[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Middleton 2-4-1992. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Pursuant to MGL c. 140, § 181, the Selectmen hereby vote to adopt the following rules and regulations concerning automatic amusement devices.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AUTOMATIC AMUSEMENT DEVICE
- Any mechanism whereby upon the deposit therein of a coin or token any apparatus is released or set in motion or put in a position where it may be set in motion for the purpose of playing any game involving, in whole or in part, the skill of the player, including, but not exclusively, such devices as are commonly known as pinball machines or electronic video machines, excluding coin-operated music machines, including any other similar machine or device, as defined in MGL c. 140, § 177A.
- Any educational institution, public, private, secular or parochial, which offers instruction of high school grade or below and which is accredited by the State Department of Education.
A license shall be required before any premises may operate an automatic amusement device in the Town of Middleton.
All applications shall be filed with the Selectmen on such form as they may from time to time prescribe, with the fee set forth to be paid to the Town at the time of the application, and such fee shall be returned if the license or licenses are refused.
The license fee shall consist of $35 per machine.
The license shall be issued upon a majority vote of the Board of Selectmen.
Licenses shall be renewable on the last day of December of each year. Renewals must be issued by the Selectmen. The renewal fee shall be $35 per machine.
The applicant shall be the owner or manager of the establishment requesting the license.
All applications must list the vendor or owner of the automatic amusement device to be placed upon the premises.
Licenses may be issued for more than two but not to exceed three automatic amusement devices in any premises which is allowed to dispense alcoholic beverages and which has already been granted such alcoholic beverage license by Middleton licensing authority.
All applications for automatic amusement devices for three or more such machines at any one location not licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages must have a public hearing before the Board of Selectmen. Such public hearing must be advertised, by legal notice, by the applicant, at least 10 days prior to the public hearing in a minimum of two local newspapers. The applicant must forward a copy of the legal notice to the abutters of the premises where the automatic amusement devices are to be located. Such notification is to be by registered or certified mail.
Any existing licensee with two or more automatic amusement devices legal upon his or her premises must comply with all provisions of this regulation if an application for additional automatic amusement devices is filed with the Board of Selectmen.
In acting on each application for an automatic amusement device license, the Board of Selectmen shall consider whether the granting of such license would be consistent with the general good, order, and welfare of the Town of Middleton. The Board shall consider, among other things, whether maintenance of automatic amusement devices:
Could affect traffic and pedestrian congestions;
Is consistent with the best economic and social interest of the area;
Would unreasonably increase the level of noise in the area;
Would unreasonably increase the incidence of illegal or disruptive conduct in the area; or
Otherwise significantly harm the general good, order and welfare of the immediate area in which the premises are located.
Automatic amusement devices licensed under this regulation shall be so installed on the premises as to be in open view at all times while in operation and shall at all times be available for inspection. All machines shall have the owner's or vendor's name, address, and telephone number attached in clear view.
No person keeping or offering for operation or allowing to be kept or offered for operation any automatic amusement device shall permit the same to be used for the purpose of gambling.
No machine shall be operated by persons 16 years of age or younger while Middleton public schools are in session from the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. weekdays only.
No person under the age of 21 years may operate an automatic amusement device which is located on premises licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages. The preceding shall not apply in circumstances where the individual under the age of 21 years is accompanied by his or her parent or guardian, provided that such parent or guardian consents to the operation of such device by such individual.
Any machine which is in violation of this regulation may be confiscated from the premises by the Chief of Police.
Any violation of any provision of this section or of MGL c. 136 by any person managing or controlling any premises where an automatic amusement device licensed under this chapter is kept or offered for operation shall be cause for the revocation of all licenses for automatic amusement devices kept or offered for operation on such premises.
Neither this regulation nor any provision therein contained shall authorize or permit or be construed as authorizing or permitting the keeping, maintaining, possessing, using or operating in the Town of Middleton of any contrivance or device otherwise prohibited by law.
Any such automatic amusement device lawfully in existence and properly licensed by the Board of Selectmen and operating prior to the effective date of this regulation, shall not be denied renewal of such existing license without just cause.