2017 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 12 - Taxation
CHAPTER 21 - STAMP AND BUSINESS LICENSE TAX
Section 12-21-2720. License for coin-operated devices or machines; license tax; maximum municipal license charges; special one-time interim fees.

Universal Citation: SC Code § 12-21-2720 (2017)

(A) Every person who maintains for use or permits the use of, on a place or premises occupied by him, one or more of the following machines or devices shall apply for and procure from the South Carolina Department of Revenue a license effective for two years for the privilege of making use of the machine in South Carolina and shall pay for the license a tax of fifty dollars for each machine in item (1), two hundred dollars for each machine in item (2), and four thousand dollars for each machine in item (3):

(1) a machine for the playing of music or kiddy rides operated by a slot or mechanical amusement devices and juke boxes in which is deposited a coin or thing of value. A machine on which an admissions tax is imposed is exempt from the C.O.D. license provisions of this section.

(2) a machine for the playing of amusements or video games, without free play feature, or machines of the crane type operated by a slot in which is deposited a coin or thing of value and a machine for the playing of games or amusements, which has a free play feature, operated by a slot in which is deposited a coin or thing of value, and the machine is of the nonpayout pin table type with levers or "flippers" operated by the player by which the course of the balls may be altered or changed. A machine required to be licensed under this item is exempt from the license fee if an admissions tax is imposed.

(3) a machine of the nonpayout type, or in-line pin game, operated by a slot in which is deposited a coin or thing of value except machines of the nonpayout pin table type with levers or flippers" operated by the player by which the course of the balls may be altered or changed.

(B) No municipality may limit the number of machines within the boundaries of the municipality. A municipality may by ordinance impose a license fee on machines licensed pursuant to subsection (A)(3) of this section in an amount not exceeding ten percent of three thousand six hundred dollars of the license fee imposed pursuant to subsection (A) for the equivalent license period.

(C) The owner or operator of any coin-operated device subject to licensing under Section 12-21-2720(A)(3) and which has multi-player stations, shall purchase a separate license for each such station.

(D) A county may by ordinance impose a license fee on machines licensed pursuant to subsection (A)(3) of this section located in an unincorporated area of the county in an amount not exceeding ten percent of three thousand six hundred dollars of the license fee imposed pursuant to subsection (A) for the equivalent license period.

(E) The Department of Revenue is authorized to assess an additional fee of fifty dollars on each Class Two coin-operated machine license authorized in this section. These funds must be collected by the Department of Revenue and sent to the State Law Enforcement Division to offset the cost of video gaming enforcement. The State Law Enforcement Division shall retain, expend, and carry forward these funds.

HISTORY: 1986 Act No. 308 Section 4; 1986 Act No. 540, Part II, Section 26A; 1987 Act No. 170, Part II, Section 3A; 1990 Act No. 612, Section 4; 1991 Act No. 171, Part II, Section 14A; 1992 Act No. 361, Section 14; 1992 Act No. 501, Part II, Section 10B; 1993 Act No. 164, Part II, Sections 19D, 59A, 60A; 1993 Act No. 181, Section 148; 1994 Act No. 497, Part II, Section 39; 1995 Act No. 145, Part II, Section 67C2; 1997 Act No. 155, Part II, Section 54C; 1999 Act No. 125, Section 3; 2007 Act No. 96, Section 2, eff June 15, 2007.

Editor's Note

1999 Act No. 125, Part II, Section 9(4) effective July 2, 1999, provides as follows:

"(4) In addition to all license taxes and fees imposed by the State on video games with a free play feature pursuant to Section 12-21-2720(A)(3) of the 1976 Code imposing such licenses and fees, there is imposed a one-time surcharge license fee of fifty dollars for each such licensed machine due and payable to the Department of Revenue on or before September 1, 1999. Failure to remit the surcharge in a timely manner is deemed failure to pay the license tax imposed pursuant to Section 12-21-2720(A)(3). The revenues of this fee shall be used to defray the expenses of the statewide referendum required by this act."

In Joytime Distributors and Amusement Co., Inc., v. The State of South Carolina, 338 S.C. 634, 528 S.E.2d 647 (1999), the Supreme Court of South Carolina stated:

"Part II, Section 9(4) of Act 125 provides for a one-time surcharge license fee of $50 per licensed machine to be used to defray the costs of the referendum called for in Part II. Joytime states it paid the one-time surcharge fee on each license it holds under protest and contends that the fee imposed by Part II, Section 9(4) violates various portions of the constitution. Because we have held that the referendum called for in Part II is unconstitutional, Joytime is entitled to a refund of the surcharge fees it has paid. . . ."

1999 Act No. 125, Part VI, Section 23, subsections (C) and (D), provide as follows:

"(C) Part I takes effect July 1, 2000;

"(D) If Part I takes effect, the South Carolina Department of Revenue, upon application, shall refund to any person holding a license for the operation of video game machines, on a pro rata basis, the portion of any license fee previously paid to the department for licenses that extend beyond June 30, 2000;"

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