[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Yonkers 3-22-1983 by L.L. No. 5-1983. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be cited and may be referred to as the "City of Yonkers Games of Chance Licensing Law."
This chapter is enacted pursuant to Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law.
It is declared to be the public policy of the City of Yonkers that to allow 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, is in the public interest. It hereby finds that, as conducted prior to the enactment of the chapter, games of chance were the subject of exploitation by professional gamblers, promoters and commercial interests.
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the City Council of the City of Yonkers that all phases of the supervision, licensing and regulation of games of chance and the conduct of games of chance should be closely controlled and that the laws and regulations pertaining thereto should be strictly construed and rigidly enforced.
This chapter shall be applicable to all territory within the limits of the City of Yonkers.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AUTHORIZED GAMES OF CHANCE LESSOR
- An authorized organization which has been granted a lessor's license pursuant to the provisions of Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law or this chapter of the Code of the City of Yonkers.
- A. Includes any bona fide religious or charitable organization or bona fide educational 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 chapter, 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 chapter for a period of three years immediately prior to applying for a license under this chapter.
- B. No organization shall be deemed an "authorized organization" which is formed primarily for the purpose of conducting games of chance and the distribution of the proceeds thereof to itself or any other organization and which does not devote at least 75% of its activities to other purposes set forth in this chapter. No political party shall be deemed an "authorized organization."
- AUTHORIZED SUPPLIER OF GAMES OF CHANCE EQUIPMENT
- Any person, firm, partnership, corporation or organization licensed by the Board to sell or lease games of chance equipment or paraphernalia which meets the specifications and regulations established by the Board. Nothing in this chapter shall prevent an authorized organization from purchasing common articles, such as cards and dice, from normal sources of supply of such articles or from constructing equipment and paraphernalia for games of chance for its own use. However, no such equipment or paraphernalia constructed or owned by an authorized organization which has previously obtained an identification number shall be sold or leased to any licensed authorized organization without written permission from the Board.
- The New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
- The Clerk of the City of Yonkers.
- GAMES OF CHANCE
- Includes specific games of chance 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," which are controlled under Article 14-H of the General Municipal Law, and also not including slot machines, bookmaking and policy or numbers games, as defined in § 225.00 of the Penal Law. No "game of chance" shall involve wagering of money by one player against another player.
- GAMES OF CHANCE CURRENCY
- Legal tender or a form of scrip or chip authorized by the Board, any of which may be used at the discretion of the games of chance licensee.
- LAWFUL PURPOSES
- One or more of the following causes, deeds or activities:
- A. Those which shall benefit needy or deserving persons indefinite in number by enhancing their opportunity for religious or educational advancement, by relieving them from disease, suffering or distress or by contributing to their physical well-being, by assisting them in establishing themselves in life as worthy and useful citizens or by increasing their comprehension of and devotion to the principles upon which this nation was founded and enhancing their loyalty to their governments.
- B. Those which shall initiate, perform or foster worthy public works or shall enable or further the erection or maintenance of public structures.
- C. Those which shall otherwise lessen the burdens borne by government or which are voluntarily undertaken by an authorized organization to augment or supplement services which government would normally render to the people.
- LICENSE PERIOD
- A period of time, not to exceed 14 consecutive hours, during which authorized games of chance commence and terminate.
- NET LEASE
- A written agreement between a lessor and lessee under the terms of which the lessee is entitled to the possession, use or occupancy of the whole or part of any premises from any authorized games of chance lessor for which the lessee pays rent to the lessor.
- A. In relation to the gross receipts from one or more license periods of games of chance, the amount that shall remain after deducting the reasonable sums necessarily and actually expended for 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, license fees and the cost of bus transportation, if authorized by the Clerk or Department.
- B. In relation to the gross rent received by an authorized games of chance lessor for the use of its premises by a games of chance licensee, the amount that shall remain after deducting the reasonable sums necessarily and actually expended for janitorial services and utility supplies directly attributable thereto, if any.
- The Commissioner of Police, City of Yonkers, and any of his officers.
- ONE OCCASION
- The successive operations of any one single type of game of chance which results in the awarding of a series of prizes amounting to $250 or $200 during any one license period, in accordance with the provisions of Subdivision 8 of § 189 of the General Municipal Law, as the case may be. For purposes of the game of chance known as "merchandise wheels," "one occasion" shall mean the successive operations of any one such merchandise wheel for which the limit on a series of prizes provided by Subdivision 6 of § 189 of the General Municipal Law shall apply.
- The play of a single type of game of chance necessary to determine the outcome or winners each time wagers are made.
- A designated area within a building, hall, tent or grounds reasonably identified for the conduct of games of chance. Nothing in this chapter 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 values of merchandise awarded as single prizes during the successive operations of any single merchandise wheel.
- SINGLE PRIZE
- The sum of money or actual value of merchandise awarded to a participant by a games of chance licensee in any operation of a single type of game of chance in excess of his wager.
- SINGLE TYPE OF GAME
- The game of chance known as "merchandise wheels" and each other specific game of chance authorized by the Board, regardless of the number of merchandise wheels and locations at which such other single type of game of chance may be conducted.
It shall be lawful for any authorized organization as defined in Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law, upon obtaining a license as provided for thereunder and complying with all other rules and regulations, powers and duties of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, and all other rules and regulations as set forth in Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law, to conduct a game or games of chance in the territory of the City of Yonkers.
No person, firm, association, corporation or organization, other than a licensee under the terms of Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law, shall be permitted to conduct such games or shall lease or otherwise make available for conducting games of chance a hall or other premises for any consideration whatsoever, direct or indirect, except as provided under Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law.
No game 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 games of chance from other than a licensed supplier or from another authorized organization.
The entire net proceeds of any game of chance 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 $100 in any operation or conducting of a single game of chance, as provided for in Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law.
No series of prizes of any one occasion of games of chance shall aggregate more than $1,000, as provided for in Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law.
No person, except a bona fide member of such organization, its auxiliary or affiliated organization, shall participate in the management or operation of such game, as set forth in Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law.
No person shall receive any remuneration for participating in the management of any such game.
The unauthorized conduct of a game of chance and any willful violation of the provisions of this chapter shall constitute and be punishable as a misdemeanor.
No games of chance shall be conducted on the first day of the week, commonly known and designated as "Sunday," nor shall games of chance be conducted on Easter Sunday, Christmas Day or New Year's Eve. For those religious organizations which do not observe the sabbath on Sunday, this section should not be construed as a per se prohibition of such games.
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. No person under the age of 18 years shall be permitted to conduct or assist in the conduct of any game of chance conducted pursuant to any license issued under this chapter or pursuant to Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law.
No games or games of chance shall be conducted under any license issued under this chapter more often than 12 times in any 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. on Saturday, and only between the hours of 12:00 noon on Saturday and 2:00 a.m. on Sunday. The 2:00 a.m. closing period shall also apply to a legal holiday.
Not more than $2 shall be charged by any licensee for admission to any room or place in which any game or games of chance are to be conducted under any license issued under this chapter. The officer may, in its 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 3-13-1984 by L.L. No. 4-1984]
A licensee may advertise the conduct of games of chance to the general public by means of newspaper, circular, handbill and poster, and by 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. Additional signs may be displayed upon any fire-fighting equipment belonging to any licensed authorized organization which is a volunteer fire company or upon any equipment of a first-aid or rescue squad in and throughout the community served by such volunteer fire company or such first-aid or rescue squad, as the case may be. All advertisements shall be limited to the description of such event as "games of chance" or "Las Vegas night," the name of the authorized organization conducting such games, the license number of the authorized organization as assigned by the Clerk or Department and the date, location and time of the event.
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 organization 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 the gross receipts derived therefrom 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 the games of chance during such license period and the use to which such proceeds have been or are to be applied and a list of prizes offered and given, with the respective values thereof, 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.
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 based upon the reported net proceeds for the license period covered by such statement, in an amount equal to 5% of the net proceeds for the occasion.
To conduct games of chance. 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:
The name and address of the applicant, together with sufficient facts relating to its incorporation and organization to enable such Clerk, as the case may be, to determine whether or not it is a bona fide authorized organization.
The names and addresses of its officers and the place or places where, the date or dates and the time or times when the applicant intends to conduct 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 such games or for the use of the premises of an authorized games of chance lessor.
All other items of 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.
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 in this chapter otherwise provided; and such other information as shall be prescribed by such rules and regulations.
In each application there shall be designated not fewer than four active members of the applicant organization under whom the game or games of chance will be conducted, and to the application shall be appended a statement, executed by the members so designated, that they will be responsible for the conduct of such games in accordance with the terms of the license and the rules and regulations of the Board and of this chapter.
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 or Department 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; the 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 § 186 of Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law and such other information as shall be prescribed by the Board.
The 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.
Issuance of licenses.
Issuance of licenses to conduct games of chance. If such Clerk or Department shall determine that the applicant is duly qualified to be licensed to conduct games of chance under this chapter; that the member or members of the applicant designated in the application to conduct 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 or a certificate of good conduct; that such games are to be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter 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 chapter; and if such Clerk or Department is satisfied that no commission, salary, compensation, reward or recompense whatever will be paid or given to any person holding, operating or conducting or assisting in the holding, operation and conduct of any such games except as in this chapter otherwise provided; and that no prize will be given in excess of the sum or value of $100 in any single game and that the aggregate of all prizes given on one occasion under said license shall not exceed the sum or value of $1,000, it shall issue a license to the applicant for the conduct of games of chance upon payment of a license fee of $25 for each period.
Issuance of licenses to authorized games of chance lessors. If such Clerk or Department shall determine that the applicant seeking to lease a hall or premises for the conduct of games of chance to an authorized organization is duly qualified to be licensed under this chapter; that the applicant satisfies the requirements for an authorized games of chance lessor as defined in § 186 of Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law; that such Clerk or Department shall find and determine that there is a public need and that public advantage will be served by the issuance of said license; that the applicant has filed its proposed rent for each game of chance occasion; that there is no diversion of the funds of the proposed lessee from the lawful purposes as defined in this chapter; and that such leasing of a hall or premises for the conduct of such games is to be in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Board, it shall issue a license permitting the applicant to lease said premises for the conduct of such games to the authorized organization or organizations for the period specified or such shorter period as such Clerk or Department shall determine, but not to exceed one year, upon payment of a license fee of $50.
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 or Department 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 application for the issuance of a license 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.
Any license issued under this chapter may be amended, upon application made to such Clerk or Department 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 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 member or members of the licensee under whom the games will be conducted, 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; if any prize or 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 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.
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 premise, 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.
Any person, association, corporation or organization who or which shall make any material false statement in any application for any license authorized to be issued under this chapter or in violation of any other terms and conditions or other applicable provisions of said Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law shall constitute a misdemeanor and shall forfeit any license issued under this chapter; shall forfeit any license issued hereunder; and shall be subject to any and all other penalties set forth in Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law.
The enforcement officer of the provisions of this chapter shall be the Commissioner of Police of the City of Yonkers and his officers.
This chapter may be amended from time to time or repealed by the City Council of the City of Yonkers by a two-thirds vote of said City Council, and such amendment or repeal, as the case may be, may be effective and operative not earlier than 30 days following the date of enactment of the ordinance affecting such amendment or repeal, and the approval of a majority of electors of the City of Yonkers shall not be a condition prerequisite to the taking effect of such local law.