The Live Horseracing Compact is enacted into law and entered into with all other jurisdictions legally joining therein in the form substantially as follows:
ARTICLE I. Purposes.
§ 1. Purposes.
The purposes of this compact are to:
1. Establish uniform requirements among the party states for the licensing of participants in live horse racing with pari-mutuel wagering, and ensure that all such participants who are licensed pursuant to this compact meet a uniform minimum standard of honesty and integrity.
2. Facilitate the growth of the horse racing industry in each party state and nationwide by simplifying the process for licensing participants in live racing, and reduce the duplicative and costly process of separate licensing by the regulatory agency in each state that conducts live horse racing with pari-mutuel wagering.
3. Authorize the Virginia Racing Commission to participate in this compact.
4. Provide for participation in this compact by officials of the party states, and permit those officials, through the compact committee established by this compact, to enter into contracts with governmental agencies and nongovernmental persons to carry out the purposes of this compact.
5. Establish the compact committee created by this compact as an interstate governmental entity duly authorized to request and receive criminal history record information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other state and local law-enforcement agencies.
ARTICLE II. Definitions.
§ 2. Definitions.
"Compact committee" means the organization of officials from the party states that is authorized and empowered by this compact to carry out the purposes of this compact.
"Official" means the appointed, elected, designated or otherwise duly selected representative of a racing commission or the equivalent thereof in a party state who represents that party state as a member of the compact committee.
"Participants in live racing" means participants in live horse racing with pari-mutuel wagering in the party states.
"Party state" means each state that has enacted this compact.
"State" means each of the several states of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and each territory or possession of the United States.
ARTICLE III. Entry into Force, Eligible Parties and Withdrawal.
§ 3. Entry into force.
This compact shall come into force when enacted by any four states. Thereafter, this compact shall become effective as to any other state upon (i) that state's enactment of this compact and (ii) the affirmative vote of a majority of the officials on the compact committee as provided in § 8.
§ 4. States eligible to join compact.
Any state that has adopted or authorized horse racing with pari-mutuel wagering shall be eligible to become party to this compact.
§ 5. Withdrawal from compact and impact thereof on force and effect of compact.
Any party state may withdraw from this compact by enacting a statute repealing this compact, but no such withdrawal shall become effective until the head of the executive branch of the withdrawing state has given notice in writing of such withdrawal to the head of the executive branch of all other party states. If as a result of withdrawals participation in this compact decreases to less than three party states, this compact no longer shall be in force and effect unless and until there are at least three or more party states again participating in this compact.
ARTICLE IV. Compact Committee.
§ 6. Compact committee established.
There is hereby created an interstate governmental entity to be known as the "compact committee," which shall be comprised of one official from the racing commission or its equivalent in each party state who shall be appointed, serve and be subject to removal in accordance with the laws of the party state he represents. Pursuant to the laws of his party state, each official shall have the assistance of his state's racing commission or the equivalent thereof in considering issues related to licensing of participants in live racing and in fulfilling his responsibilities as the representative from his state to the compact committee. If an official is unable to perform any duty in connection with the powers and duties of the compact committee, the racing commission or equivalent thereof from his state shall designate an alternate who shall serve in his place and represent the party state as its official on the compact committee until that racing commission or equivalent thereof determines that the original representative official is able once again to perform his duties as that party state's representative official on the compact committee. The designation of an alternate shall be communicated by the affected state's racing commission or equivalent thereof to the compact committee as the committee's bylaws may provide.
§ 7. Powers and duties of compact committee.
In order to carry out the purposes of this compact, the compact committee is hereby granted the power and duty to:
1. Determine which categories of participants in live racing, including but not limited to owners, trainers, jockeys, grooms, mutuel clerks, racing officials, veterinarians, and farriers, and which categories of equivalent participants in live racing with pari-mutuel wagering authorized in two or more of the party states, should be licensed by the committee, and establish the requirements for the initial licensure of applicants in each such category, the term of the license for each category, and the requirements for renewal of licenses in each category. Provided, however, that with regard to requests for criminal record on the issuance or renewal of a license, the compact committee shall determine for each category of participants in live racing which licensure requirements for that category are, in its judgment, the most restrictive licensure requirements of any party state for that category and shall adopt licensure requirements for that category that are, in its judgment, comparable to those most restrictive requirements.
2. Investigate applicants for a license from the compact committee and, as permitted by federal and state law, gather information on such applicants, including criminal history record information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and relevant state and local law-enforcement agencies, and, where appropriate, from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and law-enforcement agencies of other countries, necessary to determine whether a license should be issued under the licensure requirements established by the committee as provided in paragraph 1 of this section. Only officials on, and employees of, the compact committee may receive and review such criminal history record information, and those officials and employees may use that information only for the purposes of this compact. No such official or employee may disclose or disseminate such information to any person or entity other than another official or employee of the compact committee. The fingerprints of each applicant for a license from the compact committee shall be taken by the compact committee, its employees, or its designee and, pursuant to Public Law 92-544 or Public Law 100-413, shall be forwarded to a state identification bureau, or an association of state officials regulating pari-mutuel wagering designated by the Attorney General of the United States, for submission to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a criminal history record check. Such fingerprints may be submitted on a fingerprint card or by electronic or other means authorized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation or other receiving law-enforcement agency.
3. Issue licenses to, and renew the licenses of, participants in live racing listed in paragraph 1 of this section who are found by the committee to have met the licensure and renewal requirements established by the committee. The compact committee shall not have the power or authority to deny a license. If it determines that an applicant will not be eligible for the issuance or renewal of a compact committee license, the compact committee shall notify the applicant that it will not be able to process his application further. Such notification does not constitute and shall not be considered to be the denial of a license. Any such applicant shall have the right to present additional evidence to, and to be heard by, the compact committee, but the final decision on issuance or renewal of the license shall be made by the compact committee using the requirements established pursuant to paragraph 1 of this section.
4. Enter into contracts or agreements with governmental agencies and with nongovernmental persons to provide personal services for its activities and such other services as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this compact.
5. Create, appoint, and abolish those offices, employments, and positions, including an executive director, as it deems necessary for the purposes of this compact, prescribe their powers, duties and qualifications, hire persons to fill those offices, employments and positions, and provide for the removal, term, tenure, compensation, fringe benefits, retirement benefits and other conditions of employment of its officers, employees and other positions.
6. Borrow, accept, or contract for the services of personnel from any state, the United States, or any other governmental agency, or from any person, firm, association, corporation or other entity.
7. Acquire, hold, and dispose of real and personal property by gift, purchase, lease, license, or in other similar manner, in furtherance of the purposes of this compact.
8. Charge a fee to each applicant for an initial license or renewal of a license.
9. Receive other funds through gifts, grants and appropriations.
§ 8. Voting requirements.
A. Each official shall be entitled to one vote on the compact committee.
B. All action taken by the compact committee with regard to the addition of party states as provided in § 3, the licensure of participants in live racing, and the receipt and disbursement of funds shall require a majority vote of the total number of officials (or their alternates) on the committee. All other action by the compact committee shall require a majority vote of those officials (or their alternates) present and voting.
C. No action of the compact committee may be taken unless a quorum is present. A majority of the officials (or their alternates) on the compact committee shall constitute a quorum.
§ 9. Administration and management.
A. The compact committee shall elect annually from among its members a chairman, a vice-chairman, and a secretary/treasurer.
B. The compact committee shall adopt bylaws for the conduct of its business by a two-thirds vote of the total number of officials (or their alternates) on the committee at that time and shall have the power by the same vote to amend and rescind such bylaws. The committee shall publish its bylaws in convenient form and shall file a copy thereof and a copy of any amendments thereto with the secretary of state or equivalent agency of each of the party states.
C. The compact committee may delegate the day-to-day management and administration of its duties and responsibilities to an executive director and his support staff.
D. Employees of the compact committee shall be considered governmental employees.
§ 10. Immunity from liability for performance of official responsibilities and duties.
No official of a party state or employee of the compact committee shall be held personally liable for any good faith act or omission that occurs during the performance and within the scope of his responsibilities and duties under this compact.
ARTICLE V. Rights and Responsibilities of Each Party State.
§ 11. Rights and responsibilities of each party state.
A. By enacting this compact, each party state:
1. Agrees (i) to accept the decisions of the compact committee regarding the issuance of compact committee licenses to participants in live racing pursuant to the committee's licensure requirements and (ii) to reimburse or otherwise pay the expenses of its official representative on the compact committee or his alternate.
2. Agrees not to treat a notification to an applicant by the compact committee under paragraph 3 of § 7 that the compact committee will not be able to process his application further as the denial of a license, or to penalize such an applicant in any other way based solely on such a decision by the compact committee.
3. Reserves the right (i) to charge a fee for the use of a compact committee license in that state, (ii) to apply its own standards in determining whether, on the facts of a particular case, a compact committee license should be suspended or revoked, (iii) to apply its own standards in determining licensure eligibility, under the laws of that party state, for categories of participants in live racing that the compact committee determines not to license and for individual participants in live racing who do not meet the licensure requirements of the compact committee, and (iv) to establish its own licensure standards for the licensure of nonracing employees at horse racetracks and employees at separate satellite wagering facilities. Any party state that suspends or revokes a compact committee license shall, through its racing commission or the equivalent thereof or otherwise, promptly notify the compact committee of that suspension or revocation.
B. No party state shall be held liable for the debts or other financial obligations incurred by the compact committee.
ARTICLE VI. Construction and Severability.
§ 12. Construction and severability.
This compact shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate its purposes. The provisions of this compact shall be severable, and, if any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of this compact is declared to be contrary to the Constitution of the United States or of any party state, or the applicability of this compact to any government, agency, person or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this compact and the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby. If all or some portion of this compact is held to be contrary to the constitution of any party state, the compact shall remain in full force and effect as to the remaining party states and in full force and effect as to the state affected as to all severable matters.
2000, c. 992; 2003, c. 722.