2004 Regular Session
By: Representative Guice
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 27-109-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT AFTER JULY 1, 2004, A GAMING LICENSEE MAY CONSTRUCT PERMANENT STRUCTURES UPON WHICH TO PLACE THE VESSEL OR CRUISE VESSEL WHERE THE LEGAL GAMING IS BEING CONDUCTED; TO SPECIFY THAT THIS PROVISION SHALL NOT AUTHORIZE ANY FORM OF SHORE-BASED GAMING; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 27-109-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
27-109-1. (1) The provisions of this chapter shall be administered by the State Tax Commission, which shall administer them for the protection of the public and in the public interest in accordance with the policy of this state.
(2) (a) The operator of any cruise vessel or vessel operating within the territorial jurisdiction of the State of Mississippi shall be required to apply for and obtain a privilege license from the State Tax Commission.
(b) For purposes of this chapter, the operator of any cruise vessel or vessel shall be identified as any owner or lessee which is vested with the authority and responsibility to manage daily operations of any such cruise vessel or vessel.
(c) (i) For purposes of this chapter, the term "cruise vessel" shall mean a vessel which complies with all U.S. Coast Guard regulations, having a minimum overall length of one hundred fifty (150) feet and a minimum draft of six (6) feet and which is certified to carry at least two hundred (200) passengers; and the term "vessel" shall mean a vessel having a minimum overall length of one hundred fifty (150) feet. The term "vessel" shall also mean a "cruise vessel" as referred to in Section 27-109-11. For the purposes of a "vessel" as that term is defined in this section, "navigable waters" means any rivers, creeks, bayous or other bodies of water within any county in this state bordering on the Mississippi River that are used or susceptible of being used as an artery of commerce and which either in their natural or improved condition are used or suitable for use as an artery of commerce or are used for the docking or mooring of a vessel, notwithstanding interruptions between the navigable parts of such rivers, creeks, bayous or other bodies of water by falls, shallows, or rapids compelling land carriage.
(ii) For purposes of this subparagraph, the definitions of the words "person" and "gaming license" shall have the meanings ascribed to those words and terms in Section 75-76-5. After July 1, 2004, any person possessing a valid gaming license to conduct legal gaming on a cruise vessel or vessel may construct permanent structures upon which to place the vessel or cruise vessel wherein the licensee offers legal gaming. In the event that a gaming licensee constructs permanent structures under this subparagraph, the requirement that a cruise vessel have a minimum draft of six (6) feet shall not apply. This provision shall not authorize any form of shore-based gaming or the conducting of legal gaming on a vessel or cruise vessel which is not on or above water, as contemplated under subparagraph (i).
(3) The commission and its agents may:
(a) Inspect and examine all premises on the cruise vessel.
(b) Inspect all equipment and supplies in, upon or about such premises.
(c) Summarily seize and remove from such premises and impound any equipment or supplies for the purpose of examination and inspection.
(d) Demand access to and inspect, examine, photocopy and audit all papers, books and records of applicants and licensees, on their premises, or elsewhere as practicable, and in the presence of the licensee or his agent, respecting all matters affecting the enforcement of the policy or any of the provisions of this chapter.
(4) For the purpose of conducting audits after the cessation of operations by a licensee, the former licensee shall furnish, upon demand of an agent of the commission, books, papers and records as necessary to conduct the audits. The former licensee shall maintain all books, papers and records necessary for audits for a period of one (1) year after the date of the surrender or revocation of his privilege license. If the former licensee seeks judicial review of a deficiency determination or files a petition for a redetermination, he must maintain all books, papers and records until a final order is entered on the determination.
(5) The commission may investigate, for the purpose of prosecution, any suspected criminal violation of the provisions of this chapter. For the purpose of the administration and enforcement of this chapter, the commission and the executive, supervisory and investigative personnel of the commission have the powers of a peace officer of this state.
(6) The commission, or any of its members, has full power and authority to issue subpoenas and compel the attendance of witnesses at any place within this state, to administer oaths and to require testimony under oath. Any process or notice may be served in the manner provided for service of process and notices in civil actions. The commission may pay such transportation and other expense of witnesses as it may deem reasonable and proper. Any person making false oath in any matter before the commission is guilty of perjury. The commission, or any member thereof, may appoint hearing examiners who may administer oaths and receive evidence and testimony under oath.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2004.