Title 31: Recreation and Sports
Chapter 14: STATE LOTTERY
31 V.S.A. § 674. Procedures and conditions governing the tri-state lottery-Article II
§ 674. Procedures and conditions governing the tri-state lottery-Article II
A. Creation of the Tri-State Lotto Commission. The party states, for the purpose of operating Tri-State Lotto, establish the Tri-State Lotto Commission.
B. Nature of the commission. The commission shall be an interstate body, both corporate and politic, serving as a common agency of the party states and representing them both collectively and individually in the exercise of its powers and duties.
C. Organization of the commission. The commission shall be composed of one member from each of the party states. Each party state lottery or sweepstakes commission shall appoint one of its members to serve on the Tri-State Lotto Commission. Each member shall hold office at the pleasure of the appointing authority. The commission shall elect a chairman from among its members annually.
D. Functioning of the commission.
1. The commission's functions shall be performed and carried out by its members and by advisory committees or panels as the commission may establish, and by officers, independent contractors, agents, employees and consultants as may be appointed by the commission. All officers, independent contractors, agents, consultants and employees shall hold office at the pleasure of the commission, unless the commission otherwise decides, and the commission shall prescribe their powers, duties and qualifications and fix their compensation and other terms of their employment.
2. No action of the commission shall be effective or binding unless there is a unanimous decision by all of the representatives of the various party states.
3. The members of the commission shall receive compensation for their services pursuant to this compact and in accordance with the policies of the respective states, and they shall be entitled to be reimbursed for the expenses they naturally and necessarily incur in the performance of their duties.
4. No member of the commission who is otherwise a public officer or employee shall suffer a forfeiture of his or her office or employment, or any loss or diminution in the rights and privileges pertaining to their office or employment, by reason of membership on the commission.
E. Powers and duties of the commission.
1. The commission shall have the power and it shall be its duty to operate and administer Tri-State Lotto and to promulgate rules and regulations governing the establishment and operation of the lotto, including but not limited to the following topics:
a. the design of the game;
b. the price of the tickets;
c. the number and sizes of the prizes on the winning tickets;
d. the manner of selecting the winning tickets and paying the prizes;
e. the frequency of the drawings;
f. the type or types of locations at which tickets may be sold;
g. the method to be used in selling tickets;
h. the compensation required to be paid to Tri-State Lotto sales agents in order to assure adequate availability of tickets and public convenience in purchasing tickets; and
i. the development of an internal security plan designed to prevent player fraud.
2. The commission, or its designee, shall also have the power and it shall be its duty to license sales agents to sell Tri-State Lotto tickets, in accordance with paragraph G of this article. The commission may require a bond from any licensed agent, in an amount to be determined by the commission.
3. The commission shall make monthly and year-end reports to the commissions of the party states, which shall include a complete statement of Tri-State Lotto revenues, prize disbursements and other expenses, and any other information the party states may require.
4. All Tri-State Lotto accounts and transactions shall be subject to annual post-audits conducted by independent auditors retained by the commission for this purpose.
5. In addition to the powers enumerated above, the commission shall have the power to adopt a corporate seal and enter into contracts, including but not limited to contracts with other governments or agencies, to hire, lease, acquire and dispose of property to the extent necessary to carry out its functions, powers and duties as set forth in this section, and to expend or authorize expenditures of monies for the purpose of operating Tri-State Lotto pursuant to this compact. The party states each shall have the right to require an audit as a party state may from time to time consider proper.
6. The commission also shall have additional powers, incidental to the express powers granted to it by this compact, as may be necessary or proper for the effective performance of its functions.
F. Cooperation and assistance of other agencies. To avoid duplication of effort and in the interests of economy, the commission may make use of existing studies, plans, data and other materials in the possession of the governmental agencies of the party states and their respective political subdivisions. Each agency is authorized to make these materials available to the commission and otherwise to assist it in the performance of its functions. The officers and personnel of these agencies, and of any other government or agency, may serve at the request of the commission upon advisory committees and panels as the commission creates; and the officers and personnel may serve upon the committees and panels without forfeiture of office or employment and with no loss or diminution in the status, rights and privileges which they otherwise enjoy.
G. Licensing of Tri-State Lotto sales agents.
1. The commission or its designee, may license as agents to sell Tri-State Lotto tickets, those persons as in its opinion will best serve the public convenience, except that no license shall be issued to any person to engage in business exclusively as a sales agent.
2. For purposes of this article the term "person" shall be construed to mean and include an individual, partnership, association, organization, club, company, corporation, trust, estate, society, joint stock company, receiver, trustee, assignee, referee, or any other person acting in a fiduciary or representative capacity, whether appointed by a court or otherwise, and any combination of individuals. "Person" shall also be construed to mean and include agencies and instrumentalities of the state, and counties, cities, towns and villages.
3. Before issuing a license to any person, the commission shall consider with respect to the person:
a. financial responsibility and the security of the business or activity in which the person is engaged;
b. accessibility of the place of business or activity to the public;
c. sufficiency of existing licenses to serve public convenience;
d. whether the place of business or activity is predominantly frequented by persons under the age of 18 years;
e. volumes of expected sales; and
f. the possession of a valid party state license.
H. Suspension and revocation of licenses.
1. The commission may suspend or revoke, after notice and hearing, any license issued pursuant to this compact. The license may, however, be temporarily suspended by the commission without prior notice, pending any prosecution, investigation or hearing. A license may be suspended or revoked by the commission for just cause, including one or more of the following reasons:
a. failure to account for tickets received or the proceeds of the sale of tickets or to file a bond if required by the commission or to comply with instructions of the commission concerning the licensed activity;
b. conviction of any criminal offense;
c. failure to file any return or report, to keep records, or to pay any tax;
d. engaging in fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or conduct prejudicial to public confidence;
e. insufficiency of the number of tickets sold by the sales agent; and
f. a material change, since issuance of the license, with respect to any of the matters required to be considered by the commission under paragraph G 3 of this article.
2. Any suspension or revocation of a state license shall automatically result in suspension of the Tri-State license.
I. Inapplicability of other statutes.
1. No law providing for any penalty or disability for the sale of lottery tickets or any acts done in connection with a lottery shall apply to the sale of tickets or acts performed pursuant to this compact.
2. The provisions of this compact shall apply and take precedence in the event of any conflict between the provisions contained in this compact and the provisions of other laws of any of the party states.
J. Sale of tickets prohibited.
1. No ticket shall be sold at a price greater than those fixed by the commission; nor shall a sale be made by any person other than a licensed sales agent. Any person who violates any of these provisions shall be subject to the sanctions of each respective party state's lottery statutes.
2. No ticket shall be sold to any person under the age of 18 years, but this shall not be deemed to prohibit the purchase of a ticket for the purpose of making a gift by a person 18 years of age or older to a person less than that age. Any licensee or the employee or agent of any licensee who sells or offers to sell a ticket to any person under the age of 18 shall be subject to the sanctions of each respective party state's lottery statutes.
3. No ticket shall be sold to and no prize shall be paid to any of the following persons:
a. any member, officer or employee of the commission; or
b. any spouse, child, brother, sister or parent residing as a member of the same household in the principal place of abode of any of the foregoing persons.
K. Collection and disposition of revenue.
1. All monies received by any and all Tri-State Lotto sales agents from the sales of Tri-State Lotto tickets, less the amount, if any, retained pursuant to paragraph E 1 g of this article shall be delivered weekly to the commission of the party state in which the sales were made.
2. Within one week after a Tri-State Lotto drawing has been held, the party state commission shall pay to the commission, who in turn shall promptly pay to an account known as the Tri-State Lotto Prize Account, monies as are necessary for the payment of prizes, less actual prizes paid by the respective party state in the preceding week, but not to exceed 50 percent of the total amount for which tickets have been sold.
3. Interest earned by the Tri-State Lotto Prize Account shall accrue to the party states in direct proportion to their contribution to the account. Distribution shall be made at least semi-annually.
4. The withdrawals, pursuant to paragraph L of this article, of monies from the Tri-State Lotto Prize Account deposited by the commission shall be subject to a check signed by a member of the commission or such officer, employee or agent of the commission as the commission may designate. The monies in the Prize Payment Account shall be paid out of the account on vouchers certified or approved by the commission or its designated officer, agent or employee.
5. The commission shall receive from party states, within one week after a Tri-State Lotto drawing, an additional sum of monies not to exceed 15 percent of the total amount for which tickets have been sold. The monies shall be deposited in a bank, banking house or trust company selected by the commission in an account to be named the Tri-State Lotto Operations Account. The operations account shall be used to pay Tri-State Lotto current operating costs which shall be charged proportionally to the party states. If operating costs exceed or fall short of the amount obtained in the account, appropriate adjustments shall be made on a quarterly basis within 30 days of the end of each quarter.
6. Interest earned by the Tri-State Lotto Operations Account shall accrue to the party states in direct proportion to their contribution to the account. Distribution shall be made at least semi-annually.
L. Distribution of prizes.
1. All prizes over 5,000 dollars shall be awarded to holders of winning tickets as provided in this section. Within one week after any drawing or selection of prize winning tickets, the commission shall deliver to each of the party states a certified list of the tickets to which prizes are awarded and the amount of each prize. Upon delivery of the certified list and voucher of the commission, monies sufficient for the payment of the prizes may be withdrawn from the prize account established in paragraph K 2 of this article. The commission shall each month provide each party state with a record of all withdrawals. Payment of prizes shall be made by the commission, or its designee, to holders of the tickets to which prizes are awarded. The right of any person to a prize drawn shall not be assignable, except that payment of any prize drawn may be paid to another person as provided in this section.
1A. Payment of a prize may be made to a person other than the winner as follows:
a. To the estate of a deceased prizewinner upon receipt by the commission of a certified court order appointing an executor or administrator.
b. To any person pursuant to a certified final order of a court of competent jurisdiction, including orders pertaining to claims of ownership in the prize, division of marital property in divorce actions, bankruptcy, child support, appointment of a guardian or conservator and distribution of an estate.
c. To any person, including a trustee, pursuant to a certified final order of a court of competent jurisdiction of a party state approving the voluntary assignment of the right to a prize provided the court affirmatively finds all of the following:
(1) That the assignor and the assignee are not represented by the same counsel.
(2) That the assignment is in writing and represents the entire agreement between the parties.
(3) That the assignment agreement contains the following provisions:
(A) The assignor's name, Social Security number or tax identification number and address.
(B) The assignee's name, Social Security number or tax identification number, citizenship or resident alien number, if applicable, and address.
(C) The specific prize payment or payments assigned, or any portion thereof, including: (i) The payable due dates and amounts of each payment to be assigned. (ii) The gross amount of the annual payment or payments to be assigned before taxes.
(D) A notice of right to cancel in immediate proximity to the space reserved for the signature of the assignor in boldface type of a minimum size of 10 points which shall provide that: (i) The assignor may cancel the assignment without cost until midnight 15 business days after the day on which the assignor has signed an agreement to assign a prize or portion of a prize. (ii) Cancellation occurs when notice of cancellation is given to the assignee. (iii) Notice is sufficient if it indicates the intention of the assignor not to be bound. (iv) Notice of cancellation, if given by mail, shall be deemed given when deposited in a mailbox properly addressed and first class mail postage prepaid. Failure to provide the notice of right to cancel as provided in this subdivision shall render the assignment agreement unenforceable and the assignor may collect reasonable attorney fees in any action to enforce such agreement.
(4) That prior to execution of the assignment agreement, the assignee has provided to the assignor in writing, on a disclosure form separate and apart from the agreement, the following:
(A) The aggregate dollar value of payments assigned.
(B) The total consideration paid to the assignor by the assignee.
(C) An itemization of all other fees or costs to be paid by the assignor, or deducted from the payment to the assignor.
(5) That the assignor has represented to the court in sworn testimony, if a personal appearance is required by the court, or in the assignor's written affidavit, sworn to under penalty of perjury, that:
(A) Prior to signing the assignment agreement, the assignor reviewed the agreement and understood its terms and effects.
(B) The assignor has consulted with independent financial and tax advisors not referred by or associated with the assignee.
(C) The assignor has signed the assignment agreement acting under free will without undue influence or duress.
(D) The assignor is not under any obligation to pay child support, or is under such obligation and is in good standing with respect to that obligation or has agreed to a payment plan with the party state agency responsible for child support and is in full compliance with that plan.
(E) The assigned payment or payments are not subject to any claims, liens, levies, security interests, assignments or offsets asserted by other persons or the party states or has provided the court with written consent of each person having such an interest.
(6) If the assignor is married, the assignor has submitted to the court a signed and notarized statement of the spouse consenting to the assignment. If a notarized statement is not presented to the court, the court shall determine the ability of the assignor to make the proposed assignment without the spouse's consent.
1B.a. A winner may pledge all or any part of a prize as collateral for a loan. Notwithstanding any provision of Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code to the contrary, perfection of a security interest in a prize shall be completed by filing, in addition to any other filings which may be required, a financing statement with the commission.
b. In order to be entitled to receive a prize payment or payments from the commission, a secured party shall be required to obtain a certified final order of a court of competent jurisdiction which:
(1) Adjudges the prize winner in default of a loan agreement with the secured party.
(2) Makes findings with respect to the loan agreements and financing statements constituting the loan transaction which are equivalent to those required pursuant to subdivisions 1A.c.(1)-(3) of this paragraph and, in addition, a finding that truth-in-lending disclosures set forth in 12 C.F.R. §§ 226.17, 226.18, 226.19, and 226.20 were made.
(3) Identifies specific payments and awards ownership of said payments to the secured party.
c. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to:
(1) Create or enlarge a cause of action in favor of a secured party.
(2) Alter or impair any rule of law applicable to or governing the rights of a debtor under federal or state lending statutes.
(3) Alter or impair the provisions of Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code except to the extent inconsistent with the provisions of this paragraph.
1C. The commission may intervene as of right in any action pursuant to subsection 1A.c. or paragraph 1B. of this section, but shall not be deemed an indispensable or necessary party.
1D. A certified copy of the final order required by subsection 1A.b. of this section, a certified copy of the final order and the assignor's affidavit required by subsection 1 A.c. of this section, and a certified copy of the final order required by paragraph 1B. of this section shall be served on the commission together with a nonrefundable processing fee of $500.00 within 15 days after entry of the order.
1E. The commission may file a request to modify or vacate a final order pursuant to subsection 1A.c. or paragraph 1B. of this section within l5 days after service of the order on the commission.
1F. Commencing on the 30th day after full compliance with paragraph 1D. of this section, or after final determination of any motion filed to vacate or modify a final order entered pursuant to paragraph 1E. of this section, the commission shall be obligated to make payments, subject to tax withholding, in accordance with said order.
1G. No modification or amendment to an order pursuant to subsections 1A.b. or c. or paragraph 1B. of this section and no additional or subsequent assignment of a prize, shall be valid or binding on the commission unless the modification, amendment or assignment is approved by a separate court order which meets the requirements of this section.
1H. The commission, its officers, agents, and employees shall be discharged of all further liability upon payment of a prize pursuant to this section.
1I. The financial, tax, trust or personal records filed, received, maintained or produced by the commission in connection with payment of a prize as provided in this section are confidential. Such records shall not be deemed public records under 1 V.S.A. § 317. Upon written request, the commission may release the name, town of residence, date of prize, and the gross and net amounts of the annual prize payment of a winner. Financing statements filed with the commission are public records.
1J. The Tri-State Lotto Compact recognizes that each party state has enacted laws authorizing a party state agency to collect child support debts and arrearages. Upon receipt of notice from a party state agency, the commission shall suspend payment of winnings in the amount of the child support debt or arrearage and notify the winner. Child support debts and arrearages of a winner shall be offset by the commission in the manner in which the state lottery commission of a party state is required by law to offset such debts and arrearages.
2. If the person entitled to a prize on any winning ticket is under the age of 18 years, and the prize is less than 5,000 dollars, the commission may make payment by delivery to an adult member of the minor's family or a guardian of the minor of a check or draft payable to the order of the minor. If the person entitled to a prize on any winning ticket is under the age of 18 years and if the prize is 5,000 dollars or more, the commission may make payment to the minor by depositing the amount of the prize in any bank to the credit of an adult member of the minor's family or a guardian of the minor as custodian for the minor. The commission shall be discharged of all further liability upon payment of a prize to a minor pursuant to this subdivision.
3. Prizes may be paid in such manner as the commission may direct in its rules and regulations as long as the rules and regulations are not inconsistent with this compact.
M. Unclaimed prize money. Unclaimed prize money for the prize on a winning ticket shall be retained by the commission for payment to the person entitled for one year after the drawing in which the prize was won. If no claim is made for the prize within one year from the date of the drawing, the prize money shall be credited to the prize pool. Upon the expiration of one year from the drawing date, the ticket holder shall forfeit any claim or entitlement to the prize monies.
N. Duration of commission and Tri-State Lotto. The commission and Tri-State Lotto shall continue in existence until this compact is revoked by all of the party states. The withdrawal of one party state shall not render the compact invalid between the remaining states.
O. Interpretation. This compact shall be construed liberally to accomplish its purposes.
P. Amendments. Amendments and supplements to this compact may be adopted by concurrent legislation of the party states.
Q. The Vermont lottery commission shall be immune from:
1. any claim based upon an act or omission of an employee exercising due care, in the execution of a statute or regulation, whether or not the statute or regulation is valid, or based upon the exercise or performance or failure to exercise or perform a discretionary function or duty on the part of the employee whether or not the discretion involved is abused;
2. any claim arising in respect to the assessment or collection of any fee or commission or the levy upon or detention of any goods or merchandise by a law enforcement officer;
3. any claim for damages caused by the fiscal operations of the department;
4. any claim arising out of alleged assault, battery, false imprisonment, false arrest, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, libel, slander, misrepresentation, deceit, fraud, interference with contractual rights, or invasion of the right to privacy; or
5. any other claim for which a remedy is provided or which is governed specifically by other statutory enactment.
R. Fiscal year. The fiscal year of the Tri-State Lotto Commission shall be from July 1 of one calendar year to June 30 of the succeeding calendar year.
S. State tax exemption. [Repealed, see effective date of repeal note set out below.] (Added 1985, No. 28, § 2; amended 1995, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2, eff. June 1, 1996; 2003, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 13, eff. Jan. 1, 2005.)