2019 US Virgin Islands Code
Title 32 - Sports and Parks
Chapter 21 - Virgin Islands Casino and Resort Control Act of 1995
Article V - Division of Gaming Enforcement — Powers and Duties
§ 431. Inspection, seizure, and warrants
(a) The Division and its employees and agents, upon approval of the director, shall have the authority, without notice and without warrant:
(1) To inspect and examine all premises wherein casino gaming is conducted; or gaming devices or equipment are manufactured, sold, distributed, or serviced; or wherein any records of such activities are prepared or maintained;
(2) To inspect all equipment and supplies in, about, or around such premises;
(3) To seize summarily and remove from such premises and impound any such equipment or supplies for the purposes of examination;
(4) To inspect, examine and audit all books, records, and documents pertaining to a casino licensee's operation;
(5) To seize, impound or assume physical control of any book, record, ledger, game, device, cash box and its contents, counting room or its equipment, or casino operations; and
(6) To inspect the person, and personal effects in a casino facility licensed under this chapter, of any holder of a license or registration issued pursuant to this chapter while that person is present in a licensed casino facility.
(b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall in no way be deemed to limit warrantless inspections except in accordance with constitutional requirements.
(c) To effectuate further the purposes of this chapter, the Division and its employees and agents may obtain administrative warrants for the inspection and seizure of any property possessed, controlled, bailed or otherwise held by any applicant, licensee, registrant, intermediary company, or holding company.
(d) Issuance and execution of warrants for administrative inspection shall be in accordance with the following:
(1) Any judge of a court having jurisdiction in the district where the inspection or seizure is to be conducted may, upon proper oath or affirmation showing probable cause, issue warrants for the purpose of conducting administrative inspections authorized by this chapter or regulations thereunder and seizures of property appropriate to such inspections. For the purposes of this section, “probable cause” means a valid public interest in the effective enforcement of the chapter or regulations sufficient to justify administrative inspection of the area, premises, building or conveyance in the circumstances specified in the application for the warrant.
(2) A warrant shall issue only upon an affidavit of a person duly designated and having knowledge of the facts alleged, sworn to before the judge and establishing the grounds for issuing the warrant. If the judge is satisfied that grounds for the application exist or that there is probable cause to believe they exist, he shall issue a warrant identifying the area, premises, building, or conveyance to be inspected; the purpose of such inspection; and, where appropriate, the type of property to be inspected, if any. The warrant shall identify the item or types of property to be seized, if any. The warrant shall be directed to a person authorized to execute it. The warrant shall state the grounds for its issuance and the name of the person or persons whose affidavit has been taken in support thereof. It shall command the person to whom it is directed to inspect the area, premises, building, or conveyance identified for the purpose specified, and where appropriate, shall direct the seizure of the property specified. The warrant shall direct that it be served during normal business hours of the licensee. It shall designate the judge to whom it shall be returned.
(3) A warrant issued pursuant to this section must be executed and returned within ten (10) days of its date. If property is seized pursuant to a warrant, the person executing the warrant shall give to the person from whom or from whose premises the property was taken a copy of the warrant and a receipt for the property taken or shall leave the copy and receipt at the place from which the property was taken. The return of the warrant shall be made promptly and shall be accompanied by a written inventory of any property taken. The inventory shall be made in the presence of the person executing the warrant and of the person from whose possession or premises the property was taken, if they are present, or in the presence of at least one credible person other than the person executing the warrant. The clerk of the court, upon request, shall deliver a copy of the inventory to the person from whom or from whose premises the property was taken and to the applicant for the warrant.
(4) The judge who has issued a warrant under this section shall attach to the warrant a copy of the return and all papers filed in connection therewith and shall cause them to be filed with the court which issued such warrant.
(e) The Division is authorized to make administrative inspections to check for compliance by any applicant, licensee, registrant, intermediary company or holding company with the provisions of this chapter or regulations promulgated thereunder, and to investigate any violations thereof.
(f) This section shall not be construed to prevent entries and administrative inspections, including seizures of property, without a warrant:
(1) With the consent of the owner, operator or agent in charge of the controlled premises;
(2) In situations presenting imminent danger to health or safety;
(3) In situations involving inspection of conveyance where there is reasonable cause to believe that the mobility of the conveyance makes it impractical to obtain a warrant or in any other exceptional or emergency circumstance where time or opportunity to apply for a warrant is lacking;
(4) In accordance with the provisions of this chapter; or
(5) In all other situations where a warrant is not constitutionally required.