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General Laws

Section 3. (a) There shall be a Massachusetts gaming commission which shall consist of 5 commissioners, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the governor; 1 of whom shall be appointed by the attorney general who shall have experience in criminal investigations and law enforcement; 1 of whom shall be appointed by the treasurer and receiver general who shall have experience in corporate finance and securities; and 2 of whom shall be appointed by a majority vote of the governor, attorney general and the treasurer and receiver general, 1 of whom shall have experience in legal and policy issues related to gaming and 1 of whom may have professional experience in gaming regulatory administration or gaming industry management. The governor shall designate the chair of the commission. The chair shall serve in that capacity throughout the term of appointment and until a successor shall be appointed. Prior to appointment to the commission, a background investigation shall be conducted into the financial stability, integrity and responsibility of a candidate, including the candidate’s reputation for good character, honesty and integrity. No person who has been convicted of a felony shall be eligible to serve on the commission.

(b) Each commissioner shall be a resident of the commonwealth within 90 days of appointment and, while serving on the commission, shall not: (i) hold, or be a candidate for, federal, state or local elected office; (ii) hold an appointed office in a federal, state, or local government; or (iii) serve as an official in a political party. Not more than 3 commissioners shall be from the same political party.

(c) Each commissioner shall serve for a term of 5 years or until a successor is appointed and shall be eligible for reappointment; provided, however, that no commissioner shall serve more than 10 years. A person appointed to fill a vacancy in the office of a commissioner shall be appointed in a like manner and shall serve for only the unexpired term of such commissioner. The governor may remove a commissioner if the commissioner: (i) is guilty of malfeasance in office; (ii) substantially neglects the duties of a commissioner; (iii) is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the commissioner’s office; (iv) commits gross misconduct; or (v) is convicted of a felony.

(d) Three commissioners shall constitute a quorum and the affirmative vote of 3 commissioners shall be required for an action of the commission. The chair or 3 members of the commission may call a meeting; provided, however, that notice of all meetings shall be given to each commissioner and to other persons who request such notice. The commission shall adopt regulations establishing procedures, which may include electronic communications, by which a request to receive notice shall be made and the method by which timely notice may be given.

(e) Commissioners shall receive salaries not greater than three-quarters of the salary of the commissioner of administration under section 4 of chapter 7; provided, however, that the chair shall receive a salary equal to the salary of the commissioner of administration. Commissioners shall devote their full time and attention to the duties of their office.

(f) The commission shall annually elect 1 of its members to serve as secretary and 1 of its members to serve as treasurer. The secretary shall keep a record of the proceedings of the commission and shall be the custodian and keeper of the records of all books, documents and papers filed by the commission and of its minute book. The secretary shall cause copies to be made of all minutes and other records and documents of the commission and shall certify that such copies are true copies, and all persons dealing with the commission may rely upon such certification.

(g) The chair shall have and exercise supervision and control over all the affairs of the commission. The chair shall preside at all hearings at which the chair is present and shall designate a commissioner to act as chair in the chair’s absence. To promote efficiency in administration, the chair shall, from time to time, make such division or re-division of the work of the commission among the commissioners as the chair deems expedient.

(h) All of the commissioners shall, if so directed by the chair, participate in the hearing and decision of any matter before the commission; provided, however, that at least 2 commissioners shall participate in the hearing and decision of matters other than those of formal or administrative character coming before the commission; provided further, that any such matter may be heard, examined and investigated by an employee of the commission designated and assigned by the chair, with the concurrence of 1 other commissioner. Such employee shall make a report in writing relative to the hearing, examination and investigation of every such matter to the commission for its decision. For the purposes of hearing, examining and investigating any such matter, such employee shall have all of the powers conferred upon a commissioner by this section. For each hearing, the concurrence of a majority of the commissioners participating in the decision shall be necessary.

(i) The commission shall appoint an executive director. The executive director shall serve at the pleasure of the commission, shall receive such salary as may be determined by the commission, and shall devote full time and attention to the duties of the office. The executive director shall be a person with skill and experience in management and shall be the executive and administrative head of the commission and shall be responsible for administering and enforcing the provisions of law relative to the commission and to each administrative unit thereof. The executive director shall appoint and employ a chief financial and accounting officer and may, subject to the approval of the commission, employ other employees, consultants, agents and advisors, including legal counsel, and shall attend meetings of the commission. The chief financial and accounting officer of the commission shall be in charge of its funds, books of account and accounting records. No funds shall be transferred by the commission without the approval of the commission and the signatures of the chief financial and accounting officer and the treasurer. In the case of an absence or vacancy in the office of the executive director or in the case of disability as determined by the commission, the commission may designate an acting executive director to serve as executive director until the vacancy is filled or the absence or disability ceases. The acting executive director shall have all of the powers and duties of the executive director and shall have similar qualifications as the executive director.

(j) The executive director may, from time to time and subject to the approval of the commission, establish within the commission such administrative units as may be necessary for the efficient and economical administration of the commission and, when necessary for such purpose, may abolish any such administrative unit or may merge any 2 or more units. The executive director shall prepare and keep current a plan of organization of the commission, of the assignment of its functions to its various administrative units, offices and employees and of the places at which and the methods by which the public may receive information or make requests. A current copy of the plan of organization shall be kept on file with the state secretary and in the office of the secretary of administration and finance.

(k) The executive director may appoint such persons as the executive director shall consider necessary to perform the functions of the commission; provided, however, that chapter 31 and section 9A of chapter 30 shall not apply to commission employees. If an employee serving in a position which is classified under said chapter 31 or in which an employee has tenure by reason of said section 9A of said chapter 30 shall be appointed to a position within the commission which is not subject to said chapter 31, the employee shall, upon termination of service in such position, be restored to the position which the employee held immediately prior to such appointment; provided, however, that the employee’s service in such position shall be determined by the civil service commission in accordance with the standards applied by that commission in administering said chapter 31. Such restoration shall be made without impairment of the employee’s civil service status or tenure under said section 9A of said chapter 30 and without loss of seniority, retirement or other rights to which uninterrupted service in such prior position would have entitled such employee. During the period of such appointment, each person so appointed from a position in the classified civil service shall be eligible to take any competitive promotional examination for which such person would otherwise have been eligible. Employees of the commission, including employees working in the bureau, shall be classified as group 1 pursuant to paragraph (g) of subdivision (2) of section 3 of chapter 32.

(l) The commission shall require a prospective employee to: (i) submit an application and a personal disclosure on a form prescribed by the commission which shall include a complete criminal history, including convictions and current charges for all felonies and misdemeanors; (ii) undergo testing which detects the presence of illegal substances in the body; (iii) provide fingerprints and a photograph consistent with standards adopted by the state police; and (iv) provide authorization for the commission to conduct a credit and background check. The commission shall verify the identification, employment and education of each prospective employee, including: (i) legal name, including any alias; (ii) all secondary and post secondary educational institutions attended regardless of graduation status; (iii) place of residence; and (iv) employment history.

The commission shall not hire a prospective employee if the prospective employee has: (i) been convicted of a felony; (ii) been convicted of a misdemeanor more than 10 years prior to the prospective employee’s application that, in the discretion of the commission, bears a close relationship to the duties and responsibilities of the position for which employment is sought; (iii) been dismissed from prior employment for gross misconduct or incompetence; or (iv) intentionally made a false statement concerning a material fact in connection with the prospective employee’s application to the commission. If an employee of the commission is charged with a felony while employed by the commission, the commission shall suspend the employee, with or without pay, and terminate employment with the commission upon conviction. If an employee of the commission is charged with a misdemeanor while employed by the commission, the commission shall suspend the employee, with or without pay, and may terminate employment with the commission upon conviction if, in the discretion of the commission, the offense for which the employee has been convicted bears a close relationship to the duties and responsibilities of the position held with the commission.

(m) Chapters 268A and 268B shall apply to the commissioners and to employees of the commission; provided, however, that the commission shall establish a code of ethics for all members and employees that shall be more restrictive than said chapters 268A and 268B. A copy of the code shall be filed with the state ethics commission. The code shall include provisions reasonably necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter and any other laws subject to the jurisdiction of the commission including, but not limited to: (i) prohibiting the receipt of gifts by commissioners and employees from any gaming licensee, applicant, close associate, affiliate or other person or entity subject to the jurisdiction of the commission; (ii) prohibiting the participation by commissioners and employees in a particular matter as defined in section 1 of said chapter 268A that affects the financial interest of a relative within the third degree of consanguinity or a person with whom such commissioner or employee has a significant relationship as defined in the code; and (iii) providing for recusal of a commissioner in a licensing decision due to a potential conflict of interest.

(n) Immediately upon assuming office, each commissioner and employee of the commission, except for secretarial and clerical personnel, shall swear or affirm that the commissioner or employee possesses no interest in a person licensed under this chapter. No individual shall be employed by the commission if, during the period commencing 3 years prior to employment, that individual held any direct or indirect interest in, or was employed by, a licensee under this chapter.

(o) No employee of the commission shall pursue any other business or occupation or other gainful employment outside of the commission without the prior written approval of the commission that such employment will not interfere or be in conflict with the employee’s duties to the commission.

(p) No commissioner shall hold a direct or indirect interest in, or be employed by, an applicant or by a person licensed by the commission for a period of 3 years after the termination of employment with the commission.

(q) No employee of the commission holding a major policymaking position shall acquire an interest in, or accept employment with, an applicant or licensee for a period of 2 years after the termination of employment with the commission.

(r) No employee of the commission in a non-major policymaking position shall acquire an interest in, or accept employment with, an applicant or licensee under this chapter for a period of 1 year after termination of employment with the commission.

(s) A commission employee assigned to a gaming establishment shall be considered an essential state employee.

(t) No commissioner or employee, other than in the performance of the commissioner’s or employee’s official duties, shall place a wager in a gaming establishment.

(u) The commissioners and those employees holding major policymaking positions shall be sworn to the faithful performance of their official duties. The commissioners and those employees holding major policymaking positions shall: (i) conduct themselves in a manner so as to render decisions that are fair and impartial and in the public interest; (ii) avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all matters under their jurisdiction; (iii) avoid all prohibited communications; (iv) require staff and personnel subject to their direction and control to observe the same standards of fidelity and diligence; (v) disqualify themselves from proceedings in which their impartiality might reasonably be questioned; and (vi) refrain from financial or business dealings which would tend to reflect adversely on impartiality.

(v) The commissioners and employees shall not own, or be in the employ of, or own any stock in, a business which holds a license under this chapter, nor shall they have, directly or indirectly, a pecuniary interest in, or be connected with, any such business or be in the employ of or connected with any person financing any such business; provided, however, that immediate family members of commissioners and employees holding major policymaking positions shall not own, or be in the employ of, or own stock in, any business which holds a license under this chapter. The commissioners and employees shall not personally, or through a partner or agent, render professional services or make or perform any business contract with or for any regulated entity, except contracts made with the commissioners for the furnishing of services, nor shall the commissioners or employees directly or indirectly receive any commission, bonus, discount, gift or reward from a regulated entity.

(w) Neither the commission nor any of its officers, agents, employees, consultants or advisors shall be subject to sections 9A, 45, 46 and 52 of chapter 30, chapter 31 or to chapter 200 of the acts of 1976.

(x) The Massachusetts gaming commission shall be a commission for the purposes of section 3 of chapter 12.

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