1998 Regular Session
To: Ways and Means
By: Representatives Bowles, Clarke, Frierson, Horne, Stevens
House Bill 763
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 97-33-53, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THAT A BINGO LICENSEE BE TAX EXEMPT UNDER SECTION 501(C) OR (D) OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE FOR AT LEAST THREE YEARS BEFORE RECEIVING A LICENSE TO OPERATE BINGO GAMES IN MISSISSIPPI; TO AMEND SECTION 97-33-57, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE MISSISSIPPI GAMING COMMISSION TO REQUIRE AN APPLICANT FOR A BINGO LICENSE TO SUBMIT PLANS FOR THE OPERATION OF BINGO HALLS SHOWING THE SUPPORT THE APPLICANT INTENDS TO PROVIDE TO CHARITIES; TO AUTHORIZE THE GAMING COMMISSION TO AUDIT THE TRANSFER OF GROSS OR NET PROCEEDS FROM A BINGO LICENSEE TO ANY OTHER ENTITY THAT HAS ONE OR MORE OFFICERS COMMON TO THE BINGO LICENSEE; TO AUTHORIZE THE GAMING COMMISSION TO AUDIT THE DISPOSITION OF ANY FUNDS EXPENDED BY A BINGO LICENSEE IN SUPPORT OF CHARITY AND TO DETERMINE HOW THE RECIPIENT OF SUCH FUNDS USED THEM; TO AUTHORIZE THE GAMING COMMISSION TO PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS REGARDING THE LEVEL OF SUPPORT A BINGO LICENSEE MUST PROVIDE TO CHARITY, AND TO DENY, SUSPEND OR REVOKE THE LICENSE OF ANY LICENSEE OR THE APPLICATION OF ANY APPLICANT FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS; TO AMEND SECTION 97-33-203, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE GAMING COMMISSION TO PROMULGATE RULES REGARDING APPRAISAL PRACTICES THAT APPRAISERS MAY NOT USE IN CONDUCTING APPRAISALS OF PROPERTY THAT A COMMERCIAL LESSOR INTENDS TO LEASE TO A BINGO LICENSEE; TO AUTHORIZE THE GAMING COMMISSION TO REJECT AN APPRAISAL MADE BY AN APPRAISER USING IMPERMISSIBLE APPRAISAL PRACTICES AND TO SELECT A SUBSTITUTE APPRAISER FOR SUCH APPRAISAL AND TO CHARGE THE COSTS OF THE SUBSTITUTE APPRAISAL TO THE COMMERCIAL LESSOR; TO AUTHORIZE THE COMMISSION TO REMOVE AN APPRAISER USING IMPERMISSIBLE APPRAISAL PRACTICES FROM ITS LIST OF STATE-CERTIFIED APPRAISERS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 97-33-53, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-33-53. As used in Sections 97-33-51 through 97-33-203, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed herein unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(a) "Bingo" means a game of chance in which a right to participate is sold to a player and prizes are awarded, that is:
(i) Played with a card, sheet, or an electronic representation thereof, bearing numbers or symbols;
(ii) Played with the participant covering, marking or revealing the numbers or symbols, as objects similarly numbered or designated are drawn from a receptacle and orally called; in the case of electronic representations, the requisite covering, marking or revealing may be accomplished electronically to match objects similarly numbered or designated and stored in memory in advance as winners, or which are generated randomly by an electronic process;
(iii) Won by the player who first covers, marks or reveals a previously designated arrangement of numbers or symbols; and
(iv) Played on the premises of a licensed organization and during the organization's regular hours of conducting bingo games.
The term "bingo" includes pull-tabs made available as a companion game to bingo and played on the premises. The term "bingo" does not include any game which is played via television, telephone, satellite dish or any other telecommunications transmission or receiving device.
Any electronic device used to produce an electronic representation must maintain an inventory recorded in computed memory, not on cartridge memory, of the number of winners and losers. It must also be equipped with tamper-proof electric meters as a backup to the computer memory. It may not dispense cash or coins. Paybacks will be dispensed by printed ticket only. The printer shall maintain duplicate records of all transactions. All such electronic devices shall be approved by the Mississippi Gaming Commission.
(b) "Charitable organization" means:
(i) Any nonprofit organization domiciled in this state that is tax exempt under Section 501(c) or (d) of the United States Internal Revenue Code and which has on file with the Mississippi Gaming Commission * * * a tax exemption letter issued by the United States Internal Revenue Service, and which has held such tax exempt status for three (3) years, and is:
1. Any chapter or post domiciled in this state of a nationally chartered organization whose membership is composed of former members of the military forces of the United States of America or whose membership is composed of members of the Merchant Marine Veterans Association; or
2. Any nonprofit civic, educational, wildlife conservation organization or religious organization domiciled in this state.
* * *
(ii) Any senior citizen recreation club, which is defined as an organization sanctioned by the local council on aging and composed of members aged sixty (60) years or older, the sole function of which is to provide amusement and diversion for its members.
(c) "Commission" means the Mississippi Gaming Commission.
(d) "Distributor" means any person or other entity who sells, offers for sale or otherwise furnishes to any person, gaming supplies or equipment for use in the conducting of a bingo game authorized by Sections 97-33-51 through 97-33-203.
(e) "Manufacturer" means any person or other entity who manufactures for sale, offers for sale, or otherwise furnishes, any gaming supplies or equipment for use in the conducting of a bingo game authorized by Sections 97-33-51 through 97-33-203.
(f) "Commercial lessor" means any person or other entity, other than a bona fide nonprofit organization licensed to conduct charitable bingo games, who leases any building, structure or premises to organizations licensed under the provisions of Sections 97-33-51 through 97-33-203.
(g) "Operator" means a person or other entity who supplies the charity an electronic facsimile pull-tab device or labor saving device as described in Section 97-33-53. This person or entity may not be engaged in any other form of bingo operations such as a distributor, manufacturer, charity or commercial lessor.
(h) "Pull-tabs" means single or banded tickets or cards each with its face covered to conceal one or more numbers or symbols, where one or more cards or tickets in each set have been designed in advance as winners. "Pull-tabs" shall also mean any device for dispensing pull-tabs.
(i) "Session" means any five-hour time period within one (1) day or six-hour time period within one (1) week.
(j) "Day" means the whole or any part of the time period of twenty-four (24) hours from midnight to midnight.
(k) "Week" means the seven-day period from 12:01 a.m. on Monday until midnight the following Sunday.
SECTION 2. Section 97-33-57, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-33-57. (1) The commission shall investigate the qualifications of each applicant and the merits of the application, with due expedition after the filing of the application, and shall make the following determinations:
(a) That the applicant is duly qualified to hold, operate and conduct bingo games under the provisions of Sections 97-33-51 through 97-33-203 and the rules and regulations of the commission governing same.
(b) That the member or members of the organization designated in the application to hold, operate, conduct, or assist in holding, operating, or conducting, the bingo games are bona fide active members of the organization and of good moral character, who have never been convicted of certain offenses as designated by the commission.
(c) That bingo games are to be held, operated and conducted in accordance with the provisions of Sections 97-33-51 through 97-33-203 and in accordance with the rules and regulations of the commission governing same, and that the proceeds thereof are to be disposed of as provided by Sections 97-33-51 through 97-33-203.
(2) If the commission is satisfied that no commission, salary, compensation, reward or recompense whatever, except as otherwise provided in Section 97-33-69, will be paid or given to any person holding, operating or conducting any bingo game, it may issue a license to the applicant for the holding, operating and conducting of bingo games.
(3) No license for holding, operating or conducting bingo games that is issued under Sections 97-33-51 through 97-33-203 shall be effective for more than two (2) calendar years, except as otherwise provided in subsection (7) of this section.
(4) The commission shall not issue a license to:
(a) Any person who has been convicted of certain related offenses as established by the commission or who presently has such a charge pending in any state or federal court;
(b) Any person who has ever been convicted of a gambling-related offense in any state or federal court;
(c) Any person who is or has ever been a professional gambler;
(d) Any firm, organization or corporation in which any person as described in paragraphs (a) through (c) is an officer or director, whether compensated or not, or in which such person has a direct or indirect financial interest;
(e) The commission may deny an application for licensure, refuse to renew a license, or suspend or revoke a license for any reason consistent with the purposes of Sections 97-33-51 through 97-33-203 which it deems to be in the interest of the public. However, policies regarding such denial, suspension, revocation or refusal to renew shall be established by rule and regulation. If the commission fails to act upon the license application within sixty (60) days of the date of filing of the application by the charitable organization, such application shall be deemed accepted.
(5) Any significant change in the information submitted on its application for licensure shall be filed by a licensee with the commission within ten (10) days of the change. A significant change shall include but not be limited to any change in the officers, directors, managers, proprietors or persons having a direct or indirect financial interest in any licensed organization or entity.
(6) In addition to any other powers and duties granted under Sections 97-33-51 through 97-33-203, the commission shall have the following powers regarding bingo licensees and license applicants:
(a) To require as a precondition to licensure that an applicant submit plans to the commission showing the support the applicant intends to provide to charities, and the other expenses it expects to incur with respect to the operation of bingo games and the operation of programs for charitable support.
(b) To audit the flow of funds, whether gross proceeds or net proceeds, from any bingo licensee to any other entity that has one or more officers common to the bingo licensee.
(c) To audit funds that are expended by a bingo licensee in support of charity in order to determine the identity of a recipient entity and the uses for which the recipient entity expends such funds.
(d) To promulgate rules and regulations regarding the level of support a bingo licensee must provide to charity.
(e) To deny, suspend or revoke the license of any licensee or the application of any applicant if such licensee or applicant fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection (6) or any rules promulgated under this subsection (6), or fails to make material progress annually in meeting the requirements of the bingo plans provided for in paragraph (a) of this subsection (6).
(f) The commission shall have the power to promulgate rules and regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this subsection (6).
(7) In order to reduce the number of licenses that expire during the same month of a year, the commission may implement a plan to stagger the expiration dates of licenses whereby a licensee may receive not more than three (3) additional months on the duration of a license. If the commission implements such a plan, it shall develop a random method of determining which licensees will receive additional time on the duration of their licenses. No licensee may receive additional time on the duration of its license more than once during the time for which the licensee is licensed.
SECTION 3. Section 97-33-203, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-33-203. (1) Any person leasing any premises for the conducting of charitable gaming activities shall obtain a commercial lessor's license for each premises to be licensed. A commercial lessor's license shall authorize a person to lease specific premises to licensees for the conducting of charitable gaming activities. The commission, upon application and compliance with other provisions for licensure contained in Section 97-33-201 shall issue a commercial lessor's license to qualified persons.
(2) No lease of any premises by a commercial lessor to any charitable organization for a charitable bingo game shall provide for payment in excess of the reasonable market rental rate for such premises as determined by the average of two (2) independent appraisals for the premises. Such appraisals shall be conducted by appraisers selected by the applicant for a commercial lessor's license from a list of state-certified appraisers compiled and maintained by the commission. The appraisals shall be submitted by the commercial lessor as a part of the application for a commercial lessor's license. The commission may require that a third independent appraisal be conducted by a state-certified appraiser, selected by the applicant from the list, regarding any such property, which shall be used in arriving at the average reasonable market rate. The commercial lessor shall pay the cost of such third appraisal. No lease shall provide for rental for less than a five-hour session. No more than two (2) sessions shall be conducted within one (1) day and more often than eight (8) sessions in any one (1) week on the premises of a commercial lessor. Any licensee who holds no more than one (1) session per week shall be entitled to conduct one (1) six-hour session per week.
(3) No commercial lessor shall require the payment of any other cost or fee from an organization licensed to hold, operate or conduct bingo games other than the rental amount provided for by the rental agreement or contract or charge admission fees to persons entering the premises to participate in the games.
(4) No commercial lessor leasing premises for authorized charitable bingo game activities shall enter into any agreement with a distributor of gaming supplies for the use, purchase, promotion or sale of supplies to be used in such bingo games.
(5) The commission shall have the authority to promulgate rules defining appraisal practices that appraisers may not use in conducting appraisals of property that a commercial lessor intends to lease to a bingo licensee. If an appraiser fails to comply with such rules, the commission may remove the appraiser from its list of state-certified appraisers. If a commercial lessor uses an appraiser to appraise property that the commercial lessor intends to lease to a bingo licensee and the appraiser uses impermissible methods in performing the appraisal, the commission may reject the appraisal, and it may select the appraiser which the commercial lessor will use to provide a substitute appraisal and the commercial lessor shall pay the cost of the substitute appraisal.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.