South Carolina              
Administrative Law Court
Edgar A. Brown building 1205 Pendleton St., Suite 224 Columbia, SC 29201 Voice: (803) 734-0550

SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

CAPTION:
SCDOR vs. J.M. Brown Amusement Co., Inc., owner/licensee, et al

AGENCY:
South Carolina Department of Revenue

PARTIES:
Petitioners:
South Carolina Department of Revenue

Respondents:
J.M. Brown Amusement Co., Inc., owner/licensee; Great Games, Inc., d/b/a The Infield, d/b/a The Front Stretch, and d/b/a Winners Video Games
 
DOCKET NUMBER:
95-ALJ-17-0333-CC

APPEARANCES:
For the Petitioner: Nicholas P. Sipe, Esq.

For the Respondents: David E. Belding, Esq.
 

ORDERS:

ORDER AND DECISION

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

This matter comes before me on the citation issued by the South Carolina Department of Revenue and Taxation against the respondents for violations of the Video Game Machines Act [S.C. Code Ann. § 12-21-2770 - 3070 (Supp. 1994)]. Respondent J. M. Brown Amusement Co., Inc., was cited for permitting to be used licenses for more than eight machines licensed under S.C. Code Ann. §12-21-2720(A)(3) (Supp. 1994) at a single place or premises on December 7, 1994. Respondent Great Games, Inc., was cited for advertising for the playing of machines on December 7, 1994. A hearing was held on November 8, 1995. I find respondents violated the Video Game Machines Act as charged. I order the revocation of video poker license numbers 94476, 102091, 102500, 102084, 101821, 101969, 102501, 102080, 452202, 102504, 102503, 101929, 102067, 101822, and 45203, and assess a fine of $5,000 against J. M. Brown Amusement Co., Inc. I also assess a fine of $500 against Great Games, Inc. I further order that no class III video poker machines can be maintained on the

premises at 351 Highway 17 North, Surfside Beach, South Carolina, for a period of six (6) months from the date of this order.

FINDINGS OF FACT

Having observed the witnesses and exhibits presented at the hearing and closely passed upon their credibility, taking into consideration the burden of proof on Petitioner, I make the following findings of fact by a preponderance of the evidence:

1. Notice of the time, date, place and subject matter of the hearing was given to the petitioner and the respondents.

2. J. M. Brown Amusement Company, Inc., owns video poker machines and purchased licenses under S.C. Code Ann. § 12-21-2720(A)(3) (Supp. 1994) for fifteen machines in use at 351 Highway 17 North, Surfside Beach, South Carolina. On December 7, 1994, the license numbers on these machines which were in use at 351 Highway 17 North, Surfside Beach, South Carolina were: 94476, 102091, 102500, 102084, 101821, 101969, 102501, 102080, 452202, 102504, 102503, 101929, 102067, 101822, and 45203. These licenses expired on May 31, 1995.

3. Casino Games, Inc., caused to be subdivided the building at 351 Highway 17 North, Surfside Beach, South Carolina, into five adjoining rooms. Three of these rooms contained five machines each licensed under S.C. Code Ann. § 12-21-2720(A)(3) (Supp. 1994) (for a total of fifteen machines in the building). One room contained a cashier who paid the winners for all the machines in the building, and who made change. Two of these rooms were labeled: The Infield and The Front Stretch. Each room had its own retail sales license. However, the only employee on duty in the entire building was the one cashier mentioned above. Players were allowed free access between the rooms containing the video poker machines without having to exit the building. The premises at 351 Highway 17 North, Surfside Beach, South Carolina, operated as one business, and was a single place. The only business advertised by an outside sign was Winners Video Games.

4. Casino Games, Inc., caused to be displayed a large neon dollar ($) sign in conjunction with a sign indicating the availability of video games in the window of the premises at 351Highway

17 North, Surfside Beach, South Carolina. These signs were visible from the public thoroughfare when the location was visited by an agent of the Department on December 7, 1994.

CONCLUSION OF LAW

Based upon the above findings of fact, I conclude as a matter of law, the following:

1. The Administrative Law Judge Division has jurisdiction to hear this matter pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 12-4-30(D) (Supp. 1994) and S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-320 (Supp. 1994).

2. The building located at 351 Highway 17 North, Surfside Beach, South Carolina, as configured and used on December 7, 1994, was a single place or premises, and had therein fifteen machines licensed under S.C. Code Ann. § 12-21-2720(A)(3) (Supp. 1994).

3. On December 7, 1994, the Respondent J. M. Brown Amusement Co., Inc., violated S.C. Code Ann. § 12-21-2804(A) (Supp. 1994) by permitting to be used licenses for the operation of more than eight machines authorized under S.C. Code Ann. § 12-21-2720(A)(3) (Supp. 1994) at a single place or premises. The Honorable G. Ross Anderson held that the term "single place or premises" is "sufficiently defined and susceptible of a common and ordinary meaning to provide a person of ordinary intelligence a reasonable notice of the prescribed conduct." Reyelt et al. v. SouthCarolina Tax Commission, CA No. 6:93-1491-3 (D.S.C. July 5, 1994).

4. S.C. Code Ann. § 12-21-2804(A)(Supp. 1994) states that the penalty for failing to comply with the maximum number of machines in a single place or premises is revocation of the licenses of the machines located on the premises.

5. S.C. Code Ann. § 12-21-2804(F) (Supp. 1994) states that a person who violates Section 12-21-2804(A) may also be fined up to five thousand dollars.

6. The dollar sign in conjunction with the sign advertising video games displayed by Casino Games, Inc., on December 7, 1994, was advertising for the playing of machines in violation of S.C. Code Ann. § 12-1-2804(B) (Supp. 1994).

7. S.C. Code Ann. § 12-1-21-2804(F) (Supp. 1994) states that a person who violates Section 12-21-2804(B) may be fined up to five thousand dollars.





ORDER

Based upon the findings of fact and conclusions of law, it is hereby:

ORDERED, that the fifteen video poker licenses located on the premises at 351 Highway 17 North, Surfside Beach, South Carolina, on December 7, 1994, are revoked, a fine of $5,000.00 is imposed upon the respondent J. M. Brown Amusement Co., Inc., and a fine of $500.00 is imposed upon the respondent Great Games, Inc. These fines are to be paid to the Petitioner within thirty (30) days from the date of this order. For a period of six (6) months from the date of this order, no person may operate on the premises at 351 Highway 17 North, Surfside Beach, South Carolina, a machine licensed issued under the provisions of S.C. Code Ann. § 12-21-2720(A)(3) (Supp. 1994).

IT IS SO ORDERED.



__________________________________

STEPHEN P. BATES

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE

November 27, 1995

Columbia, South Carolina


Brown Bldg.

 

 

 

 

 

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