Office of the Legislative Auditor State of Minnesota Minnesota Racing Commission Financial Audit Minnesota Racing Commission Minnesota Racing Commission Four Fiscal Years Ended June 30, 1999

MAY 4, 2000 00-17

Financial Audit Division Minnesota Racing CommissionThe Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) is a professional, nonpartisan office in the legislative branch of Minnesota State government. Its principal responsibility is to audit and evaluate the agencies and programs of state government (the State Auditor audits local governments). OLA's Financial Audit Division annually audits the state's financial statements and, on a rotating schedule, audits agencies in the executive and judicial branches of state government, three metropolitan agencies, and several "semi-state" organizations. The division also investigates allegations that state resources have been used inappropriately. The division has a staff of approximately fifty auditors, most of whom are CPAs. The division conducts audits in accordance with standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Comptroller General of the United States.

Consistent with OLA's mission, the Financial Audit Division works to:
Promote Accountability, Strengthen Legislative Oversight, and
Support Good Financial Management.
Through its Program Evaluation Division, OLA conducts several evaluations each year and one best practices review.

OLA is under the direction of the Legislative Auditor, who is appointed for a six-year term by the Legislative Audit Commission (LAC). The LAC is a bipartisan commission of Representatives and Senators. It annually selects topics for the Program Evaluation Division, but is generally not involved in scheduling financial audits.

All findings, conclusions, and recommendations in reports issued by the Office of the Legislative Auditor are solely the responsibility of the office and may not reflect the views of the LAC, its individual members, or other members of the Minnesota Legislature.

This document can be made available in alternative formats, such as large print, Braille, or audio tape, by calling 651-296-1727 (voice), or the Minnesota Relay Service at 651-297-5353 or 1-800-627-3529. All OLA reports are available at our Web Site: http:// www. auditor. leg. state. mn. us

If you have comments about our work, or you want to suggest an audit, investigation, evaluation, or best practices review, please contact us at 651-296-4708 or by e-mail at auditor@ state. mn. us

OFFICE OF THE LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR State of Minnesota James Nobles, Legislative Auditor Report Summary Financial Audit
Minnesota Racing Commission Four Fiscal Years Ended June 30, 1999

Generally, the Minnesota Racing Commission properly safeguarded assets, accurately recorded receipts and expenditures in the state's accounting system, and is in compliance with applicable finance-related provisions.
Agency Background:

The Minnesota Racing Commission, established pursuant to Minn. Stat. Chapter 240, regulates horse racing in Minnesota by enforcing laws and rules, issuing licenses, supervising the conduct of wagering, collecting, and distributing taxes imposed upon racetrack receipts, and conducting investigations and inquires.

The commission consists of nine members. The Governor appoints the members, who serve a six-year term. The Governor also appoints an executive director to serve as the chief administrative officer, directing the commission's professional staff. Richard Krueger has served as executive director since 1989.

The commission received annual state appropriations of approximately $370,000 during the audit period. The commission deposits its receipts into the state treasury.
Financial Audit Reports address internal control weaknesses and noncompliance issues found during our audits of state departments and agencies. The scope of our work at the Minnesota Racing Commission included payroll and other administrative expenditures, collection of racing taxes and licensing fees, and the commission's administration of the Minnesota Breeders' Fund. The department's response to our recommendations is included in the report.

Room 140, 658 Cedar Street, St. Paul, Minnesota 55155-1603 Tel: 651/ 296-4708 Fax: 651/ 296-4712 E-mail: auditor@ state. mn. us TDD Relay: 651/ 297-5353 Website: www. auditor. leg. state. mn. us

Minnesota Racing Commission Table of Contents

Transmittal Letter
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Payroll and Administrative Expenditures
Chapter 3. General Fund Receipts
Chapter 4. Minnesota Breeders' Fund
Status of Prior Audit Issues
Minnesota Racing Commission's Response

Audit Participation
The following members of the Office of the Legislative Auditor prepared this report: Claudia Gudvangen, CPA Deputy Legislative Auditor Cecile Ferkul, CPA, CISA Audit Manager Connie Stein Auditor-in-Charge Tory Monson Intern

Exit Conference
We discussed the finding and recommendation with the following staff of the Minnesota Racing Commission at an exit conference held on April 21, 2000:

Richard Krueger Executive Director James Filkins, Ph. D. Commissioner Pam Webber Office Manager Colleen Hurlbert Pari-Mutuel License Coordinator

OFFICE OF THE LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR State of Minnesota James Nobles, Legislative Auditor
Representative Dan McElroy, Chair Legislative Audit Commission Members of the Legislative Audit Commission Ms. Cynthia Piper, Chair Minnesota Racing Commission

Members of the Minnesota Racing Commission
Mr. Richard Krueger, Executive Director Minnesota Racing Commission

We have audited the Minnesota Racing Commission for the period July 1, 1995, through June 30, 1999, as further explained in Chapter 1. Our audit scope included a review of payroll and other administrative expenses. We also reviewed racing taxes, unclaimed winning bets, license fees, and reimbursement receipts. In addition, we examined the financial activities of the Minnesota Breeders' Fund. We conducted our audit in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that we obtain an understanding of internal controls relevant to the audit. The standards also require that we design the audit to provide reasonable assurance that the commission complied with provisions of laws, regulations, contracts, and grants that are significant to the audit. This report is intended for the information of the Legislative Audit Commission and the management of the Minnesota Racing Commission. This restriction is not intended to limit the distribution of this report, which was released as a public document on May 4, 2000.

/s/ James R. Nobles /s/ Claudia J. Gudvangen
James R. Nobles Claudia J. Gudvangen, CPA Legislative Auditor Deputy Legislative Auditor

End of Fieldwork: March 15, 2000
Report Signed On: April 27, 2000

Room 140, 658 Cedar Street, St. Paul, Minnesota 55155-1603 Tel: 651/ 296-4708 Fax: 651/ 296-4712 E-mail: auditor@ state. mn. us TDD Relay: 651/ 297-5353 Website: www. auditor. leg. state. mn. us

Chapter 1. Introduction
The Minnesota State Legislature established the Racing Commission in 1983. The commission operates pursuant to Minn. Stat. Section 240. Its primary responsibilities are to regulate horse racing in Minnesota by enforcing laws and rules, issuing licenses, supervising the conduct of wagering, collecting, and distributing taxes imposed upon racetrack receipts, and conducting investigations and inquiries. The commission is comprised of nine members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate for a six-year term. The Governor also appoints an executive director to serve as the chief administrative officer. Richard Krueger has served as executive director since 1989.

The commission receives an annual appropriation to pay for payroll, contract services, and other general office expenditures. In addition, the commission receives reimbursement from Canterbury Park for the costs of providing services such as assistant veterinarians and racing stewards. Table 1-1 provides a summary of the commission's financial activity for the four fiscal years ended June 30, 1999. We discuss the commission's operating costs and the Canterbury Park reimbursement in Chapter 2.

In fiscal year 1999, the Minnesota Legislature approved the card club at Canterbury Park. Canterbury will open a 50-table card room in April 2000. The receipts from the card room will increase purses for live racing at Canterbury Park.

Table 1-1 Summary of Financial Activity Fiscal Year 1996 1997 1998 1999
Sources:
General Fund Appropriations $370,000 $370,000 $371,000 $379,000
Appropriation Cancellations 0 (68,035) 0 (3,343)
Salary Supplement Appropriation (1) 6,414 11,643 0 0
Balance Forward from Prior Fiscal Year 1,670 40,025 1,474 13,839
Reimbursements from Canterbury Park (2) 184,568 162,856 178,377 195,390
Total Sources $562,652 $516,489 $550,851 $584,886

Uses:
Payroll $246,530 $227,041 $258,347 $266,195
Assistant Veterinarians, Racing Stewards
and Lab Fees (2) 155,644 167,207 173,729 187,419
Contract Services 25,907 31,571 35,664 44,585
Travel and Per Diems 17,432 23,330 20,761 22,925
Other Operating Expenditures 77,114 65,866 48,511 49,669
Total Uses $522,627 $515,015 $537,012 $570,793

Balance Forward to Next Fiscal Year $ 40,025 $ 1,474 $ 13,839 $ 14,093
Note (1): The commission received a salary supplement from the Department of Finance in fiscal years 1996 and 1997. In fiscal years 1998 and 1999, the salary supplement was included in its General Fund appropriation.

Note (2): Canterbury Park reimburses the Minnesota Racing Commission for the costs of providing assistant veterinarians, racing stewards, and lab fees. Source: Minnesota Accounting and Procurement System (MAPS).

General Fund Receipts
One of the functions the commission performs is to collect and deposit the taxes imposed on the racetrack and license fees for racetrack employees. The commission deposited these taxes and fees into the state's General Fund. They are not available to the commission for their operations. Chapter 3 provides more information about the receipts.

Minnesota Breeders' Fund
The commission also administered the Minnesota Breeders' Fund. The Legislature created this fund to provide an incentive to Minnesota horse breeders and owners. The fund received a percentage of the tax on wagering. The commission used the monies to provide research grants and to increase purses for races won by Minnesota owned or bred horses. Chapter 4 provides more information about the Minnesota Breeders' Fund.

Chapter 2. Payroll and Administrative Expenditures
Chapter Conclusions
The commission processed payroll in accordance with applicable bargaining unit agreements and properly recorded payroll transactions in the payroll and personnel accounting system. Payments for contractual services were reasonable, properly recorded in the state's accounting system, and were in compliance with applicable finance-related legal provisions. Also, we found that travel and per diems were reasonable, properly approved for appropriate commission activities, and within the bargaining agreement limits.

Payroll
The commission's main operating cost is payroll. The commission currently employs four full-time staff who are paid bi-weekly through the state's payroll system. The commission averaged payroll costs of about $257,000 each year. Table 1-1, in Chapter 1, provides a summary of these expenditures for the four years ended June 30, 1999.

Our audit scope included payroll disbursements made to commission employees for the four years ended June 30, 1999. Our audit objectives for payroll focused on the following questions: Were commission payroll expenditures processed in accordance with applicable bargaining unit agreements?

Did the commission verify that authorized payroll expenditures were accurately recorded in the state's accounting system?

Audit Methodology and Conclusions
We interviewed agency staff to gain an understanding of the controls in place over payroll. We analyzed payroll expenditures and tested detailed transactions.

Commission employees were paid at the proper amounts according to the applicable bargaining unit agreements and the payroll transactions were properly recorded on the state's accounting system. Severance payments were correct and paid to eligible employees.

Contract Services
The commission contracts for its computer services. The commission also contracts with assistant veterinarians, racing stewards, and testing laboratories to provide services to Canterbury Park during the live racing season. By having the commission contract for these services, rather than the racetrack, the public is assured that races are conducted and judged fairly and that the horses are healthy and meet racing standards and limitations. Canterbury Park reimbursed the commission for these costs, which averaged about $171,000 annually. We focused our review of these contract services, and the subsequent reimbursement, on the following objectives:

Did the commission's contracting process comply with state contracting policies?
Did the commission bill Canterbury Park for the cost of providing contracted services, and collect and deposit the reimbursements in accordance with state policies?
Did the commission adequately safeguard and properly record the receipts in the state's accounting system?

Audit Methodology and Conclusions
We interviewed commission staff to gain an understanding of the controls in place over the procedures for contracting and for the processing of payments. We also conducted analytical reviews and selected sample expenditure transactions for additional testing. The commission contracted in accordance with state policies and billed, collected, and deposited the appropriate amount of reimbursements. The commission adequately safeguarded and properly deposited the receipts in the state treasury.

Travel and Per Diem Expenditures
Our audit also included a review of the commission's travel and per diem expenditures. The commission provides members and staff with reimbursements for travel costs incurred while performing commission related activities. Commission members are also eligible for a daily per diem of $55. Travel and per diems averaged $21,000 a year during the audit period. We addressed the following objectives in our review of travel and per diems:

Were travel and per diem expenditures properly approved and paid for appropriate commission activities?
Were travel and per diem expenditures reasonable and within the bargaining agreement limits?

Audit Methodology and Conclusions
We gained an understanding of the controls over travel and per diem expenditures through interviews with commission staff. We also conducted analytical reviews and selected sample expenditure transactions for additional testing. The commission's travel and per diem expenditures were properly approved and paid for appropriate commission activities. These expenditures were reasonable and were within the bargaining agreement limits.

Chapter 3. General Fund Receipts
Chapter Conclusions
The commission collected and deposited the appropriate amount of tax, license fees, unclaimed winning bets, and other miscellaneous fines, forfeits, and reimbursements as set forth in statute during the audit period. The commission adequately safeguarded and properly recorded the receipts in the state's accounting system, although it did not adequately separate duties over the receipt process.

Table 3-1 Summary of General Fund Revenue Fiscal Year 1996 1997 1998 1999

Racing Taxes $ 794,822 $ 54,599 $ 63,990 $122,487
Unclaimed Winning Bets 257,088 (700) 0 548
License Fees 109,585 97,337 104,383 100,584
Fines 11,600 6,350 6,398 6,480
Forfeits 105 75 210 90
Reimbursements 23,378 0 0 0

Total Revenue $1,196,578 $157,661 $174,981 $230,189
Source: Minnesota Accounting and Procurement System.

Taxes and Unclaimed Winning Bets
The Minnesota Racing Commission collected taxes from Canterbury Park Holding Corporation. Canterbury Park is a publicly traded corporation that operates a racetrack that is located in Shakopee. It is a for-profit business that is tightly regulated through state statutory provisions. The racetrack's main revenue source was from a share of the money bet on the horse races (including any winning bets not claimed after a year). Its other revenue sources were from parking, admission fees, and concessions from racing or other events held at the track. The state taxed the track's wager revenue when revenue exceeded $12 million in a fiscal year. Usually the track exceeded its $12 million limit in mid-May. The commission deposited these receipts into the state's General Fund. Each day the track reported to the commission its revenue from betting activities and paid the commission any tax owed.

In order to maintain the horse racing industry in Minnesota, the Legislature made statutory changes in 1996 that allowed the racetrack to be more profitable. Prior to fiscal year 1997, the statutes did not exempt the first $12 million from the state tax and required Canterbury to submit unclaimed winning bets to the commission. Thus, the state tax and the unclaimed winning bets in fiscal year 1996 were significantly higher than in the following fiscal years. Figure 3-1 provides a summary of taxes and unclaimed winning bets the commission collected over the audit period.

License Fees
The commission licenses any racetrack employees in Minnesota to help ensure that only qualified individuals participate in horse racing. Applicants are fingerprinted and are required to provide personal information to the commission. The commission establishes the fees for occupational licenses through the rule making process. The license fee for racetracks is specified in Minn. Stat. Section 240.10. The commission issued about 2,750 licenses annually. The fees for licenses are deposited into the state's General Fund.

Scope and Objectives
We focused our review of General Fund receipts on the following objectives:
Did the commission collect and deposit the appropriate amount of tax, unclaimed winning bets, license fees, and reimbursements?

Did the commission adequately safeguard and properly record the receipts in the state's accounting system?

Figure 3-1 Racing Taxes and Unclaimed Winning Bets Fiscal Years 1996-1999 (in thousands)

($ 100,000) $0
$100,000 $200,000
$300,000 $400,000
$500,000 $600,000
$700,000 $800,000

1996 1997 1998 1999
Racing Taxes Unclaimed Winning Bets

Source: Minnesota Accounting and Procurement System (MAPS).

Audit Methodology and Conclusions
We interviewed commission staff to gain an understanding of the controls in place over the processing of receipts. We also performed analytical reviews and selected samples of transactions for detailed audit tests. The commission collected the appropriate amount of taxes, unclaimed winning bets, license fees, and reimbursements. The commission adequately safeguarded and properly deposited the receipts in the state treasury.

Chapter 4. Minnesota Breeders' Fund

Chapter Conclusions
The commission collected and deposited the appropriate amount of Breeders' Fund tax as required by Minnesota Statutes. The receipts collected were adequately safeguarded and properly recorded on the state's accounting system.

Expenditures from the Breeders' Fund were made in accordance with applicable finance related legal provisions.

The commission is responsible for administering the Breeders' Fund. The primary purpose of the Breeders' Fund is to provide incentive to Minnesota horse breeders and horse owners to participate in racing in Minnesota. The fund's receipts were derived from a one percent tax on the total amount wagered on live races, and a 5.5 percent tax on simulcast races. Annually, the commission collected and deposited about $767,000 into the fund. The receipts collected were allocated to three different areas: recouping the cost of administering the fund, equine research and grants, and awards and purse supplements for horses bred and raced in Minnesota. The allocation of the receipts is specified in Minn. Stat. Section 240.18 and Minnesota Rules, Chapter 7895. After deducting the administrative and equine research and grant portion from the Breeders' Fund tax, the commission allocated the remaining funds to awards and purse supplements to Minnesota-bred horses and owners of the Minnesota sires of Minnesota-bred horses that finish third or better in a race. Table 4-1 provides a summary of the fund's activity for the four years ended June 30, 1999.

Table 4-1 Minnesota Breeders' Fund Summary of Financial Activity -Fiscal Years 1996 1999 1996 1997 1998 1999 Sources:
Receipts from Racing Taxes $ 733,857 $ 802,933 $ 772,607 $ 758,248
Balance Forward from Prior Fiscal Year 624,918 645,132 762,870 529,206

Total Sources $1,358,775 $1,448,065 $1,535,477 $1,287,454
Uses:
Fund Administration:
Payroll $ 13,365 $ 12,267 $ 12,669 $ 15,407
Rent 3,394 0 0 0
Computer Services 4,832 0 420 1,890
Contract Services 1,040 1,428 0 0
Statewide Indirect Costs 0 2,652 3,522 3,227
Other 831 825 1,212 2,259
Total Fund Administration $ 23,462 $ 17,172 $ 17,823 $ 22,783
Grants 9,400 37,960 41,747 33,016
Purse Supplements and Awards 680,782 630,063 946,701 640,286

Total Uses $ 713,644 $ 685,195 $1,006,271 $ 696,085
Balance Forward to Next Fiscal Year $ 645,131 $ 762,870 $ 529,206 $ 591,369
Source: Minnesota Accounting and Procurement System (MAPS).

Table 4-2 provides more detail of financial activity for fiscal year 1999.

Table 4-2 Minnesota Breeders' Fund Summary of Financial Activity -Fiscal Year 1999

Equine Fund Research Administration and Grants Arabian (1) Quarterhorse Standardbred Thoroughbred Totals

Sources: Tax Receipts $20,387 $22,077 $2,123 $20,419 $25,431 $ 667,811 $ 758,248
Balance Forward
From Prior FY 6,704 72,406 3,784 32,459 24,004 389,849 529,206
Total Sources $27,091 $94,483 $5,907 $52,878 $49,435 $1,057,660 $1,287,454

Uses:
Fund Administration $22,783 $22,783
Grants $33,016 33,016
Awards and Purse
Supplements $25,398 $26,503 $588,385 640,286

Total Uses $22,783 $33,016 $ 0 $25,398 $26,503 $588,385 $696,085
Balance Forward To Next FY $ 4,308 $61,467 $5,907 $27,480 $22,932 $469,275 $591,369

Note (1): No Arabian horses are registered as Minnesota-bred. Source: Minnesota Accounting and Procurement System (MAPS).

Scope and Objectives
Our audit objectives for the Minnesota Breeders' Fund were: Did the commission collect the appropriate amount of Breeders' Fund tax and deposit the receipts into the correct accounts?

Did the commission comply with significant finance-related laws, policies, and Minnesota statutes and rules?
Did the commission properly record expenditures in the accounting system?
Audit Methodology and Conclusions
We interviewed commission staff to gain an understanding of the controls in place over the processing of fund receipts and expenditures. We also conducted analytical reviews and selected sample receipt and expenditure transactions for additional testing. The commission collected the appropriate amount of Minnesota Breeders' Fund tax and deposited the receipts into the proper account. The commission expended funds in accordance with applicable legal provisions and state policies. The commission properly recorded expenditures in the state's accounting system.

Status of Prior Audit Issues As of March 15, 2000 Most Recent Audit Report 96-32, issued in August 1996, examined the Minnesota Racing Commission's activities for fiscal years 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995. The audit scope included a review of pari-mutuel taxes, unclaimed winning bets, license fees, and reimbursement revenues. It also included a review of payroll, professional/ technical services, and administrative expenditures. We noted the commission reimbursed some commission members for ineligible expenses. The commission implemented our recommendation to seek reimbursement from commission members who were incorrectly reimbursed and reimburse meal expenditures only when commission members are in travel status.

State of Minnesota Audit Follow-Up Process
The Department of Finance, on behalf of the Governor, maintains a quarterly process for following up on issues cited in financial audit reports issued by the Legislative Auditor. The process consists of an exchange of written correspondence that documents the status of audit findings. The follow-up process continues until Finance is satisfied that the issues have been resolved. It covers entities headed by gubernatorial appointees, including most state agencies, boards, commissions, and Minnesota state colleges and universities. It is not applied to audits of the University of Minnesota, any quasi-state organizations, such as the metropolitan agencies, or the State Agricultural Society, the state constitutional officers, or the judicial branch.

MINNESOTA RACING COMMISSION P. O. Box 630
Shakopee, Minnesota 55379 Telephone: 612-496-7950
Fax: 612-496-7954

April 21, 2000
Mr. James R. Nobles Legislative Auditor
Centennial Building 658 Cedar Street
St. Paul, MN 55155
Dear Mr. Nobles,
The Commission and its staff sincerely appreciates the work and assistance of your office in reviewing and evaluating the past accounting and financial performance of this Commission. As in previous audits your staff conducted themselves professionally and cordially throughout the time of this engagement. Ms. Cecile Ferkul, Ms. Connie Stein, and Mr. Tory Monson were very helpful and patient in their approach as we had many files and records for them to review and evaluate to the state's accounting procedures and controls.

Even with their thoroughness we are pleased no exceptions were found. We will continue to maintain our controls and compliance with all accounting procedures and practices.

Regards, /s/ Richard G. Krueger
Richard G. Krueger Executive Director

c: Commissioner James Filkins, PhD., Chair, Internal Affairs Committee

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