[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Saratoga Springs as Ch. 18 of the 1970 Code; amended in its entirety 7-20-1992 by L.L. No. 3-1992 Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Games of chance — See Ch. 123.
As used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
- AUTHORIZED ORGANIZATION
- As set forth in Article 14-H of the General Municipal Law.
- BINGO OR GAME
- Includes a specific game of chance, commonly known as "bingo" or "lotto," in which prizes are awarded on the basis of designated numbers or symbols on a card conforming to numbers or symbols selected at random.
- CONTROL COMMISSION
- The State Racing and Wagering Board.
- A license issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
It shall be lawful for any organization, upon obtaining a license therefor as hereinafter provided, to conduct the game of bingo within the territorial limits of the City of Saratoga Springs subject to the provisions of this chapter, the provisions of Article 14-H (§§ 475 to 499) of the General Municipal Law, as amended, and the provisions of the State Bingo Control Law.
Application procedures and requirements shall be as set forth in Article 14-H of the General Municipal Law.
Any game or games licensed hereunder shall be subject to the following restrictions in addition to such other restrictions as may be provided herein or contained in the rules and regulations of the Control Commission:
No person, firm, association, corporation or organization other than a licensee under the provisions of Article 14-H of the General Municipal Law shall conduct such game or shall lease or otherwise make available for conducting bingo a hall or other premises for any consideration whatsoever, direct or indirect.
No bingo games 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 such game.
No authorized organization licensed under the provisions of Article 14-H of the General Municipal Law shall purchase or receive any supplies or equipment specifically designed or adapted for use in the conduct of bingo games from other than a supplier licensed under the Bingo Control Law or from another authorized organization.
The entire net proceeds of any game of bingo and of any rental shall be exclusively devoted to the lawful purposes of the organization permitted to conduct the same.
No prize shall exceed the sum or value of $250 in any single game of bingo.
No series of prizes on any one bingo occasion shall aggregate more than $1,000.
No person except a bona fide member of any such organization shall participate in the management or operation of such game.
No person shall receive any remuneration for participating in the management or operation of any game of bingo.
Limited-period bingo shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Article 14-H of the General Municipal Law and the rules and regulations of the commission.
The unauthorized conduct of a bingo game and any willful violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute and be punishable as a misdemeanor.
The Commissioner of Accounts shall cause to be investigated the qualifications of each applicant and the merits of each application, and the Chief of Police is hereby designated and empowered as the proper City official to conduct such investigation. The Chief of Police shall submit with due expedience a detailed report of the results of his investigation, including the due qualification of the applicant to be licensed; the relationship of the members under whom such games are to be conducted with the applicant; whether such persons are of good moral character or have ever been convicted of crime; whether the conduct of such games will comply with all the provisions of law and rules and regulations applicable thereto; whether a commission, salary, compensation, reward or recompense of any nature will be paid to any person conducting or assisting in conducting such games of bingo; whether a prize will be offered or given in excess of the sum or value of $250 in any single game or an aggregate of all prizes given in a series of games on a given occasion will exceed the sum or value of $1,000; and such other questions or inquiries as the Commissioner of Accounts may direct.
If the Commissioner of Accounts shall determine that the requisite conditions have been met by the applicant, he shall issue a license to the applicant for the holding, operation and conduct of the specified kinds of games of bingo applied for upon payment of a license fee or fees of $18.75 for each occasion upon which any games of bingo are to be conducted under such license, which fees are to be paid to the Commissioner of Accounts of the City of Saratoga Springs.
On or before the 30th day of each month, the Commissioner of Finance of the City of Saratoga Springs shall transmit to the State Comptroller a sum equal to 50% of all commercial lessor license fees and the sum of $11.25 per occasion of all license fees collected by the City of Saratoga Springs pursuant to this section during the preceding calendar month.
No license shall be issued under this chapter which shall be effective for a period of more than one year.
No applicant for a license hereunder shall be denied by the Commissioner of Accounts until after a hearing, held on due notice to the applicant, at which time the applicant shall be entitled to be heard upon the qualifications of the applicant and the merits of the application.
Any license issued under this chapter may be amended upon application to the Commissioner of Accounts if the subject matter of the proposed amendment could lawfully and properly have been included in the original license and upon the payment of such additional license fee, if any, as would have been payable if it had been so included.
Each license shall be in such form as shall be prescribed in the rules and regulations promulgated by the Control Commission and shall include all information required under § 483 of the General Municipal Law.
The Commissioner of Accounts, with the aid and cooperation of the Department of Police, shall have and exercise control and supervision over all games of bingo held, operated or conducted under such license and shall have the power and authority to suspend any such license and to revoke the same, after notice and hearing, for violation of any provision of such license, this chapter, §§ 475 to 499 of the General Municipal Law, as amended, or the rules and regulations of the Control Commission. The Commissioner of Accounts or any officer designated by him shall have the right of entry at any time into any premises where any such game of bingo is being held, operated or conducted or where it is intended that any such game of bingo shall be held, operated or conducted or any equipment being used or intended to be used in the conduct thereof is found, for the purpose of inspecting the same.
Pursuant to the authority granted in Article 14-H, § 485, of the General Municipal Law, the conduct of bingo games on the first day of the week, commonly known as "Sunday," is hereby authorized.
No person under the age of 18 years shall be permitted to participate in any game or games of bingo held, operated or conducted pursuant to any license issued under this chapter unless accompanied by an adult.
No game or games of bingo shall be held, operated or conducted under any license issued under this chapter more often than on six days in any one calendar month or in any room or outdoor area where alcoholic beverages are sold or served during the progress of the game or games.
No person shall hold, operate or conduct any game or games of bingo under any license issued under this chapter except an active member of the authorized organization to which the license is issued, and no person shall assist in the holding, operating or conducting of any game or games of bingo under such license except an active member or a member or an organization or association which is an auxiliary to the licensee or a member of an organization or association of which such licensee is an auxiliary or a member of an organization or association which is affiliated with the licensee by being, with it, auxiliary to another organization or association and except bookkeepers or accountants as hereinafter provided.
No such game of bingo shall be conducted with any equipment except such as shall be owned absolutely or used without payment of any compensation therefor by the licensee, and no item of expense shall be incurred or paid in connection with the holding, operating or conducting of any game of bingo held, operated or conducted pursuant to any license issued under this chapter except such as are bona fide items of reasonable amount for goods, wares and merchandise furnished or services rendered which are reasonably necessary to be purchased or furnished for the holding, operating or conducting thereof under any circumstances whatever.
No rental shall be paid for the use of any premises for holding, operating or conducting any such game of bingo thereon or for any other purpose in connection with the holding, operating or conducting thereof unless the amount of such rental is stated in a statement annexed to the application for the license as provided in § 480 of Article 14-H of the General Municipal Law or which is in excess of the sum stated as the rental to be charged therefore in such settlement.
No commission, salary, compensation, reward or recompense whatever shall be paid or given, directly or indirectly, to any person holding, operating or conducting or assisting in the holding, operation or conduct of any game of bingo so held, operated or conducted, except that reasonable compensation may be paid to bookkeepers or accountants for bookkeeping or accounting services rendered according to a schedule of compensation prescribed by the rules of the Control Commission.
No more than $1 shall be charged by any licensee for admission to any room or place in which any game or games of bingo are to be held, operated and conducted under any license issued under this chapter, which admission fee, upon payment thereof, shall entitle the person paying the same to a card entitling him to participate, without additional charge, in all regular games of bingo to be played under such license on such occasion, and no charge in excess of $1 shall be made for a single opportunity to participate in all special games to be played under such license on such occasions. All winners shall be determined and all prizes shall be awarded in any game played on any occasion 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 such game.
No game of bingo to be conducted under any license issued under this chapter shall be advertised as to the location, the time when it is to be or has been played or the prizes awarded or to be awarded by means of newspapers, radio, television or sound trucks or by means of billboards, posters or handbills or any other means addressed to the general public, except that one sign not exceeding 60 square feet in area may be displayed on or adjacent to the premises where the game will be played, and an additional sign may be displayed on or adjacent to the premises where the prize or prizes are displayed, and additional signs may be displayed upon any firefighting equipment belonging to any licensee which is a volunteer fire company or upon any first-aid or rescue squad equipment belonging to any licensee which is a first-aid or rescue squad in and throughout the community or communities served by such volunteer fire company or such first-aid or rescue squad, as the case may be.
Within seven days after the conclusion of the holding, operating and conducting of any game of bingo, the authorized organization which held, operated or conducted the same and its members who were in charge thereof shall furnish to the Commissioner of Accounts a duly verified statement showing the amount of the gross receipts derived from each game of bingo, which shall include receipts from the sale of shares, tickets or rights in any manner connected with participation in said game or the right to participate therein, each item of expense incurred or paid and each item of expenditure made or to be made, the name and address of each person to whom each such item has been paid or is to be paid with a detailed description of the merchandise purchased or the services rendered therefor, the net profit derived from each game of bingo and the use to which such net profit has been or is to be applied and a list of prizes offered and given, with the respective values thereof, and it shall be the duty of such licensee to maintain and keep such books and records as may be necessary to substantiate the particulars of each such report.
The Commissioner of Accounts and the Control Commission shall have the power to examine or cause to be examined the books and records of any authorized organization to which any such license is issued so far as they may relate to any transactions connected with the holding, operating and conducting of any game of bingo thereunder and to examine any manager, officer, director, agent, member or employee thereof, under oath, in relation to the conduct of any such game of bingo under any such license, but any information so received shall not be disclosed except so far as may be necessary for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this chapter and Article 19-B of the Executive Law.
Any applicant for or holder of any licenses issued or to be issued under this chapter aggrieved by any action of the City, its officers or agents concerning an application which has been made or a license which has been issued may appeal to the Control Commission from the determination of the City, its officers or agents by filing with the Commissioner of Accounts a written notice of appeal within 30 days after the determination or action appealed from. Upon the hearing of such appeal, the evidence, if any, taken before the Commissioner of Accounts 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 Control Commission upon said appeal shall be binding upon the City and all parties to said appeal.
No person or corporation lawfully conducting or participating in the conduct of bingo or permitting the conduct upon any premises owned by him or it of any game of bingo conducted or to be conducted under any license lawfully issued pursuant to this chapter 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 chapter, but this immunity shall not extend to any person or corporation knowingly conducting or participating in the conduct of bingo under any license obtained by any false pretense or by any false statement made in any application for such license, or otherwise, or permitting the conduct upon any premises owned by him or it of any game of bingo conducted under any license known to him or it to have been obtained by any such false pretense or statement.
Any person, association or corporation who or which shall make false statement in any application for any such license or in any statement annexed thereto or shall pay any rental for the use of any premises for holding, operating or conducting any game of bingo under this chapter or for any other purpose in connection with the holding, operating or conducting thereof, unless the amount of such rental is stated in a statement annexed to the application for the license as provided in § 79-3 of this chapter, or shall pay or receive any sum for such rental in excess of the sum stated as the rental to be charged therefor in such statement executed by him or on its behalf or shall fail to keep such books and records as shall fully and truly record all transactions connected with the holding, operating and conducting of games of bingo under any such license or shall falsify or make any false entry in any book or record so far as it relates to any transaction connected with the holding, operating or conducting of any game of bingo under any such license or shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or of any term of such license shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall forfeit any license issued to it under this chapter and be ineligible to apply for a license under this chapter for one year thereafter.
This chapter may be amended, from time to time, or repealed by the City Council, 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 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 shall not be a condition prerequisite to the taking effect of such local law or ordinance.