[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Larksville 3-9-1983 by Ord. No. 2-1983 (Ch. 69 of the 1987 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- All manners and forms of entertainment, recreation or pastime, exhibitions, contests, displays and games.
- The area within the corporate limits of the Borough of Larksville.
- ESTABLISHED PRICE
- Regular monetary charge of any character received from the general public or a limited or selected number thereof, directly or indirectly, for the privilege of playing, viewing or hearing such mechanical, electrical or electronic device.
- LICENSE YEAR
- The fiscal year beginning March 15, 1983, for the year 1983, and ending at 12:00 midnight December 31, 1983, and from thereon shall mean the twelve-month period from January 1 through December 31.
- The Mayor of the Borough of Larksville.
- MECHANICAL, ELECTRICAL OR ELECTRONIC DEVICE
- Any machine or apparatus whatsoever solely utilizing gears, electrical current, circuits, electronic ions, rays or beams, computer chips, fuel or solar cells or any other technological methods, magnets or a combination thereof, offered for an established price for the purpose of amusement, recreation or for games of skill and/or chance. It shall include such devices as marble machines, pinball machines, skillball, shuffleboard, pool tables, bowling machines, electrical amusement devices, coin video games and all games, operations or transactions similar thereto, under whatever name they may be indicated.
- MUSIC BOX
- Any mechanical device which, upon payment of an established price, whether it is by insertion of a coin, metal disc, slug, token or other form of monetary exchange, solely reproduces audio sounds.
- Any individual, partnership, limited partnership, association, corporation, trust or estate. Whenever used in any section, the term "person" as applied to associations or partnerships shall mean the members or partners thereof, and as applied to corporations, the officers thereof.
- The Secretary of the Borough of Larksville.
- VIDEO DEVICES
- Any mechanical device offered for an established price to the general public or a select number thereof, which reproduces images from film, tape, discs or any other technological method. This definition includes devices used in motion-picture theaters or drive-in theaters, as these nomenclature are commonly understood, and whose principal business is to exhibit motion pictures by projecting images upon a screen to be viewed by a common audience at a scheduled time, and devices which are viewed at random by paying the established price. Such devices may be commonly known as "video juke boxes," "peep shows" or any other nomenclature.
No person, firm, corporation or association shall establish, set up or cause to be established or set up or exhibit, display or maintain, for the purpose of gaining advantage or profit, within the Borough of Larksville, any mechanical, electrical or electronic device, music box or video device, machine or apparatus of any kind for the playing of games or for the emission of music, songs or similar amusements, or otherwise used for the purpose of amusement or entertainment by the insertion therein of a coin, metal disc, slug, token, plastic card or key, without first obtaining a license from the Mayor of Larksville Borough for each such mechanical, electrical or electronic device, music box or video device.
No person, directly or indirectly, shall conduct any business enterprise, profit or nonprofit, or use in connection therewith any mechanical, electrical or electronic device, music box or video device for which a license is required by this chapter, without first obtaining such a license and keeping it in effect at all times as required by this chapter.
Commencing on March 15, 1983, for the year 1983, and on January 1 of each succeeding year thereafter, each person, firm, corporation or association may inquire as to obtaining a license under this chapter, shall obtain such a license from the Mayor and shall pay the appropriate fee as set forth in § 118-7 hereof.
Any person or persons desiring to procure a mechanical device license shall apply therefor in writing to the Mayor of the Borough of Larksville. Said application shall set forth the name or names and the residence or residences of the person or persons desiring to procure said license. If the business is a fictitious name, in addition to the fictitious name, the applicant shall state the name and address of the owners and principal place of business. If the applicant is a corporation, the application shall state, in addition to the principal address of the corporation, the name and address of the Chairman of the Board, the Board of Directors and the President of the corporation. If the officers of said corporation are changed, the corporation shall give immediate notice to the Borough of Larksville of the name and address of the new officers. The applicant shall state the name of the owner of the premises upon which the aforesaid mechanical, electrical or electronic device, music boxes or video devices are to be used and installed, and if the owner of the premises is not the applicant, then the applicant shall set forth the length of time for which the premises has been leased. The applicant shall also set forth the nature and type of machine or machines to be installed and used, together with the manufacturer's name and manufacturer's serial number. If the machine does not contain a manufacturer's serial-number plate which is in clear view of the general public, then the applicant shall imprint a series of numbers for identification purposes upon said machine. The information heretofore required in the application shall be furnished over the signature of the applicant or applicants and shall be made under oath or affirmation.
No license shall be granted until a period of seven days shall have lapsed from the date of application, during which time the officials or employees of the Borough of Larksville may, at their discretion, investigate the facts set forth in the application. No license shall be transferable from person to person or from premises to premises.
This chapter shall not, in any way, be construed to authorize or permit any gambling devices whatsoever or any mechanisms that have been judicially determined to be gambling devices, or in any other way contrary to the law, or that may be contrary to any present or future laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, United States of America or ordinance of the Borough of Larksville; nor shall the granting of a license be construed to authorize material, whether visual, audible or a combination of both, which may be construed to be pornographic in nature, which is prohibited by the laws of this commonwealth or the United States of America or ordinances of the Borough of Larksville.
No license shall be issued until a fee, as hereinafter set forth, is paid annually to the Mayor of the Borough of Larksville, for each and every mechanical or electrical or electronic device, music box or video device.
[Amended 7-18-2006 by Ord. No. 8-2006]
The amount of the license fee to be paid for the listed devices shall be determined by resolution of Larksville Borough Council.
The Chief of Police of the Borough of Larksville, or any other police officer of the Borough of Larksville as the Chief may designate in his discretion, shall have the following duties and powers of administration:
To verify the information received from the applicant.
To periodically visit establishments open to the general public or a select number thereof to determine if all mechanical, electrical or electronic devices, music boxes or video devices are properly licensed.
To periodically inspect the premises to ensure compliance with the ordinances of the Borough of Larksville and Luzerne County, the statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including regulations pursuant thereto, and the laws of the United States of America. If the Chief or his designated officer does find a violation of any ordinance, statute, regulation or law, the Chief or his designated officer shall issue a citation or file a complaint with the proper judicial authority, or if the violation is one normally regulated by an administrative agency, the Chief shall notify said agency of the violation.
All licenses issued for a license year are for a specific mechanical device, music box or video device and for a specific premises or location and are not transferable from premises to premises or from person to person. Any change in the premises or location of mechanical device licenses and/or the transfer of ownership of mechanical devices, regardless of location, requires a new license application and payment of the license fees heretofore cited in § 118-7.
The Chief of Police or his designated officer may put a lead or any other type of seal upon any device for which no license fee was paid for the license year or for which an erroneous license fee was paid, whether through mistake, error, misrepresentation or failure to pay or make application or any other reason. While said devices are under seal, the owner, proprietor, manager or person in charge shall be severally and jointly responsible for any unlawful use of said sealed devices. All sealed devices shall not be offered for an established price until a valid license is issued and the fees paid thereon, whereupon the Chief or his designated officer shall remove the seals.
Every person who makes application for a mechanical device license and/or is granted a mechanical device license shall be legally responsible for the following:
To ensure that the business where such mechanical devices are located is operated in a peaceful and orderly manner and not conducted in such a manner as to annoy the public or surrounding neighborhood.
To ensure that no noise, either from the mechanical devices or from the patrons, or a combination of both, which can be heard solely by the ear, shall be transmitted or heard beyond the premises where the mechanical devices are located.
To ensure that none of the video devices exhibit obscene or pornographic matter.
To prevent loitering of persons on or about the area which is under the control or ownership of the persons who operate, run or own the business or premises where the devices are housed.
To be truthful on all information requested on the application.
To inform the Secretary of the Borough of any change in data or information provided on said application within 10 days after the said changes have occurred.
To make annual application for said license and to pay the annual license fee.
To comply with all the requirements of this chapter, whether set forth in this section or omitted, and to comply with all other ordinances of the Borough of Larksville and County of Luzerne, laws or statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and laws of the United States of America.
The Chief or his designated officer, except in cases of failure to make application for a license, failure to pay the required license fee or a violation of § 118-11C, shall utilize the following procedure:
Give written notice of the violation and set a period of time to correct said violation, which is reasonable under the circumstances but in no event longer than a period of 30 days, unless the violation is serious and warrants the immediate attention of Borough Council.
On a serious violation or a second or subsequent violation, the license shall be suspended and the matter referred to Borough Council for an administrative hearing.
After an administrative hearing, Borough Council may, in its discretion, place additional terms and duties upon the licensee to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the public or may revoke the license.
Any person who has had his mechanical device license revoked shall not be eligible for a mechanical device license for a period of three years; and any premises or location which housed mechanical device licenses upon which a license was revoked may not house or be the location or premises for mechanical device licenses for a period of three years.
Any person who fails to make an annual application for a license or fails to pay the annual fee, in addition to being subject to the penalties heretofore or hereinafter set forth, shall be subject to the following civil penalties:
For the first offense: suspension of the license once granted for a period of two weeks.
For the second offense: suspension of the license once granted for a period of 30 days.
For the third offense: automatic revocation of the license.
A suspension of a mechanical device license shall act as a suspension of all mechanical device licenses which are located on the same premises. A revocation of a mechanical device license shall act as a revocation of all mechanical device licenses located on the premises and shall also act as a revocation of all mechanical device licenses granted to the person within the Borough of Larksville.
Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Chief of Police, of his designated officer or of the Mayor may appeal to the Council of the Borough of Larksville within 10 days after said decision. Any such appeal shall be made in writing by certified mail to the Council of the Borough of Larksville. Upon receipt of the appeal within the aforesaid ten-day period of limitation, Borough Council shall afford the aggrieved person a hearing. After such hearing, the Council of the Borough of Larksville shall either rescind the aforesaid decision or, good cause appearing therefor, shall affirm the decision.
Appeals from decisions of the Borough Council under this section may be taken by any person aggrieved to a court of competent jurisdiction within 30 days after notice of the decision is issued as provided by law.
Whoever makes any false or untrue statement on his application or fails or refuses to procure a mechanical device license or to pay the required fee when so required under this chapter or who fails to keep his mechanical device license conspicuously posted upon said device as required herein or shall attempt to violate the duties of a licensee hereunder shall, upon conviction before any Magisterial District Judge or court of competent jurisdiction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $300 for each offense and, in default of payment of said fine, to be imprisoned in the Luzerne County Jail for a period not exceeding 30 days for each offense. In the case of firms or associations, the penalty may be imposed upon the partners or members thereof and, in the case of corporations, upon the officers thereof. Each day that the violation continues shall be considered a separate offense.
If the fee, or any portion thereof, imposed upon any person under the provisions of this chapter shall be held by any court of jurisdiction to be in violation of the Constitution of the United States or the laws and Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the decision of the court shall not affect nor impair the right to impose the fee or the validity of the fee so imposed upon any other persons as herein provided.