South Carolina              
Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

SCDOR vs. The Players Club of Georgetown, L.L.C., et al

South Carolina Department of Revenue

South Carolina Department of Revenue

The Players Club of Georgetown, L.L.C., and Carlisle S. Carter, d/b/a Carter Amusement




This matter comes before me upon a Motion to Stay the effect of this Court's Final Order and Decision in the above-captioned matter pending judicial review, pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-380(A)(2) (Supp. 1997) and ALJD Rule 29(D), filed by Respondents. South Carolina Department of Revenue (hereinafter referred to as "DOR") opposes the stay motion. This Court's Final Order and Decision in the above-captioned matter was filed on June 25, 1998. To date, no petition for appeal to circuit court has been filed; however, Respondents inform this Court that they intend to appeal and that the time for appeal has not yet expired. In the Final Order and Decision of this video poker violation case, retail operator, The Players Club of Georgetown, L.L.C., was found to have violated 27 S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 117-190 (Supp. 1997) and S.C. Code Ann. § 12-21-2804 (Supp. 1997). Four machine licenses were revoked, the operation of machines were prohibited in the subject game room for a period of six months, and a fine of $3,500 was imposed.

Under the Administrative Procedures Act, the filing of a petition for judicial review of a final order of an administrative law judge does not stay the enforcement of the administrative decision. The administrative law judge or the reviewing court may grant a stay upon appropriate terms. Pursuant to ALJD Rule 29(D), at any time prior to the filing of a petition for judicial review a party may move this Court to stay a final order upon appropriate terms, and the administrative law judge has the authority to stay the effect of a final order which is subject to judicial review. The granting of a stay of execution is discretionary. Thompson v. Watts, 278 S.C. 230, 294 S.E.2d 245 (1982).

In their Motion, Respondents offer no reason for the stay sought except that judicial review is imminent. Respondents make no claim that they will suffer irreparable harm if the stay is not granted, nor do they attempt to show a likelihood of success on the merits of their appeal. DOR maintains that the public interest favors the regulation and control of the gaming industry. That public interest is undermined, absent a compelling reason in an individual case, by the continued operation of gaming businesses which have been ordered closed after an adjudication on the enforcement action on the merits. The issuance of a stay would thwart the State's efforts to regulate the video gaming industry and enforce the gambling laws of this State in a consistent manner.

The Final Order and Decision in this matter does not prevent the machine owners from relicensing the machines and placing them in another location, nor does it prevent the retail operator from using the business premises for any purpose other than operation of Class III video game machines. The potential loss of income by Respondents during the pendency of an appeal of the final order in this matter does not outweigh the public harm of inconsistent and ineffective enforcement of the Video Game Machines Act and related regulations. Feasible alternatives exist for Respondents to avoid or mitigate any lost revenue resulting from the enforcement of the June 25, 1998 Order.

Respondents failed to offer compelling reasons for a stay of the administrative decision rendered in this matter. For the foregoing reasons, Respondents' Motion to Stay is denied.





July 15, 1998

Columbia, South Carolina

Brown Bldg.






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