Town of Elmira, NY
Chemung County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Elmira 11-18-1991 by L.L. No. 2-1991. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Bingo — See Ch. 68.
This chapter shall be known and be cited as "An Ordinance Authorizing the Conduct of Games of Chance by Certain Organizations."
The Town Board hereby declares that the raising of funds for the promotion of bona fide charitable, education, scientific, health, religious and patriotic causes and undertakings, where the beneficiaries are undetermined, may be in the best public interest.
The words and terms used in this chapter shall have the same meanings as such words and terms as are defined in Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law, as amended.
A. 
"Games of chance" shall mean and include only the games known as "merchandise wheels" and "bell jars" and such other games as may be authorized by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board in which prizes are awarded on the basis of a designated winning number or numbers, color or colors, symbol or symbols determined by chance, but not including games commonly known as "bingo" or "lotto," as controlled by Article 14-H of the General Municipal Law, as amended, "slot machines," "bookmaking," "policy or numbers games," and "lottery" as defined in § 225.00 of the Penal Law. No games of chance shall involve wagering of money by one player against another player.
B. 
"Bell jars" shall mean and include those games in which a participant shall draw from a jar or other suitable container a card which contains numbers, colors or symbols that are covered and which, when uncovered, may reveal that a prize shall be awarded on the basis of a designated winning number, color or symbol or combination of numbers, colors or symbols.
C. 
Games of chance shall also include any other games of chance now or hereafter authorized by § 186(3) of the General Municipal Law.
"Authorized organization" shall mean an authorized organization as defined in Subdivision (4) of § 186 of the General Municipal Law as follows:
(4)
"Authorized organization" shall mean and include any bona fide religious or charitable organization or bona fide educational, fraternal or service organization or bona fide organization of veterans or volunteer firemen, which by its charter, certificate of incorporation, constitution or act of the legislature shall have among its dominant purposes one or more of the lawful purposes as defined in this article, provided that each shall operate without profit to its members, and provided that each such organization has engaged in serving one or more of the lawful purposes as defined in this article for a period of three years immediately prior to applying for a license under this article.
No organization shall be deemed an authorized organization which is formed primarily for the purpose of conducting games of chance and which does not devote at least 75% of its activities to other than conducting games of chance. No political party shall be deemed an authorized organization.
Any authorized organization applying to the Town Clerk for a license to conduct games of chance shall file with such Clerk, after obtaining an identification number from the Board, an application form which has been approved by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, Bureau of Games of Chance Regulation, and as the same may be changed by that Board from time to time. Any license thereupon issued by the Town Clerk must conform and meet the requirements of Article 9-A and the rules and regulations of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board and of this chapter.
A. 
The Town Clerk shall make an investigation of the qualifications of each applicant and the merits of each application with due expedition after filing of the application.
B. 
If such Clerk shall determine that the applicant is duly qualified to be licensed to conduct games of chance; 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 chapter and Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law, as amended, and in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Board; and that the proceeds thereof are to be disposed of as provided by this law; and, if such Clerk is satisfied that no commission, salary, compensation, reward, or recompense whatever will be paid or given to any person operating or assisting, except as otherwise provided by law, 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.
C. 
No license shall be issued which shall be effective for a period of more than one year.
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 and the merits of the application.
B. 
Any license issued may be amended, upon the application made to such Clerk which issued it, 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 been so included.
Each license to conduct games of chance shall be in such form as provided in the rules and regulations promulgated by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, and the contents thereof shall conform to the provisions as contained in Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law, as amended. The license shall be conspicuously displayed at the place where the same is to be conducted at all times during the conduct thereof.
[Amended 8-20-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
A. 
Games of chance may not be conducted on Sunday pursuant to this chapter; when games of chance are held on Saturday, all activity concerning the games of chance shall terminate at 12:00 midnight. Notwithstanding the above, no games of chance shall be conducted on Easter Sunday or Christmas Day.
B. 
No game or games of chance shall be conducted under any license issued under this article more often than 12 times in any calendar year. No particular premises shall be used for the conduct of games of chance during 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 above restrictions shall not apply when only the games of chance known as the "bell jar" and/or "raffle" are conducted.
The conduct of games of chance shall be subject to the following restrictions:
A. 
No person, firm, partnership, corporation or organization, other than a licensee under the provisions of § 191 of the General Municipal Law, shall conduct such game or shall lease or otherwise make available for conducting games of chance premises for any consideration whatsoever, direct or indirect.
B. 
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.
C. 
No single prize awarded by games of chance other than raffle shall exceed the sum or value of $300, except that for merchandise wheels, no single prize shall exceed the sum or value of $250. No single prize awarded by raffle shall exceed the sum or value of $50,000, except that an authorized organization may award by raffle a single prize having a value of up to and including $100,000 if its application for a license filed pursuant to General Municipal Law § 190 includes a statement of its intent to award a prize having such value. For bell jars, coin jars or merchandise boards, no single prize shall exceed the sum or value of $500. No single wager shall exceed $6; provided, however, that such limitation shall not apply to the amount of money or value paid by the participant in a raffle in return for a ticket or other receipt.
[Amended 8-20-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
D. 
No authorized organization shall award a series of prizes consisting of cash or of merchandise with an aggregate value in excess of $10,000 during successive operations of any one merchandise wheel, and $3,000 during the successive operations of any bell jar, coin board or merchandise board. No series of prizes awarded by raffle shall have an aggregate value in excess of $100,000. For coin boards and merchandise boards, the value of a prize shall be determined by its cost to the authorized organization or, if donated, its fair market value.
[Amended 8-20-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
E. 
In addition to merchandise wheels, raffles and bell jars, no more than five other single types of games of chance shall be conducted during any one license period.
[Amended 8-20-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
F. 
No person except a bona fide member of any such organization shall participate in the management or operation of any such game.
G. 
No person shall receive any remuneration for participating in the management or operation of any such games.
H. 
The unauthorized conduct of games of chance and any willful violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute and be punishable as a misdemeanor.
I. 
No games 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 such game.
J. 
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 games of chance from other than a supplier licensed by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board or from another authorized organization.
K. 
Except for merchandise wheels and raffles, no series of prizes on any one occasion shall aggregate more than $400 when the licensed authorized organization conducts five single types of games of chance during any one license period. Except for merchandise wheels, raffles and bell jars, no series of prizes on any one occasion shall aggregate more than $500 when the licensed authorized organization conducts fewer than five single types of games of chance, exclusive of merchandise wheels, raffles and bell jars during any one license period. No authorized organization shall award by raffle prizes with an aggregate value in excess of $100,000 during any one license period.
[Amended 8-20-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
L. 
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.
M. 
No authorized organization shall extend credit to a person to participate in playing a game of chance.
N. 
No game of chance shall be conducted on other than the premises of an authorized organization or an authorized games of chance lessor.
O. 
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 chapter. 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 chapter or to assist therein.
P. 
In addition to the foregoing restrictions, any other restrictions contained in Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law, as amended, not here and before referred to shall be applicable and are referred to as if set forth at length herein.
The Town Bingo and Games of Chance Inspector shall have and exercise rigid control and close supervision over all games of chance conducted under such license, to the end that the games 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 chapter and Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law, as amended. Such duly appointed enforcement officer and the Town Board shall have the power and authority to temporarily suspend any license issued by the Clerk pending a hearing. After notice and hearing, the Clerk or the Town Board may suspend or revoke the same and, additionally, 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. The Town Board or any enforcement officer duly appointed by it may make an on-site inspection during the conduct of all games of chance licensed pursuant to this article
A fee may be charged by any licensee for admission to any game or games of chance conducted under any license issued under this chapter. 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.
[Amended 8-20-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
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, shall furnish 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 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 a list or prizes offered and given, with the respective values thereof. 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. Upon the filing of such statement of receipts, the authorized organization furnishing the same shall pay to the Town Clerk, as and for an additional license fee, a sum equal to 5% of the reported net proceeds, if any, for the license period covered by such statement. This requirement shall not apply to the net proceeds from the sale of bell jar tickets. No fee shall be required where the net proceeds or net profits derived from the conduct of a raffle or raffles are less than $30,000 during any one occasion. This requirement shall not apply to the net proceeds from the sale of bell jar tickets. No fee shall be required where the net proceeds or net profits derived from the conduct of a raffle or raffles are less than $30,000 during any one occasion.
A licensee may advertise the conduct of games of chance to the general public only by means permitted by the General Municipal Law Article 9-A[1] as limited by Chapter 217, Zoning, of the Town Code and any other applicable ordinances or local laws of the Town of Elmira in existence now or as hereinafter amended.
[1]
Editor's Note: See General Municipal Law § 195-e.
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 Subdivision 19 of General Municipal Law § 186; 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 or the sale of any other alcoholic beverage on premises where only the game of chance known as the "bell jar" is conducted.
The Town Board of the Town of Elmira may, pursuant to § 188-a of the General Municipal Law, as amended, delegate to an officer or officers of such Town designated by the Town Board for such purpose any of the authority granted to such governing body by said Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law, as amended, in relation to the issuance, amendment and cancellation of licenses, the conduct of investigations and hearings, the supervision of the operation of the games, and the collection and transmission of fees.
The making of any false statement in any application for a license or in any statement annexed thereto, or any other violation of the provisions of Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law, as amended, or any violation of the terms of such a license, shall constitute a misdemeanor, and shall subject the offender to forfeiture of licenses, and shall render the offender ineligible to apply for a license for one year thereafter, all pursuant to the provisions of § 195-j of the General Municipal Law, as amended.
No person shall operate any game of chance and no game of chance shall be conducted with any equipment except as authorized by § 195-c.1 of the General Municipal Law.
The Town Bingo and Games of Chance Inspector shall be required to exercise control over all games of chance conducted under a duly authorized license. The Inspector shall have all those powers and duties set forth in and for the enforcement of Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law.
This chapter shall be applicable to all territory within the limits of the Town of Elmira, outside of the Village of Elmira Heights.