MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2007 Regular Session

To: Finance

By: Senator(s) Walls

Senate Bill 2304

AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE REGULATION AND LICENSING OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES BY THE MISSISSIPPI GAMING COMMISSION; TO AUTHORIZE THE MISSISSIPPI GAMING COMMISSION TO PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; TO LEGALIZE THE MANUFACTURE, SALE, DISTRIBUTION, OWNERSHIP AND OPERATION OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES; TO DESIGNATE THE TYPES OF ESTABLISHMENTS WHERE SUCH DEVICES MAY BE LOCATED; TO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR THE VIOLATION OF THIS ACT; TO LEVY A MONTHLY LICENSE FEE ON THE NET REVENUE COLLECTED DURING EACH CALENDAR MONTH BY A LICENSEE UNDER THIS ACT; TO PROVIDE THAT 30% OF THE MONIES COLLECTED FROM SUCH MONTHLY LICENSE FEES SHALL BE PLACED IN A SPECIAL FUND TO BE USED BY THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE, DIVISION OF MEDICAID, WITH THE REMAINING AMOUNT DEPOSITED IN THE STATE GENERAL FUND; TO LEVY ANNUAL LICENSE FEES FOR THE ISSUANCE OR CONTINUATION OF A MANUFACTURER'S, DISTRIBUTOR'S, MACHINE OWNER'S AND PERMIT STICKER LICENSE; TO PROVIDE THAT 90% OF THE MONIES COLLECTED FROM THE MANUFACTURER'S ANNUAL LICENSE SHALL BE DISTRIBUTED TO THE COUNTY IN WHICH THE LICENSEE IS LOCATED TO BE USED FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT PURPOSES AND JUVENILE SERVICES, WITH THE REMAINDER DISTRIBUTED TO THE MISSISSIPPI GAMING COMMISSION TO ENFORCE CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; TO PROVIDE THAT 40% OF THE MONIES COLLECTED FROM ALL OTHER ANNUAL LICENSE FEES SHALL BE DEPOSITED INTO THE SPECIAL FUND TO BE USED BY THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE, DIVISION OF MEDICAID, WITH THE REMAINING AMOUNT TO BE DEPOSITED IN THE STATE GENERAL FUND; TO AMEND SECTIONS 21-19-19, 27-27-3, 67-1-71, 87-1-5, 95-3-25, 97-33-1, 97-33-7 AND 97-33-17, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

SECTION 1.As used in Sections 1 through 6 of this act, the following definitions shall have the meanings ascribed herein unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

(a) "Commission" means the Mississippi Gaming Commission.

(b) "Distributor" means a partnership or corporation licensed under this act to buy, sell, lease, repair or distribute electronic devices. The term excludes machine owners and manufacturers.

(c) "Gross proceeds" means the total amount of money placed into electronic devices.

(d) "Incentive" means a consideration, including a premium or bonus in cash or advance commission on merchandise, offered from a machine owner to a licensee in order to solicit its business.

(e) "Licensee" means a partnership or corporation that has been issued a license by the Mississippi Gaming Commission for the placement and operation of devices on the premises of the individual, partnership or corporation.

(f) "Licensed premises" means any restaurant, bar, lounge, tavern, motel, hotel, club, fraternal order (such as the Elks, American Legion, American Veterans and American Veterans of Foreign Wars), or mom-and-pop operation.

(g) "Machine owner" means a partnership or corporation which is licensed under this act and which owns, operates, leases, services and maintains electronic devices for placement in licensed premises.

(h) "Manufacturer" means a partnership or corporation which is licensed under this act and which manufactures or assembles and programs electronic devices.

(i) "Mom-and-pop operation" means any corporation having financial statements having an annual gross revenue that is less than Forty Thousand Dollars ($40,000.00).

(j) "Net proceeds" means gross proceeds after awards have been paid.

(k) "Person" means a corporation, partnership and association, as well as a natural person.

(l) "Electronic device" means any video poker machine or eight-liner machine authorized under the provisions of this act that, upon insertion of cash in the amount of Five Cents (5) per play, is available to play or simulate the play of a card game utilizing a video display and microprocessors in which, by the skill of the player or by chance, or both, the player may receive free games or credits that can be redeemed for cash. The term does not include a machine that directly dispenses coins, cash, tokens or anything of value or any slot amusement machine as defined in Section 27-27-3. All machines must contain electronic information verifying transmitting components as may be required by the Mississippi Gaming Commission.

SECTION 2. (1) The commission shall administer the provisions of this act.

(2) The commission shall:

(a) Provide for licensing requirements under Sections 1 through 6 of this act;

(b) Prescribe all necessary application and reporting forms;

(c) Grant or deny license applications;

(d) Prescribe types of electronic devices to be used; and

(e) Take all actions necessary to administer and enforce Sections 1 through 6 of this act in the same manner and according to the same procedure, as nearly as is practicable, as provided under the Mississippi Gaming Control Act.

(3) Licenses which may be issued to licensees for the placement of electronic devices at or on licensed premises shall be limited to a minimum of five (5) electronic devices and a maximum of twenty (20) electronic devices per licensed premises with no more than one hundred (100) per county.

SECTION 3.(1) The commission shall levy and collect annual license fees for the following licenses in the amounts listed below:

(a) For the issuance or continuation of a manufacturer's license, One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00).

(b) For the issuance or continuation of a distributor's license, Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00).

(c) For the issuance or continuation of a machine owner's license, One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150.00) per electronic device or machine for the first fifty (50) individual electronic devises or machines. For each additional electronic device or machines, the annual license fee shall be Fifty Dollars ($50.00) per electronic device or machine. A machine owner's license allows a machine owner to sell used electronic devices that the owner purchased new and operated for at least two (2) years.

(d) A permit sticker license, One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150.00) for each.

(2) The commission shall refund all license fees if an application is rejected; however, the commission may establish a nonrefundable application fee not to exceed Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) per application.

(3) Every electronic device in use in this state must have a current license displayed on the device or machine. Every electronic device licensed under this act must be manufactured by an individual, partnership or corporation licensed under subsection (1)(a) of this section.

(4) Failure to pay the annual fees provided for in this section when they are due for continuation of a license shall be deemed a surrender of the license.

(5) Failure to pay the monthly license fees, based upon the net revenue of the licensee as provided for in this section, when they are due shall be deemed a surrender of the license.

SECTION 4. (1) There is imposed and levied on each gaming licensee for electronic devices a license fee based upon all the net revenue of the licensee as follows:

(a) Four percent (4%) of the net revenue of the licensee which does not exceed Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) per calendar month;

(b) Six percent (6%) of all the net revenue of the licensee which exceeds Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) per calendar month and does not exceed One Hundred Thirty-four Thousand Dollars ($134,000.00) per calendar month; and

(c) Eight percent (8%) of all the net revenue of the licensee which exceeds One Hundred Thirty-four Thousand Dollars ($134,000.00) per calendar month.

(2) Thirty percent (30%) of the revenue collected under subsection (1) of this section shall be deposited in a special fund which is created in the State Treasury. Unexpended amounts remaining in the special fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any interest earned on amounts in the special fund shall be deposited to the credit of the special fund. Monies in the fund shall be used by the Governor's Office, Division of Medicaid, to be expended by the division for the purposes authorized under state law governing the Medicaid program. The remainder of the revenue collected from the license fees levied under subsection (1) shall be deposited in the State General Fund.

(3) All revenue received from any game or gaming device which is leased for operation on the premises of the licensee-owner to a person other than the owner thereof or which is located in an area or space on such premise which is leased by the licensee-owner to any such person, must be attributed to the owner for the purposes of this section and be counted as part of the net revenue of the owner. The lessee is liable to the owner for his proportionate share of such license fees as prescribed in subsection (1) of this section.

(4) If the amount of the license fee required to be reported and paid under this section is later determined to be greater or less than the amount actually reported and paid by the licensee, the Chairman of the State Tax Commission shall:

(a) Assess and collect the additional license fees determined to be due, with interest thereon until paid; or

(b) Refund any overpayment, with interest thereon, to the licensee. Interest must be computed, until paid, at the rate of one percent (1%) per month from the first day of the first month following either the due date of the additional license fees or the date of overpayment.

SECTION 5. (1) Forty percent (40%) of the revenue levied and collected from license fees under Section 3(1)(b), (c) and (d) shall be deposited in a special fund created in Section 4(2) and used as set forth in Section 4(2). The remainder of the revenue collected from such license fees shall be deposited in the State General Fund.

(2) Ninety percent (90%) of the revenue levied and collected from the manufacturer's license fee under Section 3(1)(a) shall be distributed to the county in which the licensee is located for any law enforcement purposes and juvenile services. The remainder of the revenue collected from such license fees shall be distributed to the Mississippi Gaming Commission for purposes of enforcing gaming laws and defraying costs incurred by the commission in enforcing Sections 1 through 6 of this act.

SECTION 6. The commission is authorized to establish a procedure for auditing the electronic devices. The procedure will include reports prepared by the machine owners and electronic auditing at a central location designated by the commission. The timing and contents of the reports shall be established by the commission. The commission shall have the authority to contract with an independent auditing firm to establish and operate all or some of the auditing requirements as established by the commission.

SECTION 7. Section 21-19-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

21-19-19. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the governing authority of any municipality shall have the power to restrain, prohibit and suppress blind-tigers, bucket-shops, slaughterhouses, houses of prostitution, disreputable houses, hotels and motels renting rooms on an hourly basis, games and gambling houses and rooms, dance houses and rooms, keno rooms, and all kinds of indecency and other disorderly practices, and disturbance of the peace, and to provide for the punishment of the persons engaged therein.

This section shall not apply to the legal operation of devices licensed under the provisions of Sections 1 through 6 of Senate Bill No. 2304, 2007 Regular Session.

SECTION 8. Section 27-27-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-27-3. The words, terms, and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meaning ascribed to them herein.

(a) "Slot amusement machine" or "machine" means any mechanical device or contrivance which is operated, played, worked, manipulated, or used by inserting or depositing any coin, slug, token, or thing of value, in which may be seen any picture or heard any music, or wherein any game may be played, or any form of diversion had. "Slot amusement machine" or "machine" does not mean any electronic device described in Sections 1 through 6 of Senate Bill No. 2304, 2007 Regular Session.

(b) "Officer collecting the tax" means the tax collector of the county, or, in the case of a municipality, the person who collects the taxes for the municipality by whatever title he may be known.

(c) "Person" means and includes any individual, firm, partnership, joint venture, association, corporation, estate, trust, or other group or combination acting as a unit and includes the plural as well as the singular in number.

SECTION 9. Section 67-1-71, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

67-1-71. The commission may revoke or suspend any permit issued by it for a violation by the permittee of any of the provisions of this chapter or of the regulations promulgated under it by the commission.

Permits must be revoked or suspended for the following causes:

(a) Conviction of the permittee for the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter;

(b) Willful failure or refusal by any permittee to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto;

(c) The making of any materially false statement in any application for a permit;

(d) Conviction of one or more of the clerks, agents or employees of the permittee, of any violation of this chapter upon the premises covered by such permit within a period of time as designated by the rules or regulations of the commission;

(e) The possession on the premises of any retail permittee of any alcoholic beverages upon which the tax has not been paid;

(f) The willful failure of any permittee to keep the records or make the reports required by this chapter, or to allow an inspection of such records by any duly authorized person;

(g) The suspension or revocation of a permit issued to the permittee by the federal government, or conviction of violating any federal law relating to alcoholic beverages;

(h) The failure to furnish any bond required by this chapter within fifteen (15) days after notice from the commission; and

(i) The conducting of any form of illegal gambling on the premises of any permittee or on any premises connected therewith or the presence on any such premises of any gambling device with the knowledge of the permittee.

The provisions of paragraph (i) of this section shall not apply to gambling or the presence of any gambling devices, with knowledge of the permittee, on board a cruise vessel in the waters within the State of Mississippi, which lie adjacent to the State of Mississippi south of the three (3) most southern counties in the State of Mississippi, or on any vessel as defined in Section 27-109-1 whenever such vessel is on the Mississippi River or navigable waters within any county bordering on the Mississippi River. The commission may, in its discretion, issue on-premises retailer's permits to a common carrier of the nature described in this paragraph. The provisions of paragraph (i) of this section shall not apply to electronic devices licensed under the provisions of Sections 1 through 6 of Senate Bill No. 2304, 2007 Regular Session.

No permit shall be revoked except after a hearing by the commission with reasonable notice to the permittee and an opportunity for him to appear and defend.

In addition to the causes specified in this section and other provisions of this chapter, the commission shall be authorized to suspend the permit of any permit holder for being out of compliance with an order for support, as defined in Section 93-11-153. The procedure for suspension of a permit for being out of compliance with an order for support, and the procedure for the reissuance or reinstatement of a permit suspended for that purpose, and the payment of any fees for the reissuance or reinstatement of a permit suspended for that purpose, shall be governed by Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be. If there is any conflict between any provision of Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163 and any provision of this chapter, the provisions of Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be, shall control.

SECTION 10. Section 87-1-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

87-1-5. If any person, by playing at any game whatever, or by betting on the sides or hands of such as do play at any game, or by betting on any horse race or cockfight, or at any other sport or pastime, or by any wager whatever, shall lose any money, property, or other valuable thing, real or personal, and shall pay or deliver the same or any part thereof, the person so losing and paying or delivering the same, or his wife or children, may sue for and recover such money, property, or other valuable thing so lost and paid or delivered, or any part thereof, from the person knowingly receiving the same, with costs. However, this section shall not apply to betting, gaming or wagering:

(a) On a cruise vessel as defined in Section 27-109-1 whenever such vessel is in the waters within the State of Mississippi, which lie adjacent to the State of Mississippi south of the three (3) most southern counties in the State of Mississippi, including the Mississippi Sound, St. Louis Bay, Biloxi Bay and Pascagoula Bay;

(b) In a structure located in whole or in part on shore in any of the three (3) most southern counties in the State of Mississippi in which the registered voters of the county have voted to allow such betting, gaming or wagering on cruise vessels as provided in Section 19-3-79, if:

(i) The structure is owned, leased or controlled by a person possessing a gaming license, as defined in Section 75-76-5, to conduct legal gaming on a cruise vessel under paragraph (a) of this section;

(ii) The part of the structure in which licensed gaming activities are conducted is located entirely in an area which is located no more than eight hundred (800) feet from the mean high-water line (as defined in Section 29-15-1) of the waters within the State of Mississippi, which lie adjacent to the State of Mississippi south of the three (3) most southern counties in the State of Mississippi, including the Mississippi Sound, St. Louis Bay, Biloxi Bay and Pascagoula Bay, or, with regard to Harrison County only, no farther north than the southern boundary of the right-of-way for U.S. Highway 90, whichever is greater; and

(iii) In the case of a structure that is located in whole or part on shore, the part of the structure in which licensed gaming activities are conducted shall lie adjacent to state waters south of the three (3) most southern counties in the State of Mississippi, including the Mississippi Sound, St. Louis Bay, Biloxi Bay and Pascagoula Bay. When the site upon which the structure is located consists of a parcel of real property, easements and rights-of-way for public streets and highways shall not be construed to interrupt the contiguous nature of the parcel, nor shall the footage contained within the easements and rights-of-way be counted in the calculation of the distances specified in subparagraph (ii).

(c) On a vessel as defined in Section 27-109-1 whenever such vessel is on the Mississippi River or navigable waters within any county bordering on the Mississippi River; * * *

(d) That is legal under the laws of the State of Mississippi; or

(e) In connection with the legal operation of gaming electronic devices licensed under the provisions of Sections 1 through 6 of Senate Bill No. 2304, 2007 Regular Session.

SECTION 11. Section 95-3-25, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

95-3-25. Any building, club, vessel, boat, place or room, wherein is kept or exhibited any game or gaming table, commonly called A.B.C. or E.O. roulette, or rowley-powley, or rouquetnoir, roredo, keno, monte, or any faro-bank, dice, or other game, gaming table, or bank of the same or like kind, or any other kind or description of gambling device under any other name whatever, and any such place where information is furnished for the purpose of making and settling bets or wagers on any horse race, prize fight, or on the outcome of any like event, or where bets or wagers are arranged for, made or settled, shall be deemed to be a common nuisance and may be abated by writ of injunction, issued out of a court of equity upon a bill filed in the name of the state by the Attorney General, or any district or county attorney, whose duty requires him to prosecute criminal cases on behalf of the state in the county where the nuisance is maintained, or by any citizen or citizens of such county, such bill to be filed in the county in which the nuisance exists. * * * All rules of evidence and of practice and procedure that pertain to courts of equity generally in this state may be invoked and applied in any injunction procedure hereunder. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any form of gaming or gambling that is legal under the laws of the State of Mississippi or to a licensed gaming establishment and shall not apply to any licensed gaming establishment having on its premises any gambling device, machine or equipment that is owned, possessed, controlled, installed, procured, repaired or transported in accordance with subsection (4) of Section 97-33-7. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the legal operation of gaming electronic devices authorized under Sections 1 through 6 of Senate Bill No. 2304, 2007 Regular Session.

Upon the abatement of any such nuisance, any person found to be the owner, operator or exhibitor of any gambling device described in the first paragraph of this section may be required by the court to enter into a good and sufficient bond in such amount as may be deemed proper by the court, to be conditioned that the obligor therein will not violate any of the laws of Mississippi pertaining to gaming or gambling for a period of not to exceed two (2) years from the date thereof. The failure to make such bond shall be a contempt of court and for such contempt the person or party shall be confined in the county jail until such bond is made, but not longer than two (2) years. Said bond shall be approved by the clerk of the court where the proceedings were had and shall be filed as a part of the record of such case.

SECTION 12. Section 97-33-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

97-33-1. If any person shall encourage, promote or play at any game, play or amusement, other than a fight or fighting match between dogs, for money or other valuable thing, or shall wager or bet, promote or encourage the wagering or betting of any money or other valuable things, upon any game, play, amusement, cockfight, Indian ball play or duel, other than a fight or fighting match between dogs, or upon the result of any election, event or contingency whatever, upon conviction thereof, he shall be fined in a sum not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00); and, unless such fine and costs be immediately paid, shall be imprisoned for any period not more than ninety (90) days. However, this section shall not apply to betting, gaming or wagering:

(a) On a cruise vessel as defined in Section 27-109-1 whenever such vessel is in the waters within the State of Mississippi, which lie adjacent to the State of Mississippi south of the three (3) most southern counties in the State of Mississippi, including the Mississippi Sound, St. Louis Bay, Biloxi Bay and Pascagoula Bay, and in which the registered voters of the county in which the port is located have not voted to prohibit such betting, gaming or wagering on cruise vessels as provided in Section 19-3-79;

(b) In a structure located in whole or in part on shore in any of the three (3) most southern counties in the State of Mississippi in which the registered voters of the county have voted to allow such betting, gaming or wagering on cruise vessels as provided in Section 19-3-79, if:

(i) The structure is owned, leased or controlled by a person possessing a gaming license, as defined in Section 75-76-5, to conduct legal gaming on a cruise vessel under paragraph (a) of this section;

(ii) The part of the structure in which licensed gaming activities are conducted is located entirely in an area which is located no more than eight hundred (800) feet from the mean high-water line (as defined in Section 29-15-1) of the waters within the State of Mississippi, which lie adjacent to the State of Mississippi south of the three (3) most southern counties in the State of Mississippi, including the Mississippi Sound, St. Louis Bay, Biloxi Bay and Pascagoula Bay, or, with regard to Harrison County only, no farther north than the southern boundary of the right-of-way for U.S. Highway 90, whichever is greater; and

(iii) In the case of a structure that is located in whole or part on shore, the part of the structure in which licensed gaming activities are conducted shall lie adjacent to state waters south of the three (3) most southern counties in the State of Mississippi, including the Mississippi Sound, St. Louis Bay, Biloxi Bay and Pascagoula Bay. When the site upon which the structure is located consists of a parcel of real property, easements and rights-of-way for public streets and highways shall not be construed to interrupt the contiguous nature of the parcel, nor shall the footage contained within the easements and rights-of-way be counted in the calculation of the distances specified in subparagraph (ii).

(c) On a vessel as defined in Section 27-109-1 whenever such vessel is on the Mississippi River or navigable waters within any county bordering on the Mississippi River, and in which the registered voters of the county in which the port is located have not voted to prohibit such betting, gaming or wagering on vessels as provided in Section 19-3-79; or

(d) That is legal under the laws of the State of Mississippi.

This section shall not apply to electronic devices licensed under the provisions of Sections 1 through 6 of Senate Bill No. 2304, 2007 Regular Session.

SECTION 13. Section 97-33-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

97-33-7. (1) It shall be unlawful for any person or persons, firm, copartnership or corporation to have in possession, own, control, display, or operate any cane rack, knife rack, artful dodger, punch board, roll down, merchandise wheel, slot machine, pinball machine, or similar device or devices. Provided, however, that this section shall not be so construed as to make unlawful the ownership, possession, control, display or operation of any antique coin machine as defined in Section 27-27-12, or any music machine or bona fide automatic vending machine where the purchaser receives exactly the same quantity of merchandise on each operation of said machine. Any slot machine other than an antique coin machine as defined in Section 27-27-12 which delivers, or is so constructed as that by operation thereof it will deliver to the operator thereof anything of value in varying quantities, in addition to the merchandise received, and any slot machine other than an antique coin machine as defined in Section 27-27-12 that is constructed in such manner as that slugs, tokens, coins or similar devices are, or may be, used and delivered to the operator thereof in addition to merchandise of any sort contained in such machine, is hereby declared to be a gambling device, and shall be deemed unlawful under the provisions of this section. Provided, however, that pinball machines which do not return to the operator or player thereof anything but free additional games or plays shall not be deemed to be gambling devices, and neither this section nor any other law shall be construed to prohibit same.

(2) No property right shall exist in any person, natural or artificial, or be vested in such person, in any or all of the devices described herein that are not exempted from the provisions of this section; and all such devices are hereby declared to be at all times subject to confiscation and destruction, and their possession shall be unlawful, except when in the possession of officers carrying out the provisions of this section. It shall be the duty of all law-enforcing officers to seize and immediately destroy all such machines and devices.

(3) A first violation of the provisions of this section shall be deemed a misdemeanor, and the party offending shall, upon conviction, be fined in any sum not exceeding Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or imprisoned not exceeding three (3) months, or both, in the discretion of the court. In the event of a second conviction for a violation of any of the provisions of this section, the party offending shall be subject to a sentence of not less than six (6) months in the county jail, nor more than two (2) years in the State Penitentiary, in the discretion of the trial court.

(4) Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, it shall not be unlawful to operate any equipment or device described in subsection (1) of this section or any gaming, gambling or similar device or devices by whatever name called while:

(a) On a cruise vessel as defined in Section 27-109-1 whenever such vessel is in the waters within the State of Mississippi, which lie adjacent to the State of Mississippi south of the three (3) most southern counties in the State of Mississippi, including the Mississippi Sound, St. Louis Bay, Biloxi Bay and Pascagoula Bay, and in which the registered voters of the county in which the port is located have not voted to prohibit such betting, gaming or wagering on cruise vessels as provided in Section 19-3-79;

(b) In a structure located in whole or in part on shore in any of the three (3) most southern counties in the State of Mississippi in which the registered voters of the county have voted to allow such betting, gaming or wagering on cruise vessels as provided in Section 19-3-79, if:

(i) The structure is owned, leased or controlled by a person possessing a gaming license, as defined in Section 75-76-5, to conduct legal gaming on a cruise vessel under paragraph (a) of this subsection;

(ii) The part of the structure in which licensed gaming activities are conducted is located entirely in an area which is located no more than eight hundred (800) feet from the mean high-water line (as defined in Section 29-15-1) of the waters within the State of Mississippi, which lie adjacent to the State of Mississippi south of the three (3) most southern counties in the State of Mississippi, including the Mississippi Sound, St. Louis Bay, Biloxi Bay and Pascagoula Bay, or, with regard to Harrison County only, no farther north than the southern boundary of the right-of-way for U.S. Highway 90, whichever is greater; and

(iii) In the case of a structure that is located in whole or part on shore, the part of the structure in which licensed gaming activities are conducted shall lie adjacent to state waters south of the three (3) most southern counties in the State of Mississippi, including the Mississippi Sound, St. Louis Bay, Biloxi Bay and Pascagoula Bay. When the site upon which the structure is located consists of a parcel of real property, easements and rights-of-way for public streets and highways shall not be construed to interrupt the contiguous nature of the parcel, nor shall the footage contained within the easements and rights-of-way be counted in the calculation of the distances specified in subparagraph (ii).

(c) On a vessel as defined in Section 27-109-1 whenever such vessel is on the Mississippi River or navigable waters within any county bordering on the Mississippi River, and in which the registered voters of the county in which the port is located have not voted to prohibit such betting, gaming or wagering on vessels as provided in Section 19-3-79; or

(d) That is legal under the laws of the State of Mississippi.

(5) Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, it shall not be unlawful (a) to own, possess, repair or control any gambling device, machine or equipment in a licensed gaming establishment or on the business premises appurtenant to any such licensed gaming establishment during any period of time in which such licensed gaming establishment is being constructed, repaired, maintained or operated in this state; (b) to install any gambling device, machine or equipment in any licensed gaming establishment; (c) to possess or control any gambling device, machine or equipment during the process of procuring or transporting such device, machine or equipment for installation on any such licensed gaming establishment; or (d) to store in a warehouse or other storage facility any gambling device, machine, equipment, or part thereof, regardless of whether the county or municipality in which the warehouse or storage facility is located has approved gaming aboard cruise vessels or vessels, provided that such device, machine or equipment is operated only in a county or municipality that has approved gaming aboard cruise vessels or vessels. Any gambling device, machine or equipment that is owned, possessed, controlled, installed, procured, repaired, transported or stored in accordance with this subsection shall not be subject to confiscation, seizure or destruction, and any person, firm, partnership or corporation which owns, possesses, controls, installs, procures, repairs, transports or stores any gambling device, machine or equipment in accordance with this subsection shall not be subject to any prosecution or penalty under this section. Any person constructing or repairing such cruise vessels or vessels within a municipality shall comply with all municipal ordinances protecting the general health or safety of the residents of the municipality.

(6) This section shall not apply to electronic devices licensed under the provisions of Sections 1 through 6 of Senate Bill No. 2304, 2007 Regular Session.

SECTION 14. Section 97-33-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

97-33-17. (1) All monies exhibited for the purpose of betting or alluring persons to bet at any game, and all monies staked or betted, shall be liable to seizure by any sheriff, constable, or police officer, together with all the appliances used or kept for use in gambling, or by any other person; and all the monies so seized shall be accounted for by the person making the seizure, and all appliances seized shall be destroyed; provided, however, this section shall not apply to betting, gaming or wagering on:

(a) A cruise vessel as defined in Section 27-109-1 whenever such vessel is in the waters within the State of Mississippi, which lie adjacent to the State of Mississippi south of the three (3) most southern counties in the State of Mississippi, including the Mississippi Sound, St. Louis Bay, Biloxi Bay and Pascagoula Bay, and in which the registered voters of the county in which the port is located have not voted to prohibit such betting, gaming or wagering on cruise vessels as provided in Section 19-3-79;

(b) In a structure located in whole or in part on shore in any of the three (3) most southern counties in the State of Mississippi in which the registered voters of the county have voted to allow such betting, gaming or wagering on cruise vessels as provided in Section 19-3-79, if:

(i) The structure is owned, leased or controlled by a person possessing a gaming license, as defined in Section 75-76-5, to conduct legal gaming on a cruise vessel under paragraph (a) of this subsection;

(ii) The part of the structure in which licensed gaming activities are conducted is located entirely in an area which is located no more than eight hundred (800) feet from the mean high-water line (as defined in Section 29-15-1) of the waters within the State of Mississippi, which lie adjacent to the State of Mississippi south of the three (3) most southern counties in the State of Mississippi, including the Mississippi Sound, St. Louis Bay, Biloxi Bay and Pascagoula Bay, or, with regard to Harrison County only, no farther north than the southern boundary of the right-of-way for U.S. Highway 90, whichever is greater; and

(iii) In the case of a structure that is located in whole or part on shore, the part of the structure in which licensed gaming activities are conducted shall lie adjacent to state waters south of the three (3) most southern counties in the State of Mississippi, including the Mississippi Sound, St. Louis Bay, Biloxi Bay and Pascagoula Bay. When the site upon which the structure is located consists of a parcel of real property, easements and rights-of-way for public streets and highways shall not be construed to interrupt the contiguous nature of the parcel, nor shall the footage contained within the easements and rights-of-way be counted in the calculation of the distances specified in subparagraph (ii).

(c) A vessel as defined in Section 27-109-1 whenever such vessel is on the Mississippi River or navigable waters within any county bordering on the Mississippi River, and in which the registered voters of the county in which the port is located have not voted to prohibit such betting, gaming or wagering on vessels as provided in Section 19-3-79; or

(d) That is legal under the laws of the State of Mississippi.

(2) Nothing in this section shall apply to any gambling device, machine or equipment that is owned, possessed, controlled, installed, procured, repaired or transported in accordance with subsection (4) of Section 97-33-7.

(3) The provisions of this section shall not apply to the legal operation of gaming electronic devices authorized under Sections 1 through 6 of Senate Bill No. 2304, 2007 Regular Session.

SECTION 15. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.