23-5-118. Transfer of ownership interest -- definitions. (1) In this section, "licensed gambling operation" means a business for which a license was obtained under parts 1 through 8 of this chapter.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (4), an owner of an interest in a licensed gambling operation shall notify the department in writing and receive approval from the department before transferring any ownership interest in the operation to a person other than another approved owner of an interest in the operation.
(3) An owner of an interest in a licensed gambling operation may transfer an ownership interest to another owner of an interest in the same licensed gambling operation without prior department approval subject to reporting requirements provided by department rules.
(4) This section does not apply to the transfer of a security interest in a licensed gambling operation under the requirements of subsection (5) or to the transfer of less than 5% of the interest in a publicly traded corporation.
(5) A regulated lender, as defined in 31-1-111, may obtain a security interest in the assets of a licensed gambling operation to secure a loan or a guaranty of a loan. A regulated lender may use loan and collateral documentation and loan and collateral structure consistent with that used by the regulated lender in commercial loans generally, and the documentation and structure used by the lender do not create an undisclosed ownership interest in the licensee's business by a coborrower or guarantor if the department determines the borrower, coborrower, guarantor, and owner or owners of the assets pledged as collateral meet the requirements of 23-5-176. As used in this subsection (5), permissible loan and collateral structuring includes but is not limited to permitting owners and nonowners of a licensed gambling operation to:
(a) be coborrowers of a borrower's loan;
(b) be guarantors of a borrower's loan, with or without a requirement that the regulated lender exhaust remedies against the borrower before collecting from the guarantor; or
(c) pledge assets as collateral for a borrower's loan or for a guaranty of a borrower's loan.
(6) When a licensee is the borrower, an owner of the licensee may make a payment on the institutional loan. If a payment is made under this subsection (6):
(a) the licensee must notify the department within 90 days that the payment was made and designate whether the payment will be treated as a loan or an equity investment as follows:
(i) for a payment treated as a loan, the licensee must memorialize the loan by a written agreement, which must be provided to the department; or
(ii) for a payment treated as an equity investment, if a change in ownership percentage occurs as a result, the licensee must follow department requirements for disclosing changes in ownership percentages; and
(b) the funds used for the payment must be the party's own funds or funds borrowed from an institutional lender.
(7) If a borrower, coborrower, or guarantor is not the licensee or an owner of the licensee, the coborrower or guarantor may make a payment on the institutional loan, and the payment does not create an undisclosed ownership in the licensee's business by the borrower, coborrower, or guarantor only if:
(a) the licensee notifies the department within 90 days that the payment was made;
(b) the payment is made as a loan that is memorialized by a written agreement; and
(c) the funds used for the payment are the coborrower's or guarantor's own funds or funds borrowed from an institutional lender.
(8) A regulated lender that obtains a security interest in the assets of a licensed gambling operation has no duty to ensure a coborrower's or guarantor's compliance with the requirements of subsection (6) or (7) in connection with loan or guaranty payments it may receive from the coborrower or guarantor.
(9) For the purposes of subsections (6) and (7), the term "borrower" means the party that is primarily responsible for making payments and that receives the funds or on whose behalf the funds were paid.