1998 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Rayborn
Senate Bill 3111
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 97-33-53, 97-33-55, 97-33-57, 97-33-61, 97-33-65, 97-33-69, 97-33-73, 97-33-77, 97-33-107 AND 97-33-203, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO MOVE THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ADMINISTRATION OF THE CHARITABLE BINGO LAW FROM THE MISSISSIPPI GAMING COMMISSION TO THE MISSISSIPPI STATE TAX COMMISSION; TO PROVIDE THAT UPON ITS INITIAL ISSUANCE, A LICENSE TO CONDUCT BINGO GAMES SHALL BE VALID FOR A PERIOD OF ONE YEAR AND THAT SUCH LICENSE MAY THEREAFTER BE RENEWED FOR A PERIOD OF THREE YEARS; TO LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF INFORMATION THAT THE COMMISSION MAY REQUIRE UPON AN APPLICATION FOR RENEWAL OF A LICENSE; TO PROVIDE THAT THE COMMISSION MAY NOT REVOKE, REFUSE TO RENEW, SUSPEND OR DENY THE ISSUANCE OF ANY LICENSE ISSUED UNDER THE CHARITABLE BINGO LAW, OR IMPOSE ANY OTHER FINE OR PENALTY UNTIL AFTER A HEARING IS HELD BEFORE THE COMMISSION OR A HEARING EXAMINER; TO REQUIRE THAT ANY DECISION BY THE COMMISSION OR THE HEARING EXAMINER SHALL BE IN WRITING AND SHALL STATE THE GROUNDS FOR THE REVOCATION, SUSPENSION, DENIAL, FINE OR OTHER PENALTY; TO REQUIRE THAT THE DECISION RECITE THE EVIDENCE SUPPORTING SUCH DECISION; TO ALLOW APPEALS FROM THE DECISION OF THE COMMISSION TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE COUNTY IN WHICH THE BINGO GAMES ARE CONDUCTED OR TO THE FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF HINDS COUNTY WITHIN 30 DAYS AFTER SUCH DECISION IS RENDERED; TO PRESCRIBE THE PROCEDURES TO BE FOLLOWED IN THE EVENT OF AN APPEAL OF THE DECISION OF THE COMMISSION; TO PROVIDE THAT ANY DECISION RENDERED BY THE COMMISSION THAT IMPOSES A FINE SHALL NOT TAKE EFFECT UNTIL AFTER THE TIME FOR APPEAL SHALL HAVE EXPIRED; TO PROVIDE THAT AN APPEAL SHALL ACT AS A SUPERSEDEAS IN REGARD TO ANY FINE IMPOSED; TO INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION THAT A LICENSEE MAY PAY PER SESSION TO EMPLOYEES INVOLVED IN THE CONDUCTING OF BINGO GAMES; TO PROVIDE THAT THE TOTAL ANNUAL COSTS INCURRED BY A LICENSEE'S BINGO OPERATION SHALL NOT EXCEED SEVENTY PERCENT OF THE ANNUAL ADJUSTED GROSS RECEIPTS OF SUCH BINGO OPERATION; TO PROVIDE THAT ANY FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH SUCH REQUIREMENT SHALL BE GROUNDS FOR A LICENSE REVOCATION; TO PROVIDE THAT THE COMMISSION MAY MAKE EXCEPTIONS TO CERTAIN STATUTORY PULL-TAB REQUIREMENTS IN ORDER TO ALLOW THE USE OF BAR CODE TECHNOLOGY IN CONNECTION WITH PULL-TABS; TO GIVE THE COMMISSION THE ADDITIONAL DUTY TO ASSIST INITIAL LICENSEES TO ENSURE THAT THEIR BINGO OPERATION IS CONDUCTED IN COMPLIANCE WITH APPLICABLE LAWS, RULES AND REGULATIONS; TO PROVIDE THAT NO LEASE PAYMENT FOR PROPERTY LEASED BY A COMMERCIAL LESSOR SHALL BE IN EXCESS OF THE REASONABLE MARKET RENTAL RATE FOR SIMILAR PROPERTY WITHIN A FIFTY MILE RADIUS OF THE PROPERTY AS DETERMINED BY THE AVERAGE OF TWO APPRAISALS CONDUCTED BY AN APPRAISER SELECTED BY THE COMMERCIAL LESSOR AND BY AN APPRAISER SELECTED BY THE COMMISSION; 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 either a tax exemption letter issued by the United States Internal Revenue Service, or a certified copy of its application for such tax exempt status if the commission determines that the organization is likely to be granted the tax exempt status, 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.
If an organization which has on file with the commission a certified copy of its application for a tax exemption under Section 501(c) or (d) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code is not granted the exemption within twelve (12) months from the date of such application, the organization's license shall be subject to revocation pursuant to Section 97-33-61.
(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 State Tax 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.
(l) "Adjusted gross receipts" means all revenue derived from bingo operations after the payment of prizes and fees required by the commission.
SECTION 2. Section 97-33-55, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-33-55. (1) Any charitable organization desiring to conduct bingo games must obtain a license to do so from the Mississippi Gaming Commission.
(2) Each applicant for such a license shall file with the commission a written application therefor in a form prescribed by the commission on which shall be stated:
(a) The name and address of the applicant, together with sufficient facts relating to its incorporation and organization to enable the commission to determine whether or not the applicant is a bona fide organization;
(b) The names and addresses of its officers;
(c) The place or places where, and the date or dates and the time or times when, bingo games are intended to be conducted by the applicant, under the license applied for;
(d) The items of expense intended to be incurred or paid in connection with the holding, operating and conducting of bingo games and the names and addresses of the persons to whom, and the purposes for which, they are to be paid;
(e) The specific purposes to which the entire net proceeds of the bingo games are to be devoted and in what manner;
(f) That, except as otherwise provided in Section 97-33-69, no commission, salary, compensation, reward or recompense will be paid to any person for holding, operating or conducting bingo games;
(g) A description of all prizes to be offered and given in all bingo games to be held, operated and conducted under such license; and
(h) Such other information as shall be prescribed by the commission by its rules and regulations.
(3) In each application there shall be designated an active member or members of the organization under whom the bingo games are to be held, operated and conducted. The application shall include a statement executed by the applicant and by the member or members so designated, that he or they will be responsible for the holding, operation and conduct of the bingo games in accordance with the terms of the license and the provisions of the commission's rules and regulations governing bingo games and of Sections 97-33-51 through 97-33-203, if such license is granted.
(4) An initial license application shall be accompanied by a license application fee of Fifty Dollars ($50.00). License renewal applications shall be accompanied by a fee of One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150.00). Such fees shall be refunded by the commission to an organization deemed to be an exempt organization pursuant to Section 97-33-107.
SECTION 3. 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) Upon initial issuance, a license for holding, operating or conducting bingo games that is issued under Sections 97-33-51 through 97-33-203 shall be effective for * * * one (1) * * * year and thereafter may be renewed for periods of three (3) years.
(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) Upon renewal of a license, the commission shall not require the applicant for renewal to submit all the information required in the initial application. The applicant shall submit with his application for renewal such additional information as the commission may require that is not included in the initial application together with any changes that have occurred since the application was made that have not been submitted to the commission pursuant to subsection (5) of this section.
SECTION 4. Section 97-33-61, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-33-61. * * * The commission shall not revoke, refuse to renew, suspend or deny the issuance of any license issued pursuant to Section 97-33-51 through 97-33-203, and shall not impose any fine or other penalty * * * until after a hearing is held on due notice. The commission may designate a hearing examiner to hear the case and render a decision. A licensee aggrieved by the decision of the hearing examiner may * * *, within fifteen (15) days after * * * the decision * * * of the hearing examiner is rendered, apply to the commission for review of the decision. Review is limited to the record of proceedings before the hearing examiner. The commission may sustain, * * * reverse or modify the hearing examiner's decision. Any decision by the commission or the hearing examiner shall be in writing and shall state the grounds for the revocation, suspension, denial, fine or other penalty and shall recite the evidence supporting such decision.
Within thirty (30) days after any decision of the commission is rendered, any person aggrieved * * * thereby may appeal such decision to * * * the circuit court of the county in which the bingo games are conducted or the Circuit Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County. * * *
Notice of appeal shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the circuit court, who shall issue a writ of certiorari directed to the commission commanding it within ten (10) days after service thereof to certify to such court its entire record in the matter in which the appeal has been taken. The appeal shall thereupon be heard in due course by the court, and the court shall review the record and make its determination of the cause between the parties.
Any decision rendered by the commission that imposes a fine shall not take effect until after the time for appeal shall have expired. In the event of an appeal, such appeal shall act as a supersedeas in regard to any fine imposed.
SECTION 5. Section 97-33-65, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-33-65. The commission shall control all bingo games held, operated or conducted by a licensee to assure that they are fairly held, operated and conducted in accordance with the provisions of the license, the commission's rules and regulations, and the provisions of Sections 97-33-51 through 97-33-203. The commission may suspend or revoke any license for violation of any such rule and regulation or provision. Its officers and agents may enter and inspect any premises where any bingo game is being held, operated and conducted or is intended to be held, operated and conducted, or where any equipment is being used or intended to be used in the conduct thereof.
SECTION 6. Section 97-33-69, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-33-69. (1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3) of this section, no person shall hold, operate, conduct or assist in holding, operating or conducting, any bingo game under any license issued pursuant to Sections 97-33-51 through 97-33-81, except designated supervisors or alternate supervisors designated as provided for in Section 97-33-67(3).
(2) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3) of this section and as may be otherwise provided pursuant to subsection (10) of this section, no commission, salary, compensation, reward or recompense, including but not limited to granting or use of bingo cards without charge or at a reduced charge, shall be paid or given directly or indirectly to the bingo supervisor or alternate supervisor or any person related to such supervisor or alternate supervisor by blood, marriage or business relationship, for the holding, operating or conducting any licensed game or games of chance.
(3) Except as may be otherwise provided pursuant to subsection (10) of this section, any licensee may pay as compensation for all persons involved in the holding, operating or conducting of any licensed game or games of chance, an amount not to exceed Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) per session. Persons who may be compensated from the Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) per session amount may include the bingo supervisor or alternate supervisor, callers, runners and cashiers. Neither the bingo supervisor nor any alternate supervisor, or any person related to such supervisor by blood, marriage or business relationship, while being compensated as the bingo supervisor, shall receive any other compensation, directly or indirectly, from the licensee. No employee receiving compensation for the holding, operating or conducting or assisting in the holding, operating or conducting of a bingo game shall receive compensation for more than one (1) job function.
(4) (a) Any corporation, person or entity operating bingo games, under contract, for the benefit of organizations as prescribed in subsection (3) of this section shall be restricted to operating such games for a limit of one (1) such organization authorized to pay employees up to a maximum of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) per session. Such corporation, person or entity shall only be authorized to conduct such sessions at one (1) physical location or building.
(b) Any corporation, person or entity operating bingo games, under contract, for the benefit of organizations as prescribed in subsection (3) of this section shall have a written contract with the organization and shall be subject to any rules and regulations promulgated by the commission for the purpose of investigating or regulating contracting agents.
(5) Except as may be otherwise provided pursuant to subsection (10) of this section, no manufacturer, operator, distributor, commercial lessor, or his agents or employees, who directly or indirectly leases premises, sells, leases, otherwise distributes gaming supplies or equipment, or furnishes any commodities or services, in relation to the conducting of any bingo game pursuant to Sections 97-33-51 through 97-33-203 shall take part in the holding, operation or conducting of a bingo game. However, nothing in this section shall prohibit the owner of a premises from having a representative present to protect his interests in the premises.
(6) Except as may be otherwise provided pursuant to subsection (10) of this section, no bingo game shall be conducted with any supplies or equipment except such as shall be owned by the licensee, provided without payment of any compensation by the licensee or purchased from a licensed manufacturer or distributor of such supplies or equipment.
(7) (a) Except as may be otherwise provided pursuant to subsection (10) of this section, no item of expense shall be incurred or paid in connection with the holding, operating or conducting of any bingo game by a licensee, except:
(i) The actual and reasonable costs of purchasing or leasing necessary supplies, equipment and materials to be used exclusively in the holding, operating or conducting of the bingo game; and
(ii) The actual and reasonable costs incurred in obtaining and performing necessary bookkeeping, security and janitorial services for the holding, operating or conducting of the bingo game.
(b) The reasonableness of the amounts of, and the necessity for, an expense authorized by this subsection shall be determined by the commission.
(c) The total annual costs incurred by a licensee's bingo operation shall not exceed seventy percent (70%) of the annual adjusted gross receipts of such bingo operation. The failure of a charitable bingo licensee to comply with the provisions of this paragraph shall be grounds for revocation of a charitable bingo license. The commission shall not revoke a license pursuant to this paragraph if after the hearing on the license revocation, a hearing officer or the commission determines that the costs incurred by the licensee were reasonable.
(8) Except as may be otherwise provided pursuant to subsection (10) of this section, no licensee shall pay any consulting fees to any person for any service performed in relation to the conducting of any charitable game of chance or concession fees to any person who provides refreshments to the participants in any such games.
(9) Except as may be otherwise provided pursuant to subsection (10) of this section, no lease providing for a rental arrangement for premises or equipment shall provide for payment in excess of the reasonable market rental rate for such premises or equipment, and in no case shall any payment be based on a percentage of gross receipts or profits derived from a bingo game. Whether a market rental rate is reasonable shall be determined by the commission.
(10) Administrative exceptions to the provisions of this section with regard to organizations which have demonstrated to the Mississippi Gaming Commission a practice of legitimate operation of such games, may be made by the Mississippi Gaming Commission pursuant to its rules and regulations, as duly adopted and promulgated by the commission; provided that such an administrative exception shall be no more restrictive than the provision of law to which it is an exception.
SECTION 7. Section 97-33-73, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-33-73. (1) The * * * commission shall have power to examine or to cause to be examined the books and records of any organization to which such license is issued so far as they may relate to any transactions connected with the holding and conducting of bingo and to examine any manager, officer, director, agent, member or employee thereof under oath in relation to the conduct of any such game, but any information so received shall not be disclosed except so far as may be necessary for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of Sections 97-33-51 through 97-33-203.
(2) The * * * commission shall have the power to examine or to cause to be examined the books and records of any organization to which a license is issued for the purpose of determining compliance with the Charitable Bingo Law and any other laws and regulations and to conduct in-depth audits and investigation of the licensee.
SECTION 8. Section 97-33-77, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-33-77. (1) No organization, distributor, manufacturer, or any representative thereof, either with knowledge or in circumstances whereunder he reasonably should have known, shall possess, display, put out for play, sell or otherwise furnish to any person any pull-tabs:
(a) In which the winning pull-tabs have not been completely and randomly distributed and mixed among all other pull-tabs in the deal;
(b) In which the location or approximate location of any of the winning pull-tabs can be determined in advance of opening the pull-tabs in any manner or by any device, including but not limited to any pattern in the manufacture, assembly, or packaging of pull-tabs by the manufacturer, by any markings on the pull-tabs or container, or by the hue of a light; or
(c) Which does not conform in any respect to these requirements as to manufacturer, assembly or packaging.
(2) A distributor shall not purchase or be furnished any pull-tabs from a manufacturer of pull-tabs unless all of the following conditions are met:
(a) The manufacturer's label or trademark has been registered with the Mississippi Gaming Commission.
(b) Each individual pull-tab manufactured has conspicuously set forth on it the name of the manufacturer or a label or trademark which identifies its manufacturer.
(c) The pull-tab is of a type approved by the commission for use in Mississippi.
(3) The commission may make exceptions to subsection (1) of this section in order to allow the use of bar code technology in connection with pull-tabs.
SECTION 9. Section 97-33-107, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-33-107. In connection with its regulation of charitable bingo games, the commission shall have the following functions, duties and responsibilities:
(a) To issue and renew annual state licenses required by law for organizations conducting bingo games and for manufacturers, distributors or operators of supplies or equipment for such games, and for commercial lessors of premises on which such games are conducted;
(b) To assess and collect fees not to exceed five percent (5%) of the net proceeds of pull-tabs, which fees shall be limited to the amounts necessary to administer the Charitable Bingo Law;
(c) To assess and collect fees equal to one percent (1%) of the gross proceeds of each bingo session conducted by a Class "A" charitable organization and equal to one-half (1/2) of one percent (1%) of the gross proceeds of each bingo session conducted by a Class "B" or a Class "C" charitable organization; provided, however, that the fees assessed and collected under this subsection (c) shall not apply to pull-tabs as described in subsection (b) above, or to electronic bingo machines, or to electronic pull-tab machines; and provided, that the fees shall not be collected in any bingo session held by a religious organization which has been in existence for ten (10) years or longer, held on the premises owned by the religious organization, and held without any person being compensated for operating the game, and until the gross proceeds of bingo games conducted by such organization exceed Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) during the calendar year;
(d) To deny applications for licensure or license renewal and to issue orders for suspension or revocation of licenses issued pursuant to Sections 97-33-51 through 97-33-203;
(e) To monitor licensees to ensure compliance with all provisions of law and regulations relative to charitable bingo games through routine scheduled and unscheduled inspections, investigations and audits;
(f) To enforce all provisions of law and regulations relative to charitable bingo games and to assist local law enforcement agencies in these enforcement responsibilities and bingo enforcement agents shall have the powers of a peace officer;
(g) To establish and assess penalties for violations of regulations relative to charitable bingo games;
(h) To familiarize the members of organizations which conduct charitable bingo games of chance, with provisions of the Charitable Bingo Law and other applicable laws and regulations;
(i) To adopt rules and regulations to provide for the sale or transfer of surplus supplies or equipment from one licensed organization to another and such other rules and regulations as are necessary to carry out the purposes and functions of Sections 97-33-51 through 97-33-203, including the adoption of rules and regulations pursuant to Section 97-33-69(10) which may provide for differing requirements, with regard to the number of participants, sessions, amount of prizes offered, proceeds received or other factors which affect the regulatory and administrative burdens on organizations operating charitable bingo games, for a certain class of organizations, provided that such rules and regulations shall be no more restrictive than the provisions of law that govern such factors;
(j) To prescribe rules and regulations creating a class of organizations that are exempt from the purchase of reprinted tickets as provided for in paragraph (c) of this section based on the number of participants or the amount of prizes offered or other factors which affect the regulatory and administrative burdens on the organizations imposed by the commission; and
(k) To establish the classes described in this paragraph of charitable organizations that are licensed to conduct bingo games and to prescribe rules and regulations to provide for differing reporting requirements imposed upon each different class; provided that such rules and regulations shall be no more restrictive than the provisions of law that relate to reporting requirements. Such classes of organizations are as follows:
(i) Class "A" shall be composed of licensed charitable organizations which conduct bingo games in which the prizes awarded total an aggregate amount in excess of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) per session;
(ii) Class "B" shall be composed of licensed charitable organizations which conduct bingo games in which the prizes awarded total an aggregate amount of not less than Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) and not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00);
(iii) Class "C" shall be composed of licensed charitable organizations which conduct bingo games in which the prizes awarded total an aggregate amount of less than Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00).
(l) To assist initial licensees to ensure that their bingo operation is conducted in compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations.
SECTION 10. 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 similar property within a fifty (50) mile radius of such premises as determined by the average of two (2) independent appraisals for the premises. One (1) appraisal shall be conducted by an appraiser selected by the applicant for a commercial lessor's license and one (1) appraisal shall be conducted by an appraiser selected by the commission. Both appraisers shall be selected 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. * * * 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.
SECTION 11. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.