City of North Tonawanda, NY
Niagara County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of North Tonawanda 5-21-1979. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Bingo — See Ch. 19.

§ 46-1 Purpose.

The Common Council finds the raising of funds for the promotion of bona fide charitable, educational, scientific, health, religious and patriotic causes and undertakings, where the beneficiaries are undetermined, to be in the public interest; and that the mandate of § 9 of Article I of the Constitution of the State of New York, as amended, should be carried out by rigid regulations to prevent commercialized gambling, prevent participation by criminal and other undesirable elements and prevent the diversion of funds from the purposes herein authorized.

§ 46-2 Definitions.

A. 
As used in this ordinance, the terms "authorized games of chance lessor," "authorized organization," "authorized supplier of games of chance equipment," "games of chance," "lawful purposes," "net lease," "net proceeds" and "one occasion" shall have the meanings designated in the definitions set forth in Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law and any amendments thereto.
B. 
As used in this ordinance, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BOARD
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
CLERK
The City Clerk of the City of North Tonawanda.
GAMES OF CHANCE CURRENCY
Legal tender or form of scrip or chips authorized by the Board, any of which may be used at the discretion of the games of chance lessee.
LICENSE PERIOD
A period of time not to exceed 14 consecutive hours.
MUNICIPALITY
The City of North Tonawanda.
OFFICER
The Chief of Police of the City of North Tonawanda shall be the "officer" designated in Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law as the chief law enforcement officer of this municipality.
OPERATION
The play of a single type of game of chance necessary to determine the outcome or winners each time wagers are made.
PREMISES
A designated area within a building, hall, tent or grounds reasonably identified for the conduct of games of chance. Nothing herein shall require such area to be enclosed.
SERIES OF PRIZES
The total amount of single prizes minus the total amount of wagers lost during the successive operations of a single type of game of chance, except that for merchandise wheels, "series of prizes" shall mean the sum of the actual value of merchandise awarded as single prizes during the successive operations of any single merchandise wheel.
SINGLE PRIZE
The sum of money or actual form of merchandise awarded to a participant by a game of chance licensee in any one operation of a single type of game of chance in excess of his wager.
SINGLE TYPE OF GAME
The games of chance known as merchandise wheels and each other specific game of chance authorized by the Board.

§ 46-3 Relation to state law.

This ordinance is subordinate and subject to all of the conditions and provisions contained in Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law and amendments thereto, the powers and duties of the Board and any and all rules and regulations and opinions adopted or to be adopted by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.

§ 46-4 Restrictions on conduct of games.

A. 
No person, firm, association, corporation or organization other than a licensee under the provisions of this ordinance shall conduct a game of chance or shall lease, or otherwise make available for conducting games of chance, premises for any consideration whatsoever, directly or indirectly.
B. 
No game of chance shall be held, operated or conducted on or within any leased premises if rental under such lease is to be paid wholly or partly on the basis of a percentage of the receipts or net profits derived from the operation of a game of chance.
C. 
No authorized organization licensed under the provisions of this ordinance shall purchase or receive any supplies or equipment specifically designed or adapted for use in the conduct of games of chance from other than an authorized supplier of games of chance equipment licensed by the State Board or from another authorized organization.
D. 
The entire net proceeds of any game of chance shall be exclusively devoted to the lawful purposes of the organization permitted to conduct the same, and the net proceeds of any rental derived therefrom shall be exclusively devoted to the lawful purposes of the authorized games of chance lessor.
E. 
No single prize shall exceed the sum or value of $100, except that for merchandise wheels, no single prize shall exceed the sum or value of $250. No single wager shall exceed $2.
[Amended 7-17-79]
F. 
No authorized organization shall award a series of prizes consisting of merchandise with an aggregate value in excess of $1,000 during the successive operations of any one merchandise wheel.
G. 
In addition to the merchandise wheels, no more than five other single types of games of chance shall be conducted during any one license period.
H. 
Except for merchandise wheels, no series of prizes on any one occasion shall aggregate more than $200 when the licensed authorized organization conducts five single types of games of chance during any one license period. Except for merchandise wheels, no series of prizes on any one occasion shall aggregate more than $250 when the licensed authorized organization conducts less than five single types of games of chance, exclusive of merchandise wheels, during any one license period.
I. 
Except for the limitations on the sum or value for single prizes and series of prizes, no limit shall be imposed on the sum or value of prizes awarded to any one participant during any occasion or any license period.
J. 
No person, except a bona fide member of the licensed authorized organization, shall participate in the management of such games; no person, except a bona fide member of the licensed authorized organization, its auxiliary or affiliated organization, shall participate in the operation of such game, as set forth in § 46-13 of this ordinance.
K. 
No person shall receive any remuneration for participating in the management or operation of any game of chance.
L. 
No licensed organization shall extend credit to a person to participate in playing a game of chance.
M. 
No game of chance shall be conducted on other than the premises of an authorized organization or a licensed games of chance lessor.

§ 46-5 License required to supply equipment.

A. 
No person, firm, partnership, corporation or organization shall sell or distribute supplies or equipment specifically designed or adapted for use in the conduct of games of chance without having first obtained a license therefor upon written application made, verified and filed with the Board in the form prescribed by the rules and regulations of the Board. In each such application for a license under this section shall be stated the name and address of the applicant; the names and addresses of its officers, directors, shareholders or partners; the amount of gross receipts realized on the sale and rental of games of chance supplies and equipment to duly licensed authorized organizations during the last preceding calendar or fiscal year and such other information as shall be prescribed by such rules and regulations. The fee for such license shall be a sum equal to $25, plus an amount equal to 2% of the gross sales and rentals, if any, of games of chance equipment and supplies to authorized organizations or authorized games of chance lessors by the applicant during the preceding calendar year, or fiscal year if the applicant maintains his accounts on a fiscal-year basis. No license granted pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be effective for a period of more than one year.
B. 
The following shall be ineligible for such a license:
(1) 
A person convicted of a crime who has not received a pardon, a certificate of good conduct or a certificate of relief from disabilities.
(2) 
A person who is or has been a professional gambler or a gambling promoter or who for other reasons is not of good moral character.
(3) 
A public officer or employee.
(4) 
An authorized games of chance lessor.
(5) 
A firm or corporation in which a person defined in Subsection B(1), (2), (3) or (4) above has greater than a 10% proprietary, equitable or credit interest or in which such a person is active or employed.
C. 
The Board shall have the power to examine or cause to be examined the books and records of any applicant for a license under this section. Any information so received shall not be disclosed except as far as may be necessary for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this ordinance.
D. 
Any solicitation of an organization licensed to conduct games of chance to purchase or induce the purchase of games of chance supplies and equipment, other than by a person licensed or otherwise authorized pursuant to this section, shall constitute a violation of this section.
E. 
Any person who willfully shall make any material false statement in any application for a license authorized to be issued under this section or who willfully shall violate any of the provisions of this section or of any license issued hereunder shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, in addition to the penalties in such case made and provided, shall forfeit any license issued to him or it under this section and be ineligible to apply for a license under this section for one-year thereafter.
F. 
At the end of such period specified in the license, a recapitulation shall be made as between the licensee and the Board in respect to the gross sales and rentals actually recorded during that period and the fee paid therefor, and any deficiency of fee thereby shown to be due shall be paid by the licensee, and any excess of fee thereby shown to have been paid shall be credited to said licensee in such manner as the Board by the rules and regulations shall prescribe.

§ 46-6 Application for license.

A. 
To conduct games of chance.
(1) 
Each applicant for a license shall, after obtaining an identification number from the Board, file with the Clerk a written application therefor in a form to be prescribed by the Board, duly executed and verified, in which shall be stated:
(a) 
The name and address of the applicant, together with sufficient facts relating to its incorporation and organization to enable such Clerk to determine whether or not it is a bona fide authorized organization.
(b) 
The names and addresses of its officers; the place or places where, and the date or dates and the time or times when, the applicant intends to conduct games under the license applied for.
(c) 
The amount of rent to be paid or other consideration to be given, directly or indirectly, for each licensed period for use of the premises of an authorized games of chance lessor.
(d) 
All other items or expense intended to be incurred or paid in connection with the holding, operating and conducting of such games of chance and the names and addresses of the persons to whom, and the purposes for which, they are to be paid.
(e) 
The purposes to which the entire net proceeds of such games are to be devoted and in what manner; that no commission, salary, compensation, reward or recompense will be paid to any person for conducting such game or games or for assisting therein, except as provided otherwise, in this ordinance; and such other information as shall be prescribed by rules and regulations of the Board.
(f) 
The name of each single type of game of chance to be conducted under the license applied for and the number of merchandise wheels, if any, to be operated.
(2) 
In each application there shall be designated not fewer than four bona fide members of the applicant organization under whom the game or games of chance will be managed, and to the application shall be appended a statement executed by the members so designated that they will be responsible for the management of such games in accordance with the terms of the license, the rules and regulations of the Board, this ordinance, and the applicable local laws or ordinances.
B. 
Authorized games of chance lessor. Each applicant for a license to lease premises to a licensed organization for the purposes of conducting games of chance therein shall file with the Clerk a written application therefor in a form to be prescribed by the Board, duly executed and verified, which shall set forth the name and address of the applicant; designation and address of the premises intended to be covered by the license sought; a statement that the applicant in all respects conforms to the specifications contained in the definition of "authorized organization" set forth in § 46-2 of this ordinance; a statement of the lawful purposes to which the net proceeds from any rental are to be devoted by the applicant; and such other information as shall be prescribed by the Board.

§ 46-7 Investigation; issuance of license; duration; fees.

A. 
The Clerk shall make an investigation of the qualification of each applicant and the merits of each application with due expedition after the filing of the application.
(1) 
Issuance of licenses to conduct games of chance. If such Clerk shall determine that the applicant is duly qualified to be licensed to conduct games of chance under this ordinance; that the member or members of the applicant designated in the application to manage games of chance are bona fide active members of the applicant and are persons of good moral character and have never been convicted of a crime or, if convicted, have received a pardon, a certificate of good conduct or a certificate of relief from disabilities; that such games are to be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this ordinance and in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Board and applicable local laws or ordinances and that the proceeds thereof are to be disposed of as provided by this ordinance; and if such Clerk is satisfied that no commission, salary, compensation, reward or recompense whatever will be paid or given to any person managing, operating or assisting therein except as provided otherwise in this ordinance, the Clerk shall issue a license to the applicant for the conduct of games of chance upon payment of a license fee of $25 for each license period.
(2) 
Issuance of licenses to authorized games of chance lessors. If such Clerk shall determine that the applicant seeking to lease premises for the conduct of games of chance to a games of chance licensee is duly qualified to be licensed under this ordinance; that the applicant satisfies the requirements for an authorized organization as defined in § 46-2 of this ordinance; that the applicant has filed its proposed rent for each license period and that the Clerk has approved the proposed rent as fair and reasonable; that the net proceeds from any rental will be devoted to the lawful purposes of the applicant; that there is no diversion of the funds of the proposed lessee from the lawful purposes as defined in this ordinance; and that such leasing of premises for the conduct of such game is to be in accordance with the provisions of this ordinance; with the rules and regulations of the Board and applicable local laws and ordinances, it shall issue a license permitting the applicant to lease said premises for the conduct of such games to the games of chance licensee or licensees specified in the application during the period therein specified or such shorter period as such Clerk shall determine, but not to exceed 12 license periods during a calendar year, upon payment of a license fee of $50. Nothing herein shall be construed to require the applicant to be licensed under this ordinance to conduct games of chance.
B. 
On or before the 30th day of each month, the Treasurer of the municipality in which the licensed property is located shall transmit to the State Comptroller a sum equal to 50% of all authorized games of chance lessor license fees and the sum of $15 per license period for the conduct of games of chance collected by such Clerk pursuant to this section during the preceding calendar month.
C. 
No license shall be issued under this section which shall be effective for a period of more than one year.

§ 46-8 Hearing; amendment of license.

A. 
No application for the issuance of a license to conduct games of chance or lease premises to an authorized organization shall be denied by the Clerk until after a hearing, held on due notice to the applicant, at which the applicant shall be entitled to be heard upon the qualifications of the applicant and the merits of the application.
B. 
Any license issued under this ordinance may be amended, upon application made to such Clerk, if the subject matter of the proposed amendment could lawfully and properly have been included in the original license and upon payment of such additional license fee, if any, as would have been payable if it had not been so included.

§ 46-9 Form and content of license; display.

A. 
Each license to conduct games of chance shall be in such form as shall be prescribed in the rules and regulations promulgated by the Board and shall contain a statement of the name and address of the licensee, of the names and addresses of the members of the licensee under whom the games will be managed, of the place or places where and the date or dates and time or times when such games are to be conducted and of the purposes to which the entire net proceeds of such games are to be devoted; the name of each single type of game to be conducted under the license and the number of merchandise wheels, if any, to be operated; and any other information which may be required by said rules and regulations to be contained therein, and each license issued for the conduct of any games shall be conspicuously displayed at the place where same is to be conducted at all times during the conduct thereof.
B. 
Each license to lease premises for conducting games of chance will be in such form as shall be prescribed in the rules and regulations of the Board and shall contain a statement of the name and address of the licensee and the address of the leased premises, the amount of permissible rent and any information which may be required by said rules and regulations to be contained therein, and each such license shall be conspicuously displayed upon such premises at all times during the conduct of games of chance.

§ 46-10 Control and supervision; suspension of license; inspections.

A. 
The officer shall have and exercise rigid control and close supervision over all games of chance conducted under such license, to the end that the same are fairly conducted in accordance with the provisions of such license, the provisions of the rules and regulations promulgated by the Board and the provisions of this ordinance, and such officer and the Board shall have the power and authority to temporarily suspend any license issued by the Clerk pending a hearing, and, after notice and hearing, the Clerk or Board may suspend or revoke the same, and additionally may impose a fine in an amount not exceeding $1,000 for violation of any such provisions and shall have the right of entry by their respective officers and agents at all times into any premises where any game of chance is being conducted or where it is intended that any such game shall be conducted, or where any equipment being used or intended to be used in the conduct thereof is found, for the purpose of inspecting the same. An agent of the appropriate officer shall make an on-site inspection during the conduct of all games of chance licensed pursuant to this ordinance.
B. 
Service of alcoholic beverages. Subject to the applicable provisions of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, beer may be offered for sale during the conduct of games of chance on games of chance premises as such premises are defined in § 46-2 of this ordinance; provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed to limit the offering for sale of any other alcoholic beverage in areas other than the games of chance premises.

§ 46-11 Participation by persons under 18.

No person under the age of 18 years shall be permitted to play any game or games of chance conducted pursuant to any license issued under this ordinance. Persons under the age of 18 years may be permitted to attend games of chance at the discretion of the games of chance licensee. No person under the age of 18 years shall be permitted to operate any game of chance conducted pursuant to any license issued under this ordinance or to assist therein.

§ 46-12 Frequency of games; hours; Sunday games.

No game or games of chance shall be conducted under any license issued under this ordinance more often than 12 times in any calendar year. No particular premises shall be used for the conduct of games of chance on more than 24 license periods during any one calendar year. Games shall be conducted only between the hours of 12:00 noon and 12:00 midnight on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and only between the hours of 12:00 noon on Friday and 2:00 a.m. Saturday, and only between the hours of 12:00 noon on Saturday and 2:00 a.m. Sunday. The 2:00 a.m. closing period shall also apply to a legal holiday. The conduct of games of chance on Sunday is only permitted when it is specifically provided for in the license issued, and then only between the hours of 12:00 noon and 12:00 midnight. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, no games of chance shall be conducted on Easter Sunday, Christmas Day or New Year's Day.

§ 46-13 Operators; equipment; expenses; compensation.

No person shall operate any game of chance under any license issued under this ordinance except a bona fide member of the authorized organization to which the license is issued, or a bona fide member of an organization or association which is an auxiliary to the licensee, or a bona fide member of an organization or association of which such licensee is an auxiliary, or a bona fide member of an organization or association which is affiliated with the licensee by being, with it, auxiliary to another organization or association. Nothing herein shall be construed to limit the number of games of chance licensees for whom such persons may operate games of chance nor to prevent nonmembers from assisting the licensee in any activity other than managing or operating games. No game of chance shall be conducted with any equipment except such as shall be owned or leased by the authorized organization so licensed or used without payment of any compensation therefor by the licensee. The head or heads of the authorized organization shall upon request certify under oath that the persons operating any game of chance are bona fide members of such authorized organization, auxiliary or affiliated organization. Upon request by an officer, any such person involved in such games of chance shall certify that he or she has no criminal record. No items of expense shall be incurred or paid in connection with the conducting of any game of chance pursuant to any license issued under this ordinance except those that are reasonable and are necessarily expended for games of chance supplies and equipment, prizes, security personnel, stated rental, if any, bookkeeping or accounting services according to a schedule of compensation prescribed by the Board, janitorial services and utility supplies, if any, and license fees, and the cost of bus transportation, if authorized by the Clerk.

§ 46-14 Charge for admission and participation; prizes.

A fee may be charged by any licensee for admission to any game or games of chance conducted under any license issued under this ordinance. The Clerk may in his discretion fix a minimum fee. Every winner shall be determined and every prize shall be awarded and delivered within the same calendar day as that upon which the game was played. No alcoholic beverage shall be offered or given as a prize in any game of chance.

§ 46-15 Advertising games.

[Amended 7-17-79]
No game of chance conducted or to be conducted in the City of North Tonawanda shall be advertised as to its location, the time when it is to be or has been played or the prizes awarded or to be awarded, or transportation facilities to be provided to such games, by means of newspaper, radio, television or sound trucks or by means of billboards, or any other means addressed to the general public, except by means of handbills and posters and also except one sign not exceeding 60 square feet in area, which may be displayed on or adjacent to the premises owned or occupied by a licensed authorized organization, and, when an organization is licensed to conduct games of chance on premises of an authorized games of chance lessor, one additional such sign may be displayed on or adjacent to the premises in which the games are to be conducted. All advertisements shall be limited to the description of such event as "Games of Chance" or "Las Vegaa Night," the name of the authorized organization conducting such games, the license number of the authorized organization as assigned by the Clerk and the date, location and time of the event.

§ 46-16 Statement of receipts and expenses; additional license. fees.

A. 
Within seven days after the conclusion of any license period, the authorized organization which conducted the same and its members who were in charge thereof and, when applicable, the authorized games of chance lessor which rented its premises therefor shall each furnish to the Clerk a statement subscribed by the member in charge and affirmed by him as true, under the penalties of perjury, showing the amount of gross receipts derived therefrom and each item of expense incurred, or paid, and each item of expenditure made or to be made other than prizes, the name and address of each person to whom each such item of expense has been paid, or is to be paid, with a detailed description of the merchandise purchased or the services rendered therefor, the net proceeds derived from the conduct of games of chance during such license period and the use to which such proceeds have been or are to be applied, and it shall be the duty of each licensee to maintain and keep such books and records as may be necessary to substantiate the particulars of each such statement.
B. 
Upon the filing of such statement of receipts, the authorized organization furnishing the same shall pay to the Clerk as and for an additional license fee a sum of 5% of the net proceeds, if any, for the license period covered by such statement and determined in accordance with such schedule as shall be established from time to time by the Board to defray the actual cost of administering the provisions of this ordinance.
[Amended 7-17-1979]

§ 46-17 Examination of records and personnel; disclosure of information.

A. 
The Clerk and the Board shall have the power to examine or cause to be examined the books and records of:
(1) 
Any authorized organization which is or has been licensed to conduct games of chance, as far as they may relate to games of chance, including the maintenance, control and disposition of net proceeds derived from games of chance or from the use of its premises for games of chance, and to examine any manager, officer, director, agent, member or employee thereof under oath in relation to the conduct of any such game under any such license, the use of its premises for games of chance or the disposition of net proceeds derived from games of chance, as the case may be.
(2) 
Any authorized games of chance lessor, as far as they may relate to leasing premises for games of chance, and to examine said lessor or any manager, director, agent or employee thereof under oath in relation to such leasing.
B. 
Any information so received shall not be disclosed except as far as may be necessary for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this ordinance.

§ 46-18 Appeals.

Any applicant for, or holder of, any license issued or to be issued under this ordinance aggrieved by any action of the officer or the Clerk to whom such application has been made or by whom such license has been issued may appeal to the Board from the determination of said officer or Clerk by filing with such officer or Clerk a written notice of appeal within 30 days after the determination or action appealed from, and, upon the hearing of such appeal, the evidence, if any, taken before such officer or Clerk and any additional evidence may be produced and shall be considered in arriving at a determination of the matters in issue, and the action of the Board upon said appeal shall be binding upon such officer or Clerk and all parties to said appeal.

§ 46-19 Exemption from prosecution.

No person, firm, partnership, corporation or organization lawfully conducting or participating in the conduct of games of chance or permitting the conduct upon any premises owned or leased by him or it under the license lawfully issued pursuant to this ordinance shall be liable to prosecution or conviction for violation of any provision of Article 225 of the Penal Law or any other law or ordinance to the extent that such conduct is specifically authorized by this ordinance, but this immunity shall not extend to any person or corporation knowingly conducting or participating in the conduct of games of chance under any license obtained by any false pretense or by any false statement made in any application for license or otherwise or permitting the conduct upon any premises owned or leased by him or it of any game of chance conducted under any license known to him or it to have been obtained by any such false pretense or statement.

§ 46-20 Offenses; forfeiture of license; ineligibility to reapply.

Any person, firm, partnership, corporation or organization who or which shall do any of the following shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall forfeit any license issued under this ordinance and be ineligible to apply for a license under this ordinance for at least one-year thereafter:
A. 
Make any material false statement in any application for any license authorized to be issued under this ordinance.
B. 
Pay or receive, for the use of any premises for conducting games of chance, a rental in excess of the amount specified as the permissible rent in the license provided for in this ordinance.
C. 
Fail to keep such books and records as shall fully and truly record all transactions connected with the conducting of games of chance or the leasing of premises to be used for the conduct of games of chance.
D. 
Falsify or make any false entry in any books or records as far as they relate in any manner to the conduct of games of chance, to the disposition of the proceeds thereof and to the application of the rents received by any authorized organization.
E. 
Divert or pay any portion of the net proceeds of any game of chance to any person, firm, partnership, corporation, except in furtherance of one or more of the lawful purposes defined in this ordinance.

§ 46-21 Unlawful games of chance.

Any person, association, corporation or organization holding, operating or conducting a game or games of chance is guilty of a misdemeanor except when operating, holding or conducting in accordance with a valid license issued pursuant to this ordinance or on behalf of a bona fide organization of persons 60 years of age or over, commonly referred to as "senior citizens," solely for the purpose of amusement and recreation of its members where:
A. 
The organization has applied for and received an identification number from the Board.
B. 
No player or other person furnishes anything of value for the opportunity to participate.
C. 
The prizes awarded or to be awarded are nominal.
D. 
No person other than a bona fide active member of the organization participates in the conduct of the games.
E. 
No person is paid for conducting or assisting in the conduct of the game or games.

§ 46-22 Approval by majority of voters required.

Except as provided in § 46-21 of this ordinance, the provisions of this ordinance shall remain inoperative unless and until a proposition therefor, submitted at a general or special election in this municipality, shall be approved by a vote of the majority of the qualified electors in such municipality voting thereon.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance was approved by referendum at the special election held 6-26-1979.

§ 46-23 Amendment or repeal of provisions.

This ordinance may be amended, from time to time, or repealed by the Common Council by a two-thirds vote, and such amendment or repeal, as the case may be, may be made effective and operative not earlier than 30 days following the date of the enactment of the local law or ordinance effecting such amendment or repeal, as the case may be; and the approval of a majority of the electors of this municipality shall not be a condition prerequisite to the taking effect of such local law or ordinance.

§ 46-24 Severability.

If any provision of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstances shall be adjudged unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this ordinance or the application thereof to other persons and circumstances shall not be affected thereby, and the Common Council hereby declares that it would have enacted this ordinance without the invalid provision or application, as the case may be.