiliate or casino gaming facility licensee unless such person is licensed as an occupational licensee by the commissioner. Whether located in or out of this state, no officer, director, partner, trustee or owner of a business organization which obtains a license in accordance with this section may continue in such capacity unless such officer, director, partner, trustee or owner is licensed as an occupational licensee by the commissioner. An occupational license shall also be obtained by any shareholder, key executive, agent or other person connected with any association, concessionaire, vendor, totalizator, [or] affiliate or casino gaming facility licensee, who in the judgment of the commissioner will exercise control in or over any such licensee. Such person shall apply for a license not later than thirty days after the commissioner requests him or her, in writing, to do so. The commissioner shall complete [his] an investigation of an applicant for an occupational license and notify such applicant of [his] the commissioner's decision to approve or deny the application within one year after its receipt, or, if the commissioner determines good cause exists for extending such period of investigation and gives the applicant a reasonable opportunity for a hearing, by the date prescribed by the commissioner.

(g) In determining whether to grant a license, the commissioner may require the applicant to submit information as to: Financial standing and credit; moral character; criminal record, if any; previous employment; corporate, partnership or association affiliations; ownership of personal assets; and such other information as [it or he] the commissioner deems pertinent to the issuance of such license.

(h) The commissioner may reject for good cause an application for a license. Any license granted under the provisions of this chapter is a revocable privilege and no licensee shall be deemed to have acquired any vested rights based on the issuance of such license. The commissioner, the deputy commissioner, the executive assistant, any unit head or any assistant unit head authorized by the commissioner may suspend or revoke for good cause any license issued by the commissioner after a hearing held in accordance with chapter 54. If any affiliate licensee fails to comply with the provisions of this chapter, the commissioner, after a hearing held in accordance with chapter 54, may revoke or suspend the license of any one or more of the following related licensees: Concessionaire, vendor or totalizator, and may fine any one or more of such licensees in an amount not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars. In addition, if any affiliate licensee fails to comply with the provisions of this chapter, the commissioner, after a hearing held in accordance with chapter 54, may revoke or suspend the license of the related association licensee or casino gaming facility licensee and may fine the related association licensee or casino gaming facility licensee in an amount not to exceed seventy-five thousand dollars or both. If any license is suspended or revoked, the commissioner shall state the reasons for such suspension or revocation and cause an entry of such reasons to be made on the record books of the department. Any licensee whose license is suspended or revoked, or any applicant aggrieved by the action of the commissioner concerning an application for a license, may appeal pursuant to section 4-183.

(i) (1) The commissioner shall adopt regulations governing the operation of the off-track betting system and facilities, tracks, stables, kennels and frontons, including the regulation of betting in connection therewith, to insure the integrity and security of the conduct of meetings and the broadcast of racing events held pursuant to this chapter. Such regulations shall include provision for the imposition of fines and suspension of licenses for violations thereof. Prior to the adoption of any regulations concerning the treatment of animals at any dog race track, the commissioner shall notify the National Greyhound Association of the contents of such regulations and of its right to request a hearing pursuant to chapter 54. The commissioner shall have the authority to impose a fine of up to [(1)] (A) seventy-five thousand dollars for any violation of such regulations by a licensee authorized to conduct a meeting or operate the off-track betting system under this section; [(2)] (B) five thousand dollars for any violation of such regulations by a business organization licensed as an affiliate licensee authorized to exercise control over an association; and [(3)] (C) two thousand five hundred dollars for any such violation by any other licensee licensed by the commissioner. The stewards or judges of a meeting acting in accordance with such regulations shall have the authority to impose a fine of up to five hundred dollars for any such violation by such licensee, and the players' manager of a jai alai exhibition acting in accordance with such regulations shall have the authority to recommend to the judges that a fine should be considered for a player who may have violated such regulations. The commissioner may delegate to the stewards and judges of a meeting the power to suspend the license of any occupational licensee employed in this state by an association licensee for a period not to exceed sixty days for any violation of such regulations. If any license is suspended, such stewards and judges of a meeting shall state the reasons therefor in writing. All fines imposed pursuant to this section shall be paid over to the General Fund upon receipt by the department. Any person or business organization fined or suspended pursuant to this section shall have a right of appeal to the commissioner for a hearing that shall be conducted pursuant to chapter 54. Any person or business organization aggrieved by a decision of the commissioner following such a hearing shall have a right of appeal pursuant to section 4-183.

(2) The Department of Consumer Protection shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, of the general statutes, to ensure proper, safe and orderly conduct of a casino gaming facility and to protect the public against fraud or overcharge. Such regulations shall include, but not be limited to: (A) Requirements regarding a system of internal procedures and administrative and accounting controls; (B) requirements relating to security, which shall include, but not be limited to, videotaped monitoring of any casino gaming facility and other areas in which cash is handled; (C) establishment of hours of operation; (D) procedures governing the manufacture, sale and distribution of gaming devices and equipment; (E) procedures for the recovery of winning wages by patrons of the casino gaming facility; (F) the manner in which gross operating revenue must be computed and reported by the casino gaming facility; (G) requirements for audits of the financial statement of the casino gaming facility; (H) requirements for periodic financial reports from the casino gaming facility consistent with standards and intervals prescribed by the department; (I) procedures to be followed by the casino gaming facility for cash transactions; (J) the filing of agreements and descriptions of agreements regarding any business or person doing business with, or on the premises of, a casino gaming facility; and (K) provisions for the imposition of fines and suspension of licenses for violations of law or regulations.

(j) The commissioner shall have the power to require that the books and records of any licensee, other than an occupational licensee, shall be maintained in any manner which [he] the commissioner may deem best, and that any financial or other statements based on such books and records shall be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in such form as [he] the commissioner shall prescribe. The commissioner or [his] the commissioner's designee shall also be authorized to visit, to investigate and to place expert accountants and such other persons as he or she may deem necessary, in the offices, tracks, frontons, off-track betting facilities, casino gaming facility or places of business of any such licensee, for the purpose of satisfying himself or herself that the department's regulations are strictly complied with.

(k) The commissioner may at any time for good cause require the removal of any employee or official employed by any licensee hereunder.

(l) The commissioner may, on his or her own motion or upon application, exempt any person or business organization from the licensing requirements of this chapter or some or all of the disclosure requirements of chapter 226b, provided the applicant does not exercise control in or over an integral part of any activity which is authorized under this chapter. The burden of proving that an exemption should be granted rests solely with the applicant. The commissioner may limit or condition the terms of an exemption and such determination shall be final.

(m) Any person aiding or abetting in the operation of an off-track betting system or the conduct of any meeting within this state at which racing or the exhibition of the game of jai alai shall be permitted for any stake, purse or reward, except in accordance with a license duly issued and unsuspended or unrevoked by the commissioner, shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

(n) The majority of the membership of the board of directors of any corporation licensed to operate the off-track betting system or to hold or conduct any meeting within the state of Connecticut at which racing or the exhibition of the game of jai alai shall be permitted for any stake, purse or reward, shall be residents of the state of Connecticut.

(o) Any license granted under this section, other than an association license authorizing the licensee to conduct a meeting or operate the off-track betting system and a casino gaming facility license authorizing the licensee to establish and operate a casino gaming facility, as described in subsection (a) of this section, or an affiliate license authorizing the licensee to exercise control in or over an association licensee, as described in subsection (e) of this section, shall be effective for not more than one year from the date of issuance. Initial application for and renewal of any license shall be in such form and manner as the commissioner shall prescribe by regulation.

(p) Any person or business organization issued a license to conduct dog racing shall establish a pet adoption program for the proper housing and care of retired greyhounds and shall provide financial support for such program and any facility operated to implement such program.

(q) Any person or business organization issued a license to conduct dog racing pursuant to subsection (c) of section 12-574c shall employ persons who, at the time of employment, are recipients of assistance under the state-administered general assistance program, state supplement program, medical assistance program, temporary family assistance program or supplemental nutrition assistance program to fill not less than twenty per cent of the positions created by the conversion of a jai alai fronton to a dog race track if such persons have been trained for such employment by public or publicly funded agencies in coordination with such licensee.

(r) Any person or business organization issued a license to conduct dog racing pursuant to subsection (c) of section 12-574c shall provide an on-site day care facility for use by employees of the dog race track. Such licensee shall employ persons who, at the time of employment, are recipients of aid under chapter 302 or 308 to fill not less than fifty per cent of the positions at such day care facility if such persons have been trained for such employment by public or publicly funded agencies in coordination with such licensee.

(s) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter to the contrary, any person or business organization issued a license to conduct dog racing may operate on a year-round basis and may conduct such number of performances as it may elect, provided the total number of such performances does not exceed five hundred eighty performances in any calendar year.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2015) Notwithstanding the requirements of section 3-6c of the general statutes, the Attorney General, on behalf of the state of Connecticut, shall have the authority to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut concerning the possible establishment and operation of a casino gaming facility by the tribes in the state of Connecticut. The memorandum of understanding shall provide that if the tribes receive a license to establish and operate a casino gaming facility, the tribes shall contribute, on an annual basis, a specified amount of money to the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling, a specified percentage of gross operating revenues to the state and a specified percentage of gross operating revenue to the municipality in which the casino gaming facility is proposed to be located.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2015) (a) Each casino gaming facility licensee shall submit to the Department of Consumer Protection a description of its system of internal procedures and administrative and accounting controls at least ninety days before gaming operations are to commence. Such information shall contain both narrative and diagrammatic representations of the internal control system to be utilized by the casino gaming facility, including, but not limited to: (1) Accounting controls, including the standardization of forms and definition of terms to be utilized in the gaming operations; (2) job descriptions and the system of personnel and supervisors; (3) procedures for the receipt, storage and disposal of chips, cash and other cash equivalents used in authorized games, the cashing of checks, the redemption of chips and other cash equivalents used for gaming and the recording of transactions pertaining to gaming operations; (4) procedures for the collection and security of moneys at the gaming tables; (5) procedures for the transfer of moneys from the gaming tables to the counting process; (6) procedures and security for the counting and recording of revenue; (7) procedures for the security, storage and recording of chips and other cash equivalents utilized in the gaming operation; (8) procedures for the transfer of moneys or chips from and to the slot machines; (9) procedures for the payment and recording of slot machine jackpots; (10) procedures for the cashing and recording of checks exchanged by casino patrons; (11) procedures and security standards for the handling and storage of gaming apparatus including cards, dice, machines, wheels and all other gaming equipment; and (12) procedures and rules governing the conduct of authorized games and the responsibility of casino employees with respect to such games.

(b) The department shall review and approve each submission of information required by subsection (a) of this section. No casino gaming facility licensee shall commence gaming operations, or alter its system of internal procedure, unless such system is approved by the department.

Sec. 5. Section 12-561 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

No commissioner or unit head or employee of the department shall directly or indirectly, individually or as a member of a partnership or as a shareholder of a corporation, have any interest whatsoever in dealing in any lottery, racing, fronton, [or] betting enterprise or casino gaming facility or in the ownership or leasing of any property or premises used by or for any lottery, racing, fronton, [or] betting enterprise or casino gaming facility. No commissioner or unit head shall, directly or indirectly, wager at any off-track betting facility, race track [or] fronton or casino gaming facility authorized under this chapter or purchase lottery tickets issued under this chapter. The commissioner may adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 to prohibit any employee of the department from engaging, directly or indirectly, in any form of legalized gambling activity in which such employee is involved because of his or her employment with the department. For purposes of this section, "unit head" means a managerial employee with direct oversight of a legalized gambling activity.

Sec. 6. Section 12-563a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

The Commissioner of Consumer Protection shall, within available resources, prepare and distribute informational materials designed to inform the public of the programs available for the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of compulsive gamblers in this state. The commissioner shall require any person or business organization which is licensed to sell lottery tickets, operate an off-track betting system, [or] conduct wagering on racing events or jai alai games or operate a casino gaming facility, to display such informational materials at each licensed premise.

Sec. 7. Section 12-576 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

(a) Any person who knowingly permits any minor to wager in any gambling activity authorized under this chapter and any minor who places a wager in any gambling activity authorized under this chapter shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

(b) Any person who knowingly permits a minor to be present in any room, office, building or establishment when off-track betting authorized under this chapter takes place, [or] at any racetrack or fronton when any meeting authorized under this chapter takes place or at any casino gaming facility, shall be fined not more than twenty-five dollars. No minor shall be present in any room, office, building or establishment when off-track betting authorized under this chapter takes place, [or] at any racetrack or fronton when any meeting authorized under this chapter takes place or at any casino gaming facility. Any minor sixteen years of age or over present in any room, office, building or establishment when off-track betting authorized under this chapter takes place, or at any racetrack or fronton when any meeting authorized under this chapter takes place, shall be fined not more than twenty-five dollars. Any licensee authorized to conduct a meeting for the purpose of jai alai or racing shall be fined not more than fifty dollars if any minor is found at such facility in violation of this subsection. Any licensee authorized to operate a casino gaming facility shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars if any minor is found at such facility in violation of this subsection.

(c) Notwithstanding any provision of subsection (a) or (b) of this section, the commissioner may issue a license to a minor sixteen years of age or older, under the provisions of section 12-578, as amended by this act, and the regulations adopted thereunder, provided written permission from a parent or legal guardian of such minor is filed with the department. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to minors at a casino gaming facility.

(d) The commissioner shall not pay any claim for winnings when such claim is made by, or on behalf of, a minor who has wagered in any gambling activity authorized under this chapter. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit an adult from making a wager on behalf of a minor, provided the money for such wager is not provided by the minor from funds under such minor's control.

(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any minor from entering onto a parking area at any building or establishment described in subsection (b) of this section for the purpose of attending an event at which gambling activities do not occur. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to minors at a casino gaming facility.

Sec. 8. Section 12-577 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

The commissioner shall annually cause to be made by some competent person or persons in the department a thorough audit of the books and records of each association licensee and casino gaming facility licensee under this chapter and the commissioner may, from time to time, cause to be made by some competent person in the department a thorough audit of the books and records of any other person or business organization licensed under this chapter. All such audit records shall be kept on file in the commissioner's office at all times. Each licensee shall permit access to its books and records for the purpose of having such audit made, and shall produce, upon written order of the commissioner, any documents and information required for such purpose.

Sec. 9. Section 12-578 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

(a) The commissioner shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, governing registration and the issuance and annual renewal of licenses and payment of annual nonrefundable application fees for the same in accordance with the following schedule:

(1) Registration: (A) Stable name, one hundred dollars; (B) partnership name, one hundred dollars; (C) colors, twenty dollars; (D) kennel name, one hundred dollars.

(2) Licenses: (A) Owner, one hundred dollars; (B) trainer, one hundred dollars; (C) assistant trainer, one hundred dollars; (D) jockey, forty dollars; (E) jockey agent, for each jockey, one hundred dollars; (F) stable employees, including exercise boy, groom, stable foreman, hot walker, outrider, twenty dollars; (G) veterinarian, one hundred dollars; (H) jockey apprentice, forty dollars; (I) driver, one hundred dollars; (J) valet, twenty dollars; (K) blacksmith, twenty dollars; (L) plater, twenty dollars; (M) concessionaire, for each concession, two hundred fifty dollars; (N) concessionaire affiliate, for each concession of the concessionaire, two hundred fifty dollars; (O) concession employees, twenty dollars; (P) jai alai players, one hundred dollars; (Q) officials and supervisors, one hundred dollars; (R) pari-mutuel employees, forty dollars; (S) other personnel engaged in activities regulated under this chapter, twenty dollars; (T) vendor, for each contract, two hundred fifty dollars; (U) totalizator, for each contract, two hundred fifty dollars; (V) vendor and totalizator affiliates, for each contract of the vendor or totalizator, two hundred fifty dollars; and (W) casino gaming facility employees, forty dollars. For the purposes of this subdivision, "concessionaire affiliate" means a business organization, other than a shareholder in a publicly traded corporation, that may exercise control in or over a concessionaire; and "concessionaire" means any individual or business organization granted the right to operate an activity at a dog race track, [or] off-track betting facility or casino gaming facility for the purpose of making a profit that receives or, in the exercise of reasonable business judgment, can be expected to receive more than twenty-five thousand dollars or twenty-five per cent of its gross annual receipts from such activity at such track or facility.

(b) The commissioner shall require each applicant for a license under subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of this section to submit to state and national criminal history records checks before such license is issued. The criminal history records checks required pursuant to this subsection shall be conducted in accordance with section 29-17a.

Sec. 10. Subsection (a) of section 53-278g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

(a) Nothing in sections 53-278a to [53-278g] 53-278f, inclusive, shall be construed to prohibit the publication of an advertisement of, or the operation of, or participation in, a state lottery, pari-mutuel betting at race tracks licensed by the state, off-track betting conducted by the state or a licensee authorized to operate the off-track betting system authorized games at a casino gaming facility licensed by the state, a promotional drawing for a prize or prizes, conducted for advertising purposes by any person, firm or corporation other than a retail grocer or retail grocery chain, wherein members of the general public may participate without making any purchase or otherwise paying or risking credit, money, or any other tangible thing of value or a sweepstakes conducted pursuant to sections 42-295 to 42-301, inclusive.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2015

12-557b

Sec. 2

October 1, 2015

12-574

Sec. 3

October 1, 2015

New section

Sec. 4

October 1, 2015

New section

Sec. 5

October 1, 2015

12-561

Sec. 6

October 1, 2015

12-563a

Sec. 7

October 1, 2015

12-576

Sec. 8

October 1, 2015

12-577

Sec. 9

October 1, 2015

12-578

Sec. 10

October 1, 2015

53-278g(a)

Statement of Purpose:

To protect Connecticut jobs and to encourage tourism by allowing the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut to operate casinos in the state.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]