Section 550.054, Florida Statutes 2008
550.054 Application for permit to conduct pari-mutuel wagering.--
(1) Any person who possesses the qualifications prescribed in this chapter may apply to the division for a permit to conduct pari-mutuel operations under this chapter. Applications for a pari-mutuel permit are exempt from the 90-day licensing requirement of s. 120.60. Within 120 days after receipt of a complete application, the division shall grant or deny the permit. A completed application that is not acted upon within 120 days after receipt is deemed approved, and the division shall grant the permit.
(2) Upon each application filed and approved, a permit shall be issued to the applicant setting forth the name of the permitholder, the location of the pari-mutuel facility, the type of pari-mutuel activity desired to be conducted, and a statement showing qualifications of the applicant to conduct pari-mutuel performances under this chapter; however, a permit is ineffectual to authorize any pari-mutuel performances until approved by a majority of the electors participating in a ratification election in the county in which the applicant proposes to conduct pari-mutuel wagering activities. In addition, an application may not be considered, nor may a permit be issued by the division or be voted upon in any county, to conduct horseraces, harness horse races, or dograces at a location within 100 miles of an existing pari-mutuel facility, or for jai alai within 50 miles of an existing pari-mutuel facility; this distance shall be measured on a straight line from the nearest property line of one pari-mutuel facility to the nearest property line of the other facility.
(3) The division shall require that each applicant submit an application setting forth:
(a) The full name of the applicant.
(b) If a corporation, the name of the state in which incorporated and the names and addresses of the officers, directors, and shareholders holding 5 percent or more equity or, if a business entity other than a corporation, the names and addresses of the principals, partners, or shareholders holding 5 percent or more equity.
(c) The names and addresses of the ultimate equitable owners for a corporation or other business entity, if different from those provided under paragraph (b), unless the securities of the corporation or entity are registered pursuant to s. 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. ss. 78a-78kk; and if such corporation or entity files with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission the reports required by s. 13 of that act or if the securities of the corporation or entity are regularly traded on an established securities market in the United States.
(d) The exact location where the applicant will conduct pari-mutuel performances.
(e) Whether the pari-mutuel facility is owned or leased and, if leased, the name and residence of the fee owner or, if a corporation, the names and addresses of the directors and stockholders thereof. However, this chapter does not prevent a person from applying to the division for a permit to conduct pari-mutuel operations, regardless of whether the pari-mutuel facility has been constructed or not, and having an election held in any county at the same time that elections are held for the ratification of any permit in that county.
(f) A statement of the assets and liabilities of the applicant.
(g) The names and addresses of any mortgagee of any pari-mutuel facility and any financial agreement between the parties. The division may require the names and addresses of the officers and directors of the mortgagee, and of those stockholders who hold more than 10 percent of the stock of the mortgagee.
(h) A business plan for the first year of operation.
(i) For each individual listed in the application as an owner, partner, officer, or director, a complete set of fingerprints that has been taken by an authorized law enforcement officer. These sets of fingerprints must be submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for processing. Applicants who are foreign nationals shall submit such documents as necessary to allow the division to conduct criminal history records checks in the applicant's home country. The applicant must pay the cost of processing. The division may charge a $2 handling fee for each set of fingerprint records.
(j) The type of pari-mutuel activity to be conducted and the desired period of operation.
(k) Other information the division requires.
(4) The division shall require each applicant to deposit with the board of county commissioners of the county in which the election is to be held, a sufficient sum, in currency or by check certified by a bank licensed to do business in the state to pay the expenses of holding the election provided in s. 550.0651.
(5) Upon receiving an application and any amendments properly made thereto, the division shall further investigate the matters contained in the application. If the applicant meets all requirements, conditions, and qualifications set forth in this chapter and the rules of the division, the division shall grant the permit.
(6) After initial approval of the permit and the source of financing, the terms and parties of any subsequent refinancing must be disclosed by the applicant or the permitholder to the division.
(7) If the division refuses to grant the permit, the money deposited with the board of county commissioners for holding the election must be refunded to the applicant. If the division grants the permit applied for, the board of county commissioners shall order an election in the county to decide whether the permit will be approved, as provided in s. 550.0651.
(8)(a) The division may charge the applicant for reasonable, anticipated costs incurred by the division in determining the eligibility of any person or entity specified in s. 550.1815(1)(a) to hold any pari-mutuel permit, against such person or entity.
(b) The division may, by rule, determine the manner of paying its anticipated costs associated with determination of eligibility and the procedure for filing applications for determination of eligibility.
(c) The division shall furnish to the applicant an itemized statement of actual costs incurred during the investigation to determine eligibility.
(d) If unused funds remain at the conclusion of such investigation, they must be returned to the applicant within 60 days after the determination of eligibility has been made.
(e) If the actual costs of investigation exceed anticipated costs, the division shall assess the applicant the amount necessary to recover all actual costs.
(9)(a) After a permit has been granted by the division and has been ratified and approved by the majority of the electors participating in the election in the county designated in the permit, the division shall grant to the lawful permitholder, subject to the conditions of this chapter, a license to conduct pari-mutuel operations under this chapter, and, except as provided in s. 550.5251, the division shall fix annually the time, place, and number of days during which pari-mutuel operations may be conducted by the permitholder at the location fixed in the permit and ratified in the election. After the first license has been issued to the holder of a ratified permit for racing in any county, all subsequent annual applications for a license by that permitholder must be accompanied by proof, in such form as the division requires, that the ratified permitholder still possesses all the qualifications prescribed by this chapter and that the permit has not been recalled at a later election held in the county.
(b) The division may revoke or suspend any permit or license issued under this chapter upon the willful violation by the permitholder or licensee of any provision of this chapter or of any rule adopted under this chapter. In lieu of suspending or revoking a permit or license, the division may impose a civil penalty against the permitholder or licensee for a violation of this chapter or any rule adopted by the division. The penalty so imposed may not exceed $1,000 for each count or separate offense. All penalties imposed and collected must be deposited with the Chief Financial Officer to the credit of the General Revenue Fund.
(10) If a permitholder has failed to complete construction of at least 50 percent of the facilities necessary to conduct pari-mutuel operations within 12 months after approval by the voters of the permit, the division shall revoke the permit upon adequate notice to the permitholder. However, the division, upon good cause shown by the permitholder, may grant one extension of up to 12 months.
(11)(a) A permit granted under this chapter may not be transferred or assigned except upon written approval by the division pursuant to s. 550.1815, except that the holder of any permit that has been converted to a jai alai permit may lease or build anywhere within the county in which its permit is located.
(b) If a permit to conduct pari-mutuel wagering is held by a corporation or business entity other than an individual, the transfer of 10 percent or more of the stock or other evidence of ownership or equity in the permitholder may not be made without the prior approval of the transferee by the division pursuant to s. 550.1815.
(12) Changes in ownership or interest of a pari-mutuel permit of 5 percent or more of the stock or other evidence of ownership or equity in the permitholder shall be approved by the division prior to such change, unless the owner is an existing owner of that permit who was previously approved by the division. Changes in ownership or interest of a pari-mutuel permit of less than 5 percent shall be reported to the division within 20 days of the change. The division may then conduct an investigation to ensure that the permit is properly updated to show the change in ownership or interest.
(13)(a) Notwithstanding any provisions of this chapter, no thoroughbred horse racing permit or license issued under this chapter shall be transferred, or reissued when such reissuance is in the nature of a transfer so as to permit or authorize a licensee to change the location of a thoroughbred horse racetrack except upon proof in such form as the division may prescribe that a referendum election has been held:
1. If the proposed new location is within the same county as the already licensed location, in the county where the licensee desires to conduct the race meeting and that a majority of the electors voting on that question in such election voted in favor of the transfer of such license.
2. If the proposed new location is not within the same county as the already licensed location, in the county where the licensee desires to conduct the race meeting and in the county where the licensee is already licensed to conduct the race meeting and that a majority of the electors voting on that question in each such election voted in favor of the transfer of such license.
(b) Each referendum held under the provisions of this subsection shall be held in accordance with the electoral procedures for ratification of permits, as provided in s. 550.0651. The expense of each such referendum shall be borne by the licensee requesting the transfer.
History.--s. 11, ch. 92-348; s. 4, ch. 95-390; s. 27, ch. 97-98; s. 653, ch. 2003-261.