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10 N.J.A.R. 356

Bally's Park Place, Inc., In the Matter of the Application for a Casino License and the Application of Bally Manufacturing Corpora- tion for a Casino Service Industry License
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Citation: 10 N.J.A.R. 356
Decision Date: 1981
Synopsis: Bally's Park Place applied to the Casino Control Commission for a casino license and Bally Manufacturing Corporation applied for a casino service industry license. The matter was heard by the Casino Control Commission. In its decision, the Commission explained that the criteria for casino licensure (N.J.S.A. 5:12-84, -86 and -89) and service industry licensure (N.J.S.A. 5:12-92(a), -92(b), -86 and -89) must be affirmatively established by the applicant by clear and convincing evidence. The clear and convincing standard requires producing a firm belief as the truth of matters sought to be established. Thus, the test is more than the civil standard of preponderance of the evidence but less than the criminal standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. The Commission first examined the persons who must qualify under Section 85 as persons who have the ability to significantly influence or control the operations of the corporate applicant. Those persons must demonstrate good character, honesty and integrity as required by Section 89(b)(2). In applying this standard, the Commission is required to make a predictive judgment as to how an individual will conduct himself in the future based on evidence of past conduct. Evidence of specific acts should be given more weight in making this determination than opinion testimony regarding an individual's reputation. Applying these standards, the Commission found that the one Bally officer and major stockholder, William T. O'Donnell, did not demonstrate good character and was therefore not qualified. This determination was based on O'Donnell's past association with individuals with ties to organized crime and on his participation in an attempt to influence legislators in Kentucky. Prior to the hearing, and as a condition for issuance of a temporary casino license for Bally's, O'Donnell had resigned from his corporate office and agreed to other conditions terminating his influence as a shareholder. He had, however, requested a determination as to his qualification. Another major shareholder, Alexander R.A. Wilms, similarly severed ties to Bally and was not considered during the hearing as a person who must qualify. No determination was made as to Wilms' qualification. The Commission found that 22 individuals other than O'Donnell and Wilms who were required to qualify did demonstrate requisite good character and were therefore qualified. Regarding the corporate applicants, the Commission measured their integrity by the integrity of the persons controlling the companies. Even if only one person had engaged in improprieties, the corporate entity would not be qualified if other persons in control ratified or tolerated the improper conduct. In this case, the Commission found that O'Donnell's conduct did not reflect on the present management of the corporate applicants. The corporate applicants had demonstrated requisite good character for licensure. However, conditions were set out continuing O'Donnell's severance from influence and control. Bally's Park Place was granted a conditional casino license and Bally Manufacturing was granted a conditional casino service industry license. Both licenses were dependent on O'Donnell, Wilms and the corporate applicants abiding by conditions set out in the Commission's decision to prevent any influence or control by O'Donnell and Wilms.
Rule(s) Cited: 19:43-1.14 19:53-1.5 19:53-1.15 
Statute(s) Cited: 5:12-1b(7) 5:12-1b(15) 5:12-73d 5:12-76 5:12-82 5:12-83 5:12-84 5:12-84a 5:12-84b 5:12-84d 5:12-85a 5:12-85c 5:12-85d 5:12-86 5:12-87 5:12-89 5:12-89b 5:12-89b(2) 5:12-89b(3) 5:12-92 5:12-92a 5:12-92b 5:12-98 5:12-105 5:12-130.1(b) 5:12-134 5:12-135