senate Bill S1279

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Provides for payments to licensed harness tracks by regional off-track betting corporations

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 09, 2013 referred to racing, gaming and wagering

S1279 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A3333
Current Committee:
Senate Racing, Gaming And Wagering
Law Section:
Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง1016 & 1017, RWB L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S3564A, A3647A
2009-2010: S2595, A6916

S1279 - Bill Texts

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Provides for payments to licensed harness tracks by regional off-track betting corporations.

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BILL NUMBER:S1279

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, in relation
to payments by off-track betting corporations to regional licensed
harness tracks

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
This bill revises the hold harmless provisions that OTBs provide to
harness tracks for the privilege of broadcasting additional nighttime
thoroughbred events at OTB parlors. This is being done because most
harness tracks now have video Lottery facilities which are earning
harness tracks substantial profits. Additional money retained by OTBs
by this measure is to be transferred to local governments to support
their operations.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Sections 1 and 2: Amend the Racing & Wagering Law section 1016 to
reduce the "dark day" (the day when NYRA is not conducting a race
meet) payment obligations applicable to off-track betting
corporations (OTBs) from 1 1/2 percent of total daily pools on
out-of-state thoroughbred races to 3/4 of 1 percent of such pools.
In addition, it eliminates the requirement that a regional licensed
harness track itself not display simulcasts of, or accept wagering
upon, such out-of-state thoroughbred races in order to be eligible to
receive, or share in the receipt of such payments from its regional
OTB. The amended payment obligations would only apply during the
first 120 days in each calendar year.

Section 3: Amends Racing & Wagering Law section 1017 to clarify that
maintenance of effort payments by regional OTBs to the licensed
harness tracks in their regions for calendar year 2009 are to be
adjusted for any reduction in the number of racing programs conducted
by any such track in that calendar year below the number of racing
programs conducted by that track during the base year 2002. This
section would also terminate such maintenance of effort obligations
for calendar years subsequent to 2010. It also reduces the additional
payment obligations of regional OTBs with respect to aggregate annual
statewide handle on nighttime thoroughbred simulcast races during a
phase-out period prior to full elimination thereof at the conclusion
of the phase-out period.

JUSTIFICATION:
Chapter 62 of the Laws of 2003 amended the Racing & wagering Law on
the acceptance of wagering upon and the display of simulcasts of
races run at out-of-state thoroughbred tracks. A maintenance of
effort obligation
was imposed on OTBs, measured by the level of commissions received by
regional harness tracks in 2002 as derived from OTB wagering on
out-of-state harness races conducted after 6 PM. The 2003 amendments
also required OTBs to make supplemental payments to the harness
industry to the extent that aggregate statewide handle on nighttime
thoroughbred races exceeded $100 million.


Since the maintenance of effort and additional payment obligations
were imposed 3 years ago, the net effect has been to reduce the
revenue retained by OTBs which could have then been transferred to
local governments. Despite the expanded wagering and simulcasting
authorizations enacted in 2003, the incremental revenue increases
from elimination of the nighttime thoroughbred simulcasting wagering
restrictions have proven to be insufficient to replace the revenue
transferred to the harness racing industry to hold them harmless for
the OTB authorization to broadcast nighttime thoroughbred racing.

Since, nearly all harness tracks are operating video lottery games,
this has helped to increase revenue for the harness tracks and purses.

However, requiring OTBs to continue the maintenance of effort and
other payments are placing inequitable burdens on the regional OTB
system.
This bill would address the unintended inequities instituted in the
2003 law and enable OTBs to retain revenue which can be transferred
to local governments.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011: S/3564A held in Racing, Gaming and Wagering
2010: A.6916/S.2595 - Held in Racing, Gaming, and Wagering.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Immediate.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1279

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  ADAMS  -- 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 payments by off-track  betting  corporations  to  regional
  licensed harness tracks

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Clause (E) of subparagraph 5 of paragraph b of  subdivision
1  of section 1016 of the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law,
as amended by chapter 18 of the laws of 2008,  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  (E) [On] DURING THE FIRST ONE HUNDRED TWENTY days IN ANY CALENDAR YEAR
when a franchised corporation is not conducting a race meeting [and when
a  licensed harness track is neither accepting wagers nor displaying the
signal from an in-state thoroughbred corporation or  association  or  an
out-of-state thoroughbred track]:
  (i)  [Such] A licensed regional harness track shall receive in lieu of
any other payments on wagers  placed  at  off-track  betting  facilities
outside  the  special betting district on races conducted by an in-state
thoroughbred racing corporation, two and eight-tenths percent on regular
and multiple bets during a regional  meeting  and  one  and  nine-tenths
percent of such bets if there is no regional meeting and four and eight-
tenths percent on exotic bets on days on which there is a regional meet-
ing  and  three  and  four-tenths  percent  of  such bets if there is no
regional meeting.
  (ii) [Such] A licensed regional harness track shall receive  [one  and
one-half]  THREE-QUARTERS  OF ONE per centum on total regional handle on
races conducted at out-of-state or out-of-country thoroughbred tracks.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04536-01-3

S. 1279                             2

  (iii) In those regions in  which  there  is  more  than  one  licensed
regional  harness  track, [if no track is accepting wagers or displaying
the live simulcast signal from the out-of-state track,]  the  total  sum
shall  be divided among the tracks in proportion to the ratio the wagers
placed on races conducted by each track bears to the corporation's total
in-region harness handle. [If one or more tracks are accepting wagers or
displaying  the live simulcast signal, the total amount shall be divided
among those tracks not accepting  wagers  or  displaying  the  simulcast
signal for an out-of-state track or in-state thoroughbred corporation or
association.]
  S  2.  Clause (F) of subparagraph 6 of paragraph b of subdivision 1 of
section 1016 of the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and  breeding  law,  as
amended  by  chapter  18  of  the  laws  of  2008, is amended to read as
follows:
  (F) [On] DURING THE FIRST ONE HUNDRED TWENTY days IN ANY CALENDAR YEAR
when a franchised corporation is not conducting a race meeting [and when
a licensed harness track is neither accepting wagers nor displaying  the
signal  from  an  in-state thoroughbred corporation or association or an
out-of-state thoroughbred track]:
  (i) [Such] A licensed regional harness track shall receive in lieu  of
any  other  payments  on  wagers  placed at off-track betting facilities
outside the special betting district on races conducted by  an  in-state
thoroughbred racing corporation, two and eight-tenths percent on regular
and  multiple  bets  during  a  regional meeting and one and nine-tenths
percent of such bets if there is no regional meeting and four and eight-
tenths percent on exotic bets on days on which there is a regional meet-
ing and three and four-tenths percent  of  such  bets  if  there  is  no
regional meeting.
  (ii)  [Such]  A licensed regional harness track shall receive [one and
one-half] THREE-QUARTERS OF ONE per centum on total regional  handle  on
races conducted at out-of-state or out-of-country thoroughbred tracks.
  (iii)  In  those  regions  in  which  there  is more than one licensed
regional harness track, [if no track is accepting wagers  or  displaying
the  live  simulcast  signal from the out-of-state track,] the total sum
shall be divided among the tracks in proportion to the ratio the  wagers
placed on races conducted by each track bears to the corporation's total
in-region harness handle. [If one or more tracks are accepting wagers or
displaying  the live simulcast signal, the total amount shall be divided
among those tracks not accepting  wagers  or  displaying  the  simulcast
signal for an out-of-state track or in-state thoroughbred corporation.]
  S 3. Subdivision 2 of section 1017 of the racing, pari-mutuel wagering
and  breeding  law,  as  amended  by  chapter 18 of the laws of 2008, is
amended to read as follows:
  2. a. Maintenance of effort. Any off-track betting  corporation  which
engages in accepting wagers on the simulcasts of thoroughbred races from
out-of-state  or  out-of-country  as  permitted under subdivision one of
this section shall submit to the board, for its approval, a schedule  of
payments  to be made in any year or portion thereof, that such off-track
corporation engages in nighttime thoroughbred simulcasting. In order  to
be approved by the board, the payment schedule shall be identical to the
actual  payments and distributions of such payments to tracks and purses
made by such off-track corporation pursuant to the provisions of section
one thousand fifteen of this article during the year two  thousand  two,
as  derived from out-of-state harness races displayed after 6:00 P.M. If
approved by the board, such scheduled payments shall be made from reven-
ues derived from any simulcasting conducted pursuant to this section and

S. 1279                             3

section one thousand fifteen  of  this  article.    NOTWITHSTANDING  ANY
INCONSISTENT  PROVISION OF THIS PARAGRAPH: (I) FOR PURPOSES OF CALCULAT-
ING THE PAYMENTS TO BE MADE PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH FOR CALENDAR YEAR
TWO  THOUSAND THIRTEEN, THE AMOUNT OTHERWISE PAYABLE, IF ANY, BY AN OFF-
TRACK BETTING CORPORATION TO A REGIONAL HARNESS TRACK SHALL  BE  REDUCED
IN PROPORTION TO THE REDUCTION, IF ANY, IN THE NUMBER OF RACING PROGRAMS
CONDUCTED  BY  THE  REGIONAL  HARNESS TRACK DURING TWO THOUSAND THIRTEEN
COMPARED WITH THE NUMBER OF RACING  PROGRAMS  CONDUCTED  BY  SUCH  TRACK
DURING  THE  TWO THOUSAND FIVE BASE CALENDAR YEAR; AND (II) NO OFF-TRACK
BETTING CORPORATION SHALL HAVE ANY FURTHER PAYMENT  OBLIGATION  PURSUANT
TO  THIS PARAGRAPH WITH RESPECT TO CALENDAR YEARS COMMENCING ON OR AFTER
JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN.
  b. Additional payments. During each calendar year, to the extent,  and
at  such  time  in  the  event, that aggregate statewide wagering handle
after 7Labor P.M. on out-of-state and out-of-country thoroughbred  races
exceeds  one hundred million dollars, each off-track betting corporation
conducting such simulcasting shall pay to its regional harness track  or
tracks, an amount equal to [two percent] THE FOLLOWING PERCENTAGE of its
proportionate  share  of  such excess handle: FOR CALENDAR YEARS THROUGH
TWO THOUSAND THIRTEEN, TWO PERCENT; FOR CALENDAR YEAR TWO THOUSAND FOUR-
TEEN, ONE AND ONE-HALF PERCENT; FOR CALENDAR YEAR TWO THOUSAND  FIFTEEN,
ONE PERCENT; AND FOR CALENDAR YEAR TWO THOUSAND SIXTEEN, ONE-HALF OF ONE
PERCENT.  THERE SHALL BE NO FURTHER ADDITIONAL PAYMENT OBLIGATION PURSU-
ANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH FOR CALENDAR YEARS COMMENCING ON OR AFTER  JANUARY
FIRST,  TWO THOUSAND SIXTEEN.  In any region where there are two or more
regional harness tracks, such [two  percent]  PAYMENT  AMOUNT  shall  be
divided between or among the tracks in a proportion equal to the propor-
tion of handle on live harness races conducted at such tracks during the
preceding calendar year. Fifty percent of the sum received by each track
pursuant  to  this  paragraph  shall  be used exclusively for increasing
purses, stakes and prizes at that regional harness track.
  S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.

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