Racecourse Betting Act


Published: 1952-08-11

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Racecourse Betting Act
RACECOURSE BETTING [CH.386 – 1



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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

RACECOURSE BETTING
CHAPTER 386

RACECOURSE BETTING

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Appointment of Racing Commission.
4. Duties and powers of Commission.
5. Minister’s power to make rules.
6. Power to impose and recover penalties.
7. Commission to make annual reports.
8. Unlicensed person not to operate racecourse.
9. Commission may forward application.
10. Licensee may operate totalisator.
11. Applicant may apply before completing racecourse.
12. Race meets to be held between 1st January and 15th April only.
13. Licence may be cancelled in certain cases.
14. Commission may cancel licence for cause.
15. Payments to Consolidated Fund.
16. Licensee to collect admission tax.
17. Audit.
18. Occupation permits required.
19. Offences.
20. Penalties.
21. Saving of licences.






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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

CHAPTER 386

RACECOURSE BETTING
An Act to provide for the appointment of a Racing

Commission, to license racecourses within The Bahamas, to
regulate the use of totalisators on racecourses, and to provide
for all matters connected with the conduct of racing and
betting at racecourses.

[Commencement 11th August, 1952]
1. This Act may be cited as the Racecourse Betting

Act.
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“Commission” means the Racing Commission ap-

pointed under this Act;
“licensee” means a person duly licensed under this

Act to set up, keep and operate a racecourse and
to set up, keep and operate a totalisator in
connection therewith;

“Minister” means the Minister responsible for Rela-
tions with the Racing Commission;

“rules” means the rules made under this Act;
“totalisator” means the contrivance for betting known

as the totalisator or pari-mutuel, or any other
machine or instrument for betting of a like
nature whether mechanically operated or not.

[Ch386s3]

3. (1) It shall be lawful for the Governor-General
to appoint a Racing Commission.

(2) The Commission shall consist of five members,
appointed for a period not exceeding three years by the
Governor-General by notice in the Gazette, who shall hold
office at the Governor-General’s pleasure and where a
person is appointed to fill a casual vacancy, he shall hold
office for the remainder of the period for which the
previous member was appointed.

(3) The Governor-General shall from time to time
appoint one of the members of the Commission to be
Chairman.

48 of 1952
31 of 1953
33 of 1955
36 of 1957
26 of 1961
55 of 1963
72 of 1965
8 of 1969
27 of 1970
E.L.A.O., 1974
26 of 1976
5 of 1987
25 of 1995

Short title.

Interpretation.

E.L.A.O., 1974.

Appointment of
Racing
Commission.
E.L.A.O., 1974;
55 of 1963, s. 3.
25 of 1995, s. 2
and Sch.

CH.386 – 4] RACECOURSE BETTING





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(4) A quorum at all meetings of the Commission
shall be three members.

(5) The Commission may make standing orders
governing their procedure and the manner in which they
shall carry out their duties under this Act.

4. The Commission shall have the following duties
and powers —

(a) to advise the Minister from time to time or when
so required on all matters connected with racing
and betting on racecourses within The Bahamas;

(b) to supervise and control the operation of racecourses
within The Bahamas;

(c) to supervise and control the operation of all
totalisators, the making of pari-mutuel pools,
and the distribution of such pari-mutuel pools to
the winners thereof at all racecourses within The
Bahamas;

(d) to determine to what amount distributions of
pari-mutuel pools shall be made, and to deter-
mine further in what manner such moneys as
may be authorised to be eliminated in calculating
the amounts to be distributed shall be disposed
of;

(e) to appoint and pay officers and employees for
any of the purposes of this Act;

(f) to require the licensee of any racecourse to
install a mechanically operated totalisator thereat;

(g) to require any application to and any statement
of facts furnished to the Commission to be
verified by oath;

(h) to prescribe the books, records and accounts to
be kept by each licensee showing all contribu-
tions to the pari-mutuel and all payments for
admission to the racecourse and to provide for
the annual audit of all such books, records and
accounts by an auditor to be approved of by the
Commission.

5. After consultation with the Commission, the
Minister may make rules —

(a) for the control and supervision of racing and the
holding of race meets within The Bahamas:

Duties and
powers of
Commission.
31 of 1953, s. 2;
E.L.A.O., 1974.

Minister’s power
to make rules.

55 of 1963, s. 5.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

Provided that all such rules shall be uniform in
their application and affect throughout The
Bahamas;

(b) to require any licensee of any racecourse to
furnish a bond with or without sureties in such
amount as may be prescribed for the due
performance of all the terms and conditions
contained in his licence and the due observance
of the requirements of this Act;

(c) to prescribe the terms and conditions on which
the Commission may renew or approve the
transfer of any licence;

(d) to prescribe maximum penalties for the breach
of any rules and the manner in which the
Commission shall adjudicate upon breaches of
the rules:

Provided that in no case shall the Minister
prescribe a penalty exceeding four hundred
dollars for any act or omission in breach of any
rule made hereunder;

(e) generally to provide for the better carrying out
of the objects and purposes of this Act.

6. (1) The Commission shall have power to decide
what penalty shall be imposed on any person adjudged by
the Commission to have committed a breach of any rule in
force under this Act, subject always to the maximum
penalty prescribed for the breach thereof. All such penalties
shall accrue to the Commission.

(2) If moneys are due by a licensee from any purse
within the meaning of the rules to a person upon whom the
Commission have imposed a penalty, such licensee shall
pay to the Commission, on demand, the amount of such
penalty out of such moneys:

Provided that if such moneys are less than the
amount of the penalty, the person upon whom the penalty
has been imposed shall remain liable to the Commission
for the payment of the difference between the amount of
such moneys and the amount of the penalty.

(3) A penalty imposed for a breach of the rules or
the balance of any such penalty, as the case may be, shall
be recoverable by the Commission in civil proceedings in a
magistrate’s court as a debt due to the Commission.

5 of 1987, s. 2.

Power to impose
and recover
penalties.
55 of 1963, s. 6.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

7. (1) The Commission shall submit to the Minister
during the month of May in every year the following
reports —

(a) a report dealing with the operation of and measures
taken by the Commission;

(b) a report showing the financial receipts and financial
expenditure of the Commission for the immediately
preceding racing season.

(2) A copy of such reports shall be laid upon the
table of the two Houses of Parliament as soon as is
practicable thereafter.

8. (1) No person shall set up, keep or operate a
racecourse without obtaining a licence therefor under the
provisions of this Act.

(2) Every applicant for a licence to set up, keep and
operate a racecourse under the provisions of this Act shall
make application for such licence to the Commission and
in such application shall set forth the following informa-
tion, namely —

(a) the full name, residence, nationality and occupation of
the applicant, or, where the applicant is a company,
the name of the company, the place and date of its
incorporation, the names, addresses, nationalities and
occupations of the shareholders and the respective
number of shares held by each shareholder, and the
names, addresses, nationalities and occupations of
the directors and officers of such company;

(b) the exact location and proper description of the
premises upon which it is proposed to conduct
or hold race meets;

(c) whether such premises are owned in fee simple
by the applicant and are subject to any mortgage
or charge, or if such premises are leased or to be
leased by the applicant, then the name, address,
nationality and occupation of the owner or
landlord thereof or if such landlord be a company then
the names, addresses, nationalities and occupations of
the directors, officers, and shareholders of such
company;

(d) a statement of the assets and liabilities of the
person or company making such application;

Commission to
make annual
reports.
31 of 1953, ss. 3
& 4
55 of 1963, s. 7.

Unlicensed
person not to
operate
racecourse.

Application for
licence to set
forth certain
particulars.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(e) the kind of racing to be conducted at the
proposed racecourse, and the days upon which it
is proposed that race meets shall be held;

(f) whether the totalisator to be operated at such
racecourse will be mechanically or manually
operated;

(g) such other information as the Commission may
require.

(3) Every application for a licence to operate a
racecourse and every application for renewal of such a
licence shall be filed with the Commission on or before 31
st day of December in the year in which the application is
made. The Commission shall consider and determine such
applications as soon as practicable.

9. (1) Upon receipt of an application for a licence to
operate a racecourse from any applicant, the Commission shall
make such private and independent investigations as they
shall deem fit and proper, and if upon considering such
application the Commission are satisfied that the applicant
is a fit and proper person to be licensed under the
provisions of this Act, the Commission shall thereupon
send to the Minister a report thereon, who may refuse a
licence or grant it, subject to such terms and conditions as
he may specify.

(2) Every licence granted under the provisions of
this Act shall state the name of the licensee, the location of
the racecourse, the kind of racing to be carried on thereat,
the terms and conditions upon which the licence is issued,
and the dates between the first day of January and the
fifteenth day of April in each year upon which race meets
may be conducted and the number of races which may be
held at each race meet.

(3) Once a licence has been issued under the
provisions of this Act the same shall continue in force for
on year from the date of issue and thereafter may be
renewed for one year at a time by the Commission without
further reference to the Minister.

10. Every licensee to whom a licence has been granted
under the provisions of this Act to set up, keep and operate a
racecourse shall be entitled to set up, keep and operate a
totalisator at such racecourse and nothing contained in the
Lotteries and Gaming Act shall apply to any licensed
racecourse at which a totalisator is operated on the days on


Application for
licence to be
filed on or before
31st December.
26 of 1976, s. 2.

Commission may
forward
application.

55 of 1963, s. 8;
E.L.A.O., 1974.

Licence to state
certain
information.
31 of 1953, s. 5.

Commission may
renew licences.

55 of 1963, s. 8
E.L.A.O., 1974.

Licensee may
operate
totalisator.
8 of 1969, Third
Sch.
Ch. 387.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

which race meets take place, and notwithstanding any rule
of law or enactment to the contrary, it shall be lawful for
any person to effect betting transactions on any licensed
racecourse by means of a totalisator lawfully operated
thereon in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

11. Nothing in this Act contained shall be deemed to
prevent a person from applying for a licence to keep and
operate a racecourse even though such racecourse shall not
have been laid out or constructed or the buildings to be
used in connection therewith shall not have been built or
completed.

12. Race meets may be held only between the first
day of January and the fifteenth day of April in each year
and shall be held at each racecourse on such days in that
period as shall be determined by the Commission:

Provided always that no race meets shall be
permitted to be held on Sundays and that no person under
the age of sixteen years shall be permitted to attend any
such race meets or be employed in any manner in or about
such racecourse except in the capacity of jockey, groom, or
stableboy.

13. If any licensee under this Act shall fail to
complete any unfinished racecourse to the satisfaction of
the Commission within such reasonable time as the
Commission may require or fail to make any repairs to or
changes or alterations to such racecourse as shall be
required by the Commission, or shall fail to hold any race
meet during the year in respect of which the licence is
issued, the Commission may forward a report in writing to
the Minister, who may cancel such licence upon giving
seventy-two hours notice in writing to the licensee of his
intention so to do.

14. The Minister may at any time cancel any licence
issued under the provisions of this Act if the licensee shall
violate any of the terms and conditions of such licence or
be guilty of an offence against this Act.

15. (1) Every licensee shall pay into the Consolidated
Fund a sum equal to twenty-two per centum of the total
contributions to all pari-mutuel pools on each race held at
such racecourse and such payments shall be made to the
Public Treasury on the day following each race meet unless


Applicant may
apply before
completing
racecourse.

Race meets to be
held between 1st
January and 15th
April only.

Licence may be
cancelled in
certain cases.
31 of 1953, s. 11

55 of 1963, s. 9;
E.L.A.O., 1974.

Minister may
cancel licence for
cause.
55 of 1963. s. 10.
E.L.A.O., 1974.
Payments to
Consolidated
Fund.
36 of 1957, s. 2;
72 of 1965, s. 2;
E.L.A.O., 1974.

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such day following shall be a Sunday or public holiday, in
which case such payment shall be made on the day next
following the race meet which is not a Sunday or a public
holiday. Every such payment shall be accompanied by a
proper report in such form as may be prescribed by the
Commission showing the total of all contributions to each
pari-mutuel pool and all such other information as the
Commission may prescribe.

(2) All moneys paid into the Consolidated Fund
under the provisions of subsection (1) hereof shall within
two days after the date of such paying in be distributed as
follows —

(a) to the Commission for the use of the Commission,
two twenty-seconds;

(b) to the Commission for distribution to the owners
of horses, dogs or other animals entered in races
at such racecourse in the form of purses or
prizes in respect of the races held at such
racecourse and in respect of which such moneys
were paid in to the pari-mutuel pools, in such
amounts and proportions as the Commission
shall deem proper, seven twenty-seconds;

(c) to the licensee of the racecourse in respect of
which such moneys were paid in, seven twenty-
seconds; and

(d) to the general revenue of The Bahamas, five
twenty-seconds.

16. (1) Every licensee shall collect from each person
attending each race meet an amount equal to ten per
centum of the price charged such person for admission to
such racecourse, which amount shall be paid into the
Treasury on the day following each race unless such day
following shall be a Sunday or public holiday, in which
case such payment shall then be made on the day next
following the race meet which is not a Sunday or a public
holiday. Every such payment shall be accompanied by a
proper report in such form as may be prescribed by the
Commission.

(2) If any person shall be admitted to a racecourse
on any race meet without payment of any admission fee
then the licensee shall pay into the Consolidated Fund the
sum of ten per centum on the amount which such person
admitted free would have paid had he been charged
admission at the regular rate.

Distribution of
moneys paid to
Consolidated
Fund.

E.L.A.O., 1974.

36 of 1957, s. 2;
72 of 1965, s. 2

72 of 1965, s. 2

72 of 1965, s. 2.

Licensee to
collect admission
tax.

72 of 1965, s. 2

Tax payable on
free admission.

E.L.A.O., 1974.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(3) Notwithstanding anything hereinbefore contained
it shall be lawful for a licensee to admit to any racecourse
free of charge and without making any payment into the
Consolidated Fund in respect thereof the officials of such
racecourse, persons actually employed at such racecourse,
and persons representing newspapers published within The
Bahamas provided that the licensee shall furnish a list
showing the names of all persons admitted to such
racecourse under the provisions of this subsection to the
Commission on the day following each race meet, unless
such day following shall be a Sunday or public holiday, in
which case such list shall be furnished to the Commission
on the day next following the race meet which is not a
Sunday or public holiday.

17. The reports referred to in sections 15 and 16 of
this Act shall be audited annually by an auditor approved
by the Minister.

18. (1) No person shall enter any horse, dog or other
animal in any race at any racecourse, or be employed as
jockey, groom, exercise boy, stable boy or otherwise in
connection with any horse, dog or other animal entered in
any race at any racecourse, without first having obtained a
permit from the Commission to to do.

(2) Every application for a permit shall be in such
form and shall set forth such information as the Commis-
sion may from time to time prescribe.

(3) The Commission may grant any permit for such
period of time and subject to such restrictions as they shall
deem fit and may refuse to grant any permit to any person
without assigning any reason therefor, and may at any time
revoke any permit either for cause or without assigning any
reason therefor.

(4) The Commission shall notify the licensee of the
revocation of any permit issued hereunder within two days
after the date of such revocation.

(5) Any licensee who shall permit any person to
enter any horse, dog or other animal in any race, at any
racecourse, or be employed as jockey, groom, exercise
boy, stable boy or otherwise in connection with any horse,
dog or other animal entered in any race at any racecourse
without such person having first obtained a permit from


Tax waived in
certain cases.
E.L.A.O., 1974.

Audit.
31 of 1953, s. 7.

Occupation
permits required.
31 of 1953, s. 8.

Form of
application.

Commission may
grant permits.

Commission to
notify licensee of
revocation.

Offences.

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the Commission or after such permit shall have been
revoked by the Commission shall be guilty of an offence
against this Act and shall be liable on summary 5 of 1987,
s. 2. conviction to a fine of two hundred dollars.

(6) Any person who shall enter any horse, dog or
other animal in any race at any racecourse or be employed
as jockey, groom, exercise boy, stable boy or otherwise in
connection with any horse, dog or other animal entered in
any race, without first having obtained a permit from the
Commission, or after any such permit shall have been
revoked by the Commission, shall be guilty of an offence
against this Act.

19. (1) Any person who shall —
(a) conduct or attempt to conduct any race meet or

who shall set up, keep, operate or attempt to set
up, keep and operate a racecourse without first
obtaining a licence under this Act;

(b) influence or attempt to influence, or have any
understanding or connivance with, or attempt to
have any understanding or connivance with the
owner, jockey, groom or any other person
connected with or interested in any horse, dog or
other animal entered in any race at any
racecourse so as to affect, pre-arrange or
predetermine the results of such race;

(c) by means of any drug or otherwise stimulate or
depress any horse, dog or other animal for the
purpose of affecting the results of any race;

(d) obtain food, drugs, supplies, transportation, or
veterinary services for the use or benefit of any
horse, dog or other animal with intent to defraud
the person from whom such food, drugs,
supplies, transportation, or veterinary services
are obtained;

(e) knowingly and designedly by false representation
persuade, procure, or cause or attempt to
persuade, procure or cause another person to
wager on any race and who shall ask or demand
compensation as a reward for such information
or purported information,

shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.

5 of 1987, s. 2.

Offences.

Offences.

31 of 1953, s. 9.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) Any licensee who permits any betting transaction
at a racecourse with a person apparently under the age of
sixteen years shall be liable on summary conviction to a
fine of two hundred dollars.

20. (1) Any person guilty of an offence against this
Act for which no specific fine or imprisonment is
hereinbefore provided shall be liable as a first offender on
summary conviction to a fine of five hundred dollars or to
imprisonment for one year or to both such fine and
imprisonment.

(2) Any person guilty of a second or subsequent
offence against this Act for which no specific fine or
imprisonment is hereinbefore provided shall be guilty of a
felony and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment
for five years without the option of a fine.

21. Any licence issued by the Racing Commission
which was valid and subsisting immediately prior to the
seventh day of January 1964 shall, for all purposes, be
deemed to be a licence issued by the Minister under the
provisions of section 9 of this Act.

5 of 1987, s. 2.

Penalties.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Saving of
licences.
55 of 1963, s. 12

E.L.A.O., 1974.

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