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But opponents say such an expansion would take money from tribes who use the casino revenues to fund their operations and social programs. Last session, lawmakers approved sports gambling for Native American tribes, but that has yet to take effect as government compacts are still being negotiated. Lawmakers at the same time rebuffed a bill seeking to open sports gambling to non-tribal competition.
Curtis King, R-Yakima, a sponsor of the bill. We need to take care of the state of Washington as well. Derek Stanford, D-Bothell, who said it would require a massive volume in sports gambling to provide that much tax revenue. Several employees of Maverick Gaming testified that the company's 2, employees in the state mostly have family-wage jobs with benefits.
Persson said the bill would allow him to hire some additional employees. But George urged the lawmakers to again reject the proposal. Maverick Gaming operates 19 card rooms in Washington. Senate Bill is co-sponsored by King and Democratic floor leader Sen. Marko Liias of Lynnwood. It would apply only to existing card rooms and racetracks. It is our opinion that the Director of Agriculture may not legally pay to a private corporation public monies derived from the pari-mutuel [[parimutuel]]fund even though said private corporation conducts an annual fair.
In reaching the foregoing conclusion we have referred to RCW The subsequent provisions of the same code title provide for the classification of various fairs and for the purpose of this discussion, we set forth RCW Five percent of such fair fund is to be available for administrative costs, including expenditures incurred by the fair commission and approved by the director of agriculture.
The division and payment of said fund shall occur at such times as the director of agriculture shall fix. Any class A, B or C fairs, before being able to qualify and participate in any allocation herein provided must be able to match the amount of such allocation from its own local fair resources, derived either from general admission or otherwise. The state fair fund and source of revenue for the grants-in-aid to the various fairs are derived from the receipts of pari-mutuel [[parimutel]]machines.
The code provision creating this fair fund is RCW No salary, wages, expenses, or compensation of any kind shall be paid by the state in connection with the work of the commission. Of the remaining eighty percent, fifty percent shall, on the next business day following the receipt thereof, be paid to the state treasurer to be deposited in the general fund.
Any moneys collected or paid to the Commission under the terms of this chapter and not expended at the time of making its report to the legislature, shall be paid to the state treasurer and be placed in the general fund. The only direct authority for holding county fairs and agricultural exhibits is to be found in RCW The subsequent provisions of the same quoted title provide that the county commissioners of any county may acquire property to conduct fairs and may employ persons to assist in the management of fairs and may expend public funds of the county for the capital improvement of fairgrounds.
From the foregoing statutes it is clear that the legislature has declared the conduct and operation of fairs to be a public purpose and the legislature may appropriate funds for the support of such fairs or may authorize governmental subdivisions of the state to expend public funds for the promotion of agricultural fairs. The authority of the legislature to create special funds for designated purposes in the office of the treasurer of the State of Washington and the authority to designate a public official, in this case the Director of Agriculture, to disburse such a fund is to be found in State ex rel.
State Retirement Board v. Yelle , 31 Wn. Sherman v. Pape , Wash. Toll Bridge Authority v. Yelle , Wash. But the Director of Agriculture is not authorized to disburse public monies to a private corporation although engaged in conducting a fair. This conclusion is based in part upon constitutional prohibition of the State of Washington and of the United States.
Article 8, Section 7 of the State Constitution provides:. Our court has interpreted the foregoing provision strictly and held in the case of Johns v. Wadsworth , 80 Wash. We quote from page of said case:. There is no room, however, for construction. Unless plain, simple, direct words have lost their meaning, the legislature was without power to authorize the gift. An additional case noted is Moses v.
Persson said the bill would allow him to hire some additional employees. But George urged the lawmakers to again reject the proposal. Maverick Gaming operates 19 card rooms in Washington. Senate Bill is co-sponsored by King and Democratic floor leader Sen. Marko Liias of Lynnwood. It would apply only to existing card rooms and racetracks. It allows for online sports gambling, but only within the limits of the gaming venues.
For decades, tribal casinos have operated most of the legalized gambling in Washington. The pressure to legalize sports gambling has grown nationwide since the U. Supreme Court in struck down a federal law that had banned it everywhere but Las Vegas and a handful of other jurisdictions. This tax would be in addition to the taxes levied at the local level. The bill would not allow any betting on college sports events that take place in Washington state or that involve a Washington state team.
Betting on electronic sports, high school sports, and competitive video games would be prohibited. Wenatchee , 64 Wn. As stated by the court in the first of these two cases, at p. Fleetwood v. Read , 21 Wash. Ferdon , 21 Wash. DeMattos , 23 Wash. Ward , Wash. Swaney , Wash.
Where there has been a preemption the municipality may not tax because the state itself has fully occupied the field, so to speak. An exemption, on the other hand, is usually the result of a specific state statute such as, for example, currently exists in the state liquor code, in the form of RCW RCW 35A.
In responding to your question we will, therefore, first consider the possibility of a state preemption which would preclude any extension of the Renton business tax as it now exists to parimutuel wagering activities. And then, in turn, we will analyze and dispose of certain arguments which have been made, on behalf of legal counsel for the licensee track, to the effect that there exists, at the present time, a state statutory exemption of parimutuel wagering from any local taxation.
At the outset, we immediately note the total absence from chapter What that act does say about parimutuel wagering receipts, on the other hand, is to be found, first, in so much of RCW In addition, there is a further allocation of parimutuel wagering receipts to be found in two other sections of the racing act, RCW Because of these provisions of the Horse Racing Act, it has first been urged by counsel for the licensee track that an implied preemption exists by reason of a statutory allocation of the full amount of all parimutuel wagering revenues themselves; i.
In response, however, we do not regard this as meaning that the state has preempted the field so as to preclude the extension of a municipal business and occupation tax to encompass the gross receipts derived by a licensee from parimutuel wagering. Next, our attention has been directed to the fact earlier noted that ". We fail to see any connection, however. Merely because this particular activity is exempt from the state tax does not mean to us that it has likewise been exempted by the state from the imposition of a similar, but independent, municipal taxing system.
Or, stated otherwise, while it is true that the existing Renton ordinance contains an identical exemption of the business of horse racing from the present municipal business and occupation tax, there is nothing in RCW Counsel for the track's third and final argument in opposition to any extension of the tax to parimutuel wagering is, at first blush, somewhat more intriguing. That argument is based in its entirety on certain provisions of chapter 9.
When the legislature enacted the new gambling statute, Chapter 9. RCW 9. The result of doing so was to exempt parimutuel betting from the city taxes authorized by chapter 9. Read together, the gambling statutes and the Washington Horse Racing Act reveal a legislative intent that a specific grant of authority is required for a municipality to tax any gambling activity authorized in the state, and that the only such grant which is currently available to a municipality is that contained in RCW 9.
As we view it, however, there is also, upon closer analysis, a fatal flaw in this argument.