Town of Bethel, CT
Fairfield County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Bethel 4-13-1982. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Zoning — See Ch. 118.

§ 38-1 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AMUSEMENT DEVICE
Includes the following: any machine, game, table or other device which is designed, operated, displayed or kept as an amusement game or test of skill and for the playing of which the person may or may not profit from such operation and which is operated by the general public for use as a game, entertainment or amusement, whether or not registering a score. The term does not include vending machines in which are not incorporated recreation or amusement features, nor does it include mechanical musical devices or games of chance or skill operated at and in conjunction with a permitted carnival and/or fair. It shall include devices such as electronic games, skill ball, mechanical grab machines, video games and all devices similar thereto under whatever name they may be indicated.
CHIEF or CHIEF OF POLICE
The Chief of Police of the Town of Bethel and/or his delegatees.
DISTRIBUTOR
Any person who owns, leases or otherwise sets up for operation any machine or device regulated herein. The term "distribute or distribution" shall mean the actual placing of any such device, within the Town of Bethel, not being used and/or operated by the distributor. A person owning and operating a machine shall be considered an operator.
PERSON
Includes the following: any person, firm, business entity, partnership, corporation or association which owns, leases or distributes amusement devices housed or to be housed in a premises within the geographical confines of the Town of Bethel for use by the general public, and any person, firm, business entity, partnership, corporation or association having control over such devices.
PLACE OF BUSINESS or PREMISES
Any building, hall, auditorium, government building, school or place where an amusement device is to be housed, placed, used or operated, except that a premises used solely for residential and/or industrial purposes shall not be included herein and regulated hereunder.
SUFFICIENT CAUSE
The bona fide belief by the Chief of Police that the applicant as a licensee has not or would not conform to and operate under the mandates of this chapter. In forming this belief, the Chief may take into consideration the applicants previous history as a licensee and/or criminal record. The Chief may also take into consideration any other information he or his delegatees learn during the course of the investigation of the application.
TOWN
The Town of Bethel, State of Connecticut.
USE AND/OR OPERATE
The placing for use by the general public, within a premises located in the Town, of an amusement device by any person. The term "operator" shall mean any person in whose place of business or premises any such game or device is placed for use by the general public.

§ 38-2 License required.

No person without a license from the Town shall distribute, use and/or operate or allow the distribution, use and/or operation of amusement devices or machines, as defined in § 38-1, within a place of business or premises located within the Town of Bethel.

§ 38-3 Application for license; issuance.

A. 
The issuance of such license shall be within the discretion of the Chief of Police and/or his delegatees within his department. Such license to distribute, use and/or operate may be for one day, one week, one month or for any number of months not exceeding one year and shall be issued in the name of the applicant. All such licenses issued or reissued hereunder shall run from the date of issuance by the Chief of Police to June 30 of each year. Such licenses may be renewed any number of times but may not be transferred. Such Chief of Police and/or his delegatees are authorized to require the applicant, either for a license or for a renewal of such license or whether for a person distributing or using and/or operating such devices, to submit evidence as said Chief shall require to attest to the fitness of the applicant and/or to show that the operation of same shall not create a nuisance or be detrimental to the health, welfare or safety of the general public. The applicant must also submit evidence that all other Town ordinances or regulations, including but not limited to zoning regulations, have been complied with. Such evidence shall include at least the following, where applicable:
(1) 
The name, address and telephone number of the applicant and the owner of the device if not the applicant.
(2) 
The location and phone number of the premises where the operated amusement device is to be located.
(3) 
The principal kind of business which shall be conducted on the premises.
(4) 
A statement of whether business at the premises will be conducted by a manager or agent, and the name, address and phone number of any such manager or agent.
(5) 
A diagram showing the number of operated amusement devices to be located on the premises, the square footage of the premises, the location of each device on the premises and a description of each device.
(6) 
If a corporation, set forth the following:
(a) 
The corporate name and address.
(b) 
The date and place of incorporation.
(c) 
The names and addresses of corporate officers and directors.
(d) 
The names and addresses of all persons or legal entities owning 5% or more of the corporation's stock.
(7) 
If a partnership, set forth the following:
(a) 
The date and place when partnership was formed.
(b) 
The names of all general partners.
(c) 
If a limited partnership, the names of all limited partners owning 5% or more interest in the partnership.
(8) 
State whether any individual, partner, officer or shareholder has ever been convicted of any criminal offense in any state or federal court or has ever forfeited an appearance bond on a felony charge.
(9) 
If the business on the subject premises will be conducted by a manager or agent, state whether the manager or agent has ever been convicted of any criminal offenses in any state or federal court or has ever forfeited an appearance bond on a felony charge.
(10) 
If the application is for the right to distribute, the applicant shall list all devices and locations thereof within the Town of Bethel.
B. 
Applications for such license shall be made out in duplicate, one copy being referred to the Chief of Police and the other copy to be referred to Bethel's Planning and Zoning Commission. The application shall be investigated by the Chief of Police and a license or renewal of the same issued or denied within 21 days upon submission of proof that the licensee has received the necessary approvals from the Planning and Zoning Commission, if required, and a state sales tax number, if required. Each applicant for or holder of a distributor's or operator's license shall notify the Chief of Police promptly of any change in information set forth in the applications. At the discretion of the Chief of Police, applications for renewal need only include information requested by said Chief. No application for a license or renewal shall be granted unless the applicant and all operators are over the age of majority and persons of good moral character and the business or activity carried on in such location is a bona fide and lawful one.

§ 38-4 Denial of issuance or renewal of license.

The Chief of Police may, for sufficient cause, deny to issue any of the applications for licenses or renewals herein provided for. Such denials shall be made within the time allowed pursuant to § 38-3, shall be in writing and shall state the reasons for the denial. Any applicant so denied shall have the right to present the application, with all evidence germane thereto, to the full Board of Selectmen of the Town of Bethel for its review at a hearing called for the purpose of reviewing such evidence. The applicant shall be given reasonable notice of the date, time and place of such hearing. The hearing shall take place within 30 days of the date the applicant requests same. The Board of Selectmen shall, within 14 days of the close of such hearing, issue or deny the issuance of such license.

§ 38-5 Duties of licensee.

A. 
It shall be unlawful to permit gambling on the premises where an operated amusement device is located. Any operator or attendant who observes any gambling on such premises or has reasonable grounds to suspect that gambling is taking place shall immediately cause the removal from the premises of such persons as are involved in the gambling activity.
B. 
The operator or an attendant shall be on the premises where any operated amusement device is located at all times during which the premises is open to the public and shall be in such a position as to have a clear view of all of the operated amusement devices and activity taking place on the premises.
C. 
It shall be unlawful for the operator hereunder to permit such noise, either by mechanical means or noise on the part of the patrons, which shall cause a disturbance to the adjacent and surrounding uses as would cause the normal operation or enjoyment of said uses to be damaged or unreasonably disturbed.
D. 
The licensee shall cause the premises where an operated amusement device is located to remain in a clean and sanitary condition at all times and shall place such waste receptacles in and around the premises so as to accomplish the above.
E. 
A licensee shall provide adequate and orderly parking for all bicycles and shall keep any storefront unobstructed so that the sidewalks are clear and open to pedestrian traffic.
F. 
A licensee shall not allow the use and/or operation by persons under the age of 16 years of age of such devices after 12:00 midnight. A licensee shall not allow truants to operate such devices during the hours in which the Bethel Public Schools are in session.
G. 
Each licensee shall have the affirmative duty to report to the Police Department any and all incidents of disorderly conduct as defined and regulated in this Code of Ordinances or the laws of the State of Connecticut and which take place within the premises or outside such premises personally observed, or upon observation or notification. Failure to report to the police as herein provided shall be deemed sufficient cause to revoke the license issued hereunder.

§ 38-6 Gambling prohibited.

Nothing contained in this chapter shall in any way be construed to authorize, license or permit the operation of any gambling devices or any mechanism judicially determined to be a gambling device or declared contrary to law. Any violation of this section or those of § 38-5 shall be deemed sufficient cause to revoke the license issued hereunder.

§ 38-7 Inspection of premises.

Each licensee shall permit inspection of any premises where an operated amusement device is located during regular business hours by Town officials to determine compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

§ 38-8 Fees; revocation of license; display of license.

A. 
Every person so licensed shall pay, upon issuance for the use and/or operation of such devices, a fee of $5 per month, or any part thereof, per machine, with a maximum of $25 per device per year. Every person so licensed for the distribution of such devices shall pay a fee of $100 per year. No refunds shall be allowable for unused portions of the fee paid. Any person requiring a license for both the distribution and the use and/or operation shall pay the lesser of the two fees, provided that the person operates said devices in only one location. If the person operates devices in more than one premises, then the fee shall be determined by the number of devices so used and/or operated in all locations.
B. 
Such license fee shall not apply to the use by any bona fide charitable, civic, governmental, educational, fraternal or religious organization situated in the Town of Bethel.
C. 
Such license shall be subject to revocation by said Chief of Police or his delegatees at any time for sufficient cause. Within the discretion of the Chief of Police, such revocation may be permanent or for a specified time and not less than 14 days nor more than the remaining time frame between the revocation and the termination of the license by reason of lapse of time. Upon such revocation, the licensee shall have the same rights to a full hearing as set forth in § 38-4 hereof, with said Board either reissuing or denying to reissue the revoked license within the same time period as called for therein.
D. 
All licenses issued hereunder shall be displayed within the premises in a permanent place and in a manner that is visible to the general public.

§ 38-9 Conditions for license and operation; violations and penalties.

A. 
No person shall be granted a license under this chapter unless a valid sales tax permit from the State of Connecticut has been issued to that person.
B. 
No person shall use and/or operate such devices unless in compliance with all other Town ordinances or regulations.
C. 
Every person who shall violate the provisions of this chapter shall be liable to a fine not exceeding $100 each day per violation. Each day on which a person shall violate the provisions of this chapter shall be considered a separate violation.

§ 38-10 Substitution of devices.

One amusement device may be substituted by a licensee for another similar machine or device under said license, but in the event of a sale or transfer of the business by the distributor or operator, a new license shall be obtained by the transferee prior to conducting business within the Town.

§ 38-11 Severability.

If any section or part of this chapter shall be held invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such holding shall not affect the remainder of this chapter, except to the extent that the entire section or part of a section may be inseparably connected in meaning and effect with the section or part of the section to which such ruling shall directly apply.