[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Williamson 8-8-1978 by L.L. No. 5-1978. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Games of chance — See Ch. 97.
The Town Board finds the raising of funds for the promotion of bona fide charitable, educational, scientific, health, religious, patriotic and other worthy causes, where the beneficiaries are indefinite, 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 regulation of bingo to prevent commercialized gambling, prevent participation by criminal and other undesirable elements and prevent the diversion of funds from the purposes herein authorized.
This chapter is subject and subordinate to all the conditions and provisions contained in Article 14-H of the General Municipal Law, and amendments thereto, and any and all rules and regulations and opinions adopted or to be adopted by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
As used in this chapter, the terms "Control Commission or Commission," "bingo or game," "authorized organization," "Bingo Control Law," "lawful purposes," "net lease," "net proceeds," "authorized commercial lessor" and "limited period bingo" shall have the meanings designated in the definitions set forth in Article 14-H of the General Municipal Law.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- LICENSED PERIOD
- A period of time not to exceed 12 consecutive hours.
- The Town Clerk of the Town of Williamson or a Deputy Town Clerk shall be the "officer" designated in Article 14-H of the General Municipal Law as the chief law enforcement officer of this municipality.
- STATE BOARD
- The New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
- TOWN BOARD
- The Town Board of the Town of Williamson.
- TOWN CLERK
- The Town Clerk of the Town of Williamson and, for the purposes of this chapter, the chief law enforcement officer thereof.
Words singular in form may include the plural, words plural in form may include the singular, and words in the masculine gender shall include the feminine and neuter genders.
The Town Clerk is hereby delegated the authority granted to the Town Board by Article 14-H of the General Municipal Law, entitled "Local Option for Conduct of Bingo Games by Certain Organizations," in relation to the issuance, amendment and cancellation of licenses, the conduct of investigations and hearings and the collection and transmission of fees.
No person, firm, association, corporation or organization other than an authorized organization licensed under the provisions of this chapter shall be permitted to conduct bingo games within the territorial limits of the Town of Williamson.
Each applicant for a license, after obtaining an identification number from the State Board, shall file with the Town Clerk a written application therefor, in a form to be prescribed by the State Board or the Town Clerk, duly executed and verified, in which shall be stated:
The name and address of the applicant, together with sufficient facts relating to its incorporation and organization to enable the Town Clerk to determine whether or not it is a bona fide authorized organization.
The names and addresses of its officers and the place where and the date and time when the applicant intends to conduct bingo games under the license applied for.
The amount of rent to be paid or other consideration to be given, directly or indirectly, for each occasion for use of the premises of another authorized organization licensed under this chapter to conduct bingo games or for the use of the premises of an authorized commercial lessor.
All the other items of expense intended to be incurred or paid in connection with the holding, operating and conducting of bingo games, and the names and addresses of the persons to whom and the purposes for which they are to be paid.
The purposes to which the entire net proceeds of the bingo games are to be devoted and in what manner; and that no commission, salary, compensation, reward or recompense will be paid to any person for conducting bingo games or for assisting therein, except as otherwise provided in Article 14-H of the General Municipal Law.
That no member of the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime, or, if convicted, that he has received a pardon or a certificate of good conduct.
Any other information as shall be prescribed by the rules and regulations promulgated by the State Board.
In each application there shall be designated an active member or members of the applicant organization under whom the game or games of bingo will be conducted, and to the application shall be appended a statement executed by the member or members so designated that they will be responsible for the conduct of such bingo games in accordance with the terms of the license, Article 14-H of the General Municipal Law, the provisions of this chapter and the rules and regulations of the State Board.
Each applicant for a license to lease premises to a licensed organization for the purposes of conducting bingo games therein shall file with the Town Clerk a written application therefor in a form to be prescribed by the State Board or the Town Clerk, 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 Article 14-H of the General Municipal Law.
Any other information as shall be prescribed by the State Board and the provisions of this chapter.
Lawful capacity for public assembly purposes.
Cost of premises and assessed valuation, for real estate purposes, or annual net lease rent, whichever is applicable.
Gross rental received and itemized expenses for the immediately preceding calendar or fiscal year, if any.
Gross rentals, if any, derived from bingo during the last preceding calendar or fiscal year.
Computation by which proposed rental schedule was determined.
Number of occasions on which applicant anticipates receiving rent for bingo during the ensuing year, or shorter period if applicable, and proposed rent for each such occasion.
Estimated gross rental income from all other sources during the ensuing year.
Estimated expenses itemized for ensuing year and amount of each item allocated to bingo rentals.
At the end of each license period, a recapitulation, in a manner prescribed in the rules and regulations of the Commission, shall be made as between the licensee and the Town of Williamson in respect of the gross rental actually received during the license 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 Commission, by rules and regulations, shall prescribe.
No person, firm, association, corporation or organization other than a licensee under the provisions of this chapter shall conduct a bingo game or shall lease or otherwise make available for conducting bingo games a hall or other premises for any consideration whatsoever, directly or indirectly, except as provided in § 63-5 of this chapter.
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 this chapter shall purchase or receive any supplies or equipment specifically designed or adapted for use in the conduct of bingo games from other than an authorized 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 purpose 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 as set forth in § 63-12 of this chapter.
No person shall receive any remuneration for participating in the management or operation of any game of bingo.
The conduct of games of bingo on Sunday is only permitted when it is specifically provided for in the license issued. No games of bingo, however, shall be conducted on Easter Sunday, Christmas Day or New Year's Eve.
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 State Board.
The Town Clerk shall make an investigation of the qualifications of each applicant and the merits of each application with due expedition after the filing of the application.
If the Town Clerk shall determine that the applicant is duly qualified to be licensed to conduct bingo under this chapter; that the member or members of the applicant designated in the application to conduct bingo 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 or a certificate of good conduct; that such games of bingo are to be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and in accordance with the rules and regulations of the State Board; that the proceeds thereof are to be disposed of as provided by this chapter; and if the Town Clerk is satisfied that no commission, salary, compensation, reward or recompense whatsoever shall be paid or given to any person holding, operating, conducting or assisting in holding, operating or conducting any games of bingo, except as otherwise provided in this chapter; and that no prize will be given in excess of the sum or value of $250 in any single game of bingo and that the aggregate of all prizes given on one occasion under said license shall not exceed the sum or value of $1,000, the Town Clerk shall issue a license to the applicant for the conduct of games of bingo, upon payment of a license fee of $12.50 for each license period; provided, however, that the Town Clerk shall refuse to issue a license to an applicant seeking to conduct bingo in premises of a licensed commercial lessor where he determines that the premises presently owned or occupied by said applicant are in every respect adequate and suitable for conducting bingo games.
If the Town Clerk shall determine that the applicant seeking to lease a hall or premises for the conduct of games of bingo to an authorized organization is duly qualified to be licensed under this chapter; that the applicant satisfies the requirements for an authorized commercial lessor, as defined in Article 14-H of the General Municipal Law; that the Town Clerk shall find and determine that there is a public need and that a public advantage will be served by the issuance of the license; that the applicant has filed its proposed rent for each game of bingo occasion; that there is no diversion of the funds of the proposed lessee from the lawful purposes as defined in Article 14-H of the General Municipal Law; and that the leasing of a hall or premises for the conduct of games of bingo is to be in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and in accordance with the rules and regulations of the State Board, he shall issue a license permitting the applicant to lease said premises for the conduct of games of bingo to the authorized organization set forth in the application during the period therein specified, or such shorter period as the Town Clerk shall determine but not to exceed one year, upon payment of a license fee of $10, plus an amount based upon the aggregate rent specified in the license and determined in accordance with the following schedule:
Under this chapter, no license shall be issued which shall be effective for a period of more than one year.
No application for the issuance of a license to an authorized organization shall be denied by the Town Clerk until after a hearing is held, upon due notice to the applicant, at which time the applicant shall be entitled to be heard upon its qualifications and the merits of the application.
Any applicant for or holder of any license hereunder, aggrieved by any action of the Town Clerk to which an application has been made or by which a license has been issued, may appeal to the State Board from the determination of the Town Clerk by filing with the Town Clerk 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 the Town Clerk and any additional evidence may be produced and shall be considered in arriving at a determination of the matters in issue. The action of the State Board upon said appeal shall be binding upon the Town Clerk and all parties to said appeal.
Any license issued hereunder may be amended upon application to the Town Clerk if the subject matter of the proposed amendment could lawfully and properly have been included in the original license and upon payment of any additional license fee as would have been payable if it had been so included.
Each license to conduct bingo shall be in a form as shall be prescribed in the rules and regulations promulgated by the State Board or the Town Clerk and shall contain a statement of the name and address of the licensee, the name and address of each member of the licensee under whom the games of bingo shall be conducted, of the place where and the date and time when the games of bingo are to be conducted and of the purposes to which the entire net proceeds of the games of bingo are to be devoted. If any prizes are to be given in cash, a statement of the amounts of the prizes authorized so to be given and any other information which may be required by said rules and regulations shall be contained therein. Each license issued for the conduct of any games of bingo shall be conspicuously displayed at the place where same is to be conducted at all times during the conduct thereof.
Each license to lease premises for conducting bingo will be in a form as shall be prescribed in the rules and regulations of the State Board or the Town Clerk 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 other information which may be required by said rules and regulations. Each license shall be conspicuously displayed upon the premises at all times during the conduct of the games of bingo.
The officer shall have and exercise rigid control and close supervision over all games of bingo conducted under each license to the end that the same are fairly conducted in accordance with the provisions of said license, the provisions of this chapter and the provisions of the rules and regulations promulgated by the State Board. The officer and the State Board shall have the power and authority to temporarily suspend any license issued by the Town Clerk pending a hearing. The officer and State Board shall have the right of entry, by their respective officers and agents, at all times, into any premises where any game of bingo is being conducted or intended to be conducted or where any equipment being used or intended to be used in the conduct thereof is found, for the purpose of inspecting same. An agent of the appropriate officer shall make an on-site inspection during the conduct of all games of bingo licensed pursuant to this chapter.
No game or games of bingo shall be conducted in any room or outdoor area where alcoholic beverages are sold, served or consumed during the progress of the game or games.
Within seven days after the conclusion of any occasion of bingo, the authorized organization which conducted the games of bingo and its members who were in charge thereof and, when applicable, the authorized organization which rented its premises therefor shall each furnish to the State Board, with a copy to the Town Clerk, a statement subscribed by the member in charge and affirmed by him as true, under the penalties of perjury, showing the amount of the gross receipts derived therefrom, each item of expense incurred or paid, each item of expenditure made or to be made, the name and address of each person to whom each 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 the games of bingo or rent therefrom during the use to which such proceeds have been or are to be applied, and a list of the prizes and the values thereof offered and given. It shall he the duty of each licensee to maintain and keep such books and records as may be necessary to substantiate the particulars of each statement of receipts.
Upon filing the statement of receipts, the authorized organization furnishing same shall pay to the Town Clerk as and for an additional license fee a sum based upon the reported net proceeds, if any, for the covered period by the statement and determined in accordance with such schedule as shall be established from time to time by the State Board to defray the actual cost to the Town of Williamson of administering the provisions of this chapter.
The Town Clerk and the State Board shall have the power to examine or cause to be examined the books and records of the following. Any information so received shall not be disclosed except for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this chapter.
Any authorized organization which is and has been licensed to conduct games of bingo so far as they may relate to games of bingo, including the maintenance, control and disposition of the net proceeds derived from games of bingo or from the use of its premises for games of bingo, and to examine any manager, officer, director, agent, member or employee thereof under oath in relation to the conduct of any games of bingo under any license, the use of its premises for games of bingo or the disposition of the net proceeds derived from games of bingo, as the case may be.
Any authorized commercial lessor so far as the same may relate to leasing premises for games of bingo and to examine said lessor or any manager, officer, director, agent or employee thereof under oath in relation to said leasing.
No person under the age of 18 years shall be permitted to play any game of bingo conducted pursuant to any license issued under this chapter unless accompanied by an adult. No person under the age of 18 years shall be permitted to conduct or assist in the conduct of any game of bingo conducted pursuant to any license issued under this chapter.
No games of bingo, except limited period bingo, shall be conducted under any license issued under this chapter more often than on six days in any one calendar month. No game or games of limited period bingo shall be conducted between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 12:00 noon, and no more than 60 games may be conducted on any single occasion of limited period bingo.
No person shall hold, operate or conduct any 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 holding, operating or conducting of any games of bingo under any license except an active member or a member of an organization or association of which such licensee is an auxiliary or 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.
No games of bingo shall be conducted with any equipment except that owned or leased by the authorized organization so licensed or used without payment of any compensation therefor by the licensee.
No items of expense shall be incurred or paid in connection with the conducting of any game of bingo pursuant to any license issued under this chapter except those that are reasonable and are necessarily expended for games of bingo supplies and equipment; prizes; stated rental, if any; bookkeeping or accounting services according to a schedule of compensation prescribed by the State Board; janitorial services and utility supplies, if any, license fees; and the cost of bus transportation if authorized by the State Board.
Not more than $1 shall be charged by any licensee for admission to any room or place in which games of bingo are to be conducted under any license issued under this chapter, which admission fee, upon payment thereof, shall entitle the person paying the same 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 occasion. In the conduct of limited period bingo, no admission fee shall be charged; not more than $0.15 shall be charged for a single opportunity to participate in any one game, which charge, upon payment thereof, shall entitle the person paying the same to one card for participation in one such game; and no licensee shall sell more than three opportunities to each player participating in any one game. Every winner shall be determined and every prize shall be awarded and delivered on the same calendar day as the game was played.
No games of bingo conducted or to be conducted in the Town of Williamson shall be advertised as to its location, the time when it is to be or has been played, the prizes awarded or to be awarded, or the transportation facilities to be provided to such games, by means of newspaper, 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 owned or occupied by a licensed authorized organization, and, when an organization is licensed to conduct games of bingo on premises of an authorized commercial lessor, one additional such sign may be displayed on or adjacent to the premises in which the games are to be conducted. Additional signs may be displayed upon any fire-fighting equipment belonging to any licensee which is a volunteer fire company or upon any 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.
No person, association, corporation or organization lawfully conducting or participating in the conduct of games of bingo or permitting the conduct of games of bingo or permitting the conduct upon any premises owned or leased by him or it under any license issued hereunder 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. However, this immunity shall not extend to any person or corporation knowingly conducting or participating in the conduct of games of bingo under any license obtained by any false pretense or by any false statement made in any application for a 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.
Any person, association, corporation or organization who or which shall make any material false statement in any application for any license issued pursuant to this chapter; shall pay or receive a rental in excess of the amount specified as the permissible rent in the license provided for in § 63-8 for the use of any premises for conducting games of bingo; shall fail to keep such books and records as shall fully and truly record all transactions connected with the conducting of games of bingo or the leasing of premises to be used for the conduct of games of bingo; shall falsify or make any false entry in any books or records so far as they relate in any manner to the conduct of games of bingo, to the disposition of the proceeds thereof and to the application of the rents received by any authorized organization; or shall divert or pay any portion of the net proceeds of any game of bingo to any person, association or corporation, except in furtherance of one or more of the lawful purposes defined in this chapter, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall forfeit any license issued under this chapter for at least one year thereafter.
Any person, association, corporation or organization holding, operating or conducting games of bingo shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, except when operating, holding or conducting:
In accordance with a valid license issued pursuant to this chapter; 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:
The organization has applied for and received an identification number from the State Board.
No player or other person furnishes anything of value for the opportunity to participate.
The prizes awarded or to be awarded are nominal.
No person other than a bona fide active member of the organization participates in the conduct of the games of bingo.
No person is paid for conducting or assisting in the conduct of games of bingo.
No alcoholic beverage shall be sold, served or consumed in any room or outdoor area where a game or games of bingo are being conducted.
No alcoholic beverage shall be offered or given as a prize in any game of bingo.
The unauthorized conduct of a game of bingo shall constitute and be punishable as a misdemeanor.
This chapter shall take effect immediately upon filing with the appropriate state authorities, following its approval at referendum by a majority of qualified voters voting thereon at a general election held pursuant to the provisions of the Town Law.
Editor's Note: This local law was approved at referendum 11-7-1978.