[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Albany 7-18-1983 by L.L. No. 2-1983 as Ch. IV, Art. II, of the 1983 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
- CONTROL COMMISSION
- The State Lottery Control Commission.
- BINGO or GAME
- Includes a specific game of change, commonly known as "bingo" or "lotto," in which prizes are awarded on the basis of designated numbers or symbols on a card conforming to numbers or symbols selected at random.
- AUTHORIZED ORGANIZATION
- Includes only bona fide religious, charitable or non-profit organizations of veterans, volunteer firemen and similar non-profit organizations.
- A license issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
It shall be lawful for any organization, upon obtaining a license therefor as hereinafter provided, to conduct the game of bingo within the territorial limits of the City of Albany subject to the provisions of this chapter, the provisions of article 14-G (Sections 475-499) of the General Municipal Law as amended and the provisions of the State Lottery Control Law.
Each applicant shall file with the City Clerk of the City of Albany a written application in the form prescribed in the rules and regulations of the control commission duly executed and verified.
In each application there shall be designated an active member or members of the applicant organization under whom the game or games of chance described in the application are to be held, operated and conducted, and there shall be appended to the application a statement executed and verified by the applicant and by the member or members so designated that he, she or they will be responsible for the holding, operation and conduct of such games of chance in accordance with the terms of the license and the provisions of this chapter, chapter 854 of the laws of 1957, as amended, and the rules and regulations of the Control Commission, if such license is granted.
In the event that any premises upon which any such game of chance is to be held, operated or conducted, or which is to be used for any other purpose in connection with the holding, operation or conduct thereof, is to be leased or rented from any person, persons or corporations the application shall be accompanied by a written statement signed and verified under oath by such person or persons or on behalf of such corporation, stating his or its address, the amount of rent to be paid for such premises and stating that such lessor, lessors or if a corporation all of its officers and each of its stockholders who hold more than ten percent (10%) or more of its stock issued and outstanding, are of good moral character and have not been convicted of a crime.
Any game or games licensed hereunder shall be subject to the following restrictions in addition to such other restrictions as may be provided herein or contained in the rules and regulations of the control commission:
No person, firm, association, corporation or organization, other than an authorized organization licensed under the provision of this chapter, shall be permitted to conduct such games.
The entire net proceeds of any game or games shall be exclusively devoted to the lawful purposes of the organization permitted to conduct the same.
No single prize shall exceed the sum or value of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.).
No series of prizes on any one occasion shall aggregate more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.).
No person except a bona-fide member of such organization shall participate in the management or operation of such game.
No person shall receive any remuneration for participating in the management or operation of any such game.
The unauthorized conduct of a bingo game and any willful violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute and be punishable as a misdemeanor.
No bingo 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.
The City Clerk shall cause to be investigated the qualifications of each applicant and the merits of each application, and the Chief of Police is hereby designated and empowered as the proper city official to conduct such investigation. The Chief of Police shall submit with due expedience a detailed report of the results of his investigation, including the due qualification of the applicant to be licensed, the relationship of the members under whom such games are to be conducted with the applicant, whether such persons are of good moral character or have ever been convicted of a crime, whether the conduct of such games will comply with all the provisions of law and rules and regulations applicable thereto, whether a commission, salary, compensation, reward or recompense of any nature will be paid to any person conducting or assisting in conducting such games of chance, whether a prize will be offered or given in excess of the sum or value of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.) in any single game or an aggregate of all prizes given in a series of games on a given occasion will exceed the sum or value of one thousand dollars ($1,000.), and such other questions or inquiries as the City Clerk may direct.
If the City Clerk shall determine that the requisite conditions have been met by the applicant, he shall issue a license to the applicant for the holding, operation and conduct of the specific kinds of games of chance applied for upon payment of a license fee or fees of ten dollars ($10.) for each occasion upon which any games of chance are to be conducted under such license, which fees are to be paid to the City Clerk of the City of Albany.
On or before the 30th day of each month, the Comptroller of the City of Albany shall transmit to the State Comptroller a sum equal to fifty percent (50%) of all license fees collected by the City of Albany 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 (1) year.
No application for a license hereunder shall be denied by the City 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 to the City Clerk if the subject matter of the proposed amendment could lawfully and properly have been included in the original license, and upon the payment of such additional license fee, if any, as would have been payable if it had been so included.
Each license shall be in such form as shall be prescribed in the rules and regulations promulgated by the Control Commission.
The City Clerk, with the aid and cooperation of the Department of Police, shall have and exercise control and supervision over all games of chance held, operated or conducted under such license and shall have the power and authority to suspend any such license and, after notice and hearing, to revoke the same for violation of any provision of such license, this chapter, §§ 475 to 499 of the General Municipal Law, as amended, or the rules and regulations of the Control Commission. The City Clerk, or any officer designated by him, shall have the right of entry at all times into any premises where any such game of chance is being held, operated or conducted, or where it is intended that any such game of chance shall be held, operated or conducted, or any equipment being used or intended to be used in the conduct thereof is found, for the purpose of inspecting the same.
No person under the age of eighteen (18) years shall be permitted to participate in any game or games of chance held, operated or conducted pursuant to any license issued under this chapter unless accompanied by an adult.
No game or games of chance shall be held, operated or conducted under any license issued under this chapter more often than on six (6) days in any one (1) calendar month, or in any room or outdoor area where alcoholic beverages are sold during the progress of the game or games.
No person shall hold, operate or conduct any game or games of chance 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 the holding, operating or conducting of any game or games of chance under such license except such active member or member of an organization or association which is an auxiliary to the licensee or a member of an organization or association of which such licensee is an auxiliary or a member of an organization or association of which is affiliated with the licensee by being, with it, auxiliary to another organization or association, and except bookkeepers or accountants as hereinafter provided, and no such game of chance shall be conducted with any equipment except such as shall be owned absolutely or used without payment of any compensation therefor by the licensee, and no item of expense shall be incurred or paid in connection with the holding, operating or conducting of any game of chance held, operated or conducted pursuant to any license issued under this chapter, except such as are bona fide items of reasonable amount for goods, wares and merchandise furnished or services rendered which are reasonably necessary to be purchased or furnished for the holding, operating or conducting thereof under any circumstances whatever; no rental shall be paid for the use of any premises for holding, operating or conducting thereof under any circumstances whatever; no rental shall be paid for the use of any premises for holding, operating or conducting any such game of chance thereon or for any other purpose in connection with the holding, operating or conducting thereof unless the amount of such rental is stated in a statement annexed to the application for the license as provided in § 480 of Article 14-G, or which is in excess of the sum stated as the rental to be charged therefor in such statement; and no commission, salary, compensation, reward or recompense whatever shall be paid or given, directly or indirectly, to any person holding, operating or conducting, or assisting in the holding, operation or conduct of, any game or chance so held, operated or conducted, except that reasonable compensation may be paid to bookkeepers or accountants for bookkeeping or accounting services rendered according to a schedule of compensation prescribed by the rules of the Control Commission.
Not more than one dollar ($1.) shall be charged by any licensee for admission to any room or place in which any game or games of chance are to be held, operated and conducted under any license issued under this chapter, which admission fee, upon payment thereof, shall entitle the person paying the same to a card entitling him to participate without additional charge in all regular games of chance to be played under such license on such occasion, and no charge in excess of one dollar ($1.) shall be made for a single opportunity to participate in all special games to be played under such license on such occasion. No prize greater in amount or value than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.) shall be offered or given in any single game conducted under any such license, and the aggregate amount or value of all prizes offered or given in all games played on a single occasion shall not exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000.), and all winners shall be determined and all prizes shall be awarded in any game played on any occasion 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 such game.
Within fifteen (15) days after the conclusion of the holding, operating and conducting of any such game of chance, the authorized organization which held, operated or conducted the same, and its members who were in charge thereof, shall furnish to the City Clerk a duly verified statement showing the amount of the gross receipts derived from each game of chance, which shall include the sale of shares, tickets or rights in any manner connected with participation in said game or the right to participate therein, each item of expense incurred, or paid, and each item of expenditure made or to be made, the name and address of each person to whom each such item has been paid or is to be paid, with a detailed description of the merchandise purchased or the services rendered therefor, the net profit derived from each such game of chance, and the use to which such net profit has been or is to be applied, and a list of prizes offered and given with the respective values thereof, and it shall be the duty of such licensee to maintain and keep such books and records as may be necessary to substantiate the particulars of each such report.
The City Clerk and the control commission shall have power to examine or cause to be examined the books and records of any authorized organization to which any such license is issued so far as they may relate to any transactions connected with the holding, operating and conducting of any game of chance thereunder and to examine any manager, officer, director, agent member or employee thereof under oath in relation to the conduct of any such game of chance under any such license but any information so received shall not be disclosed except so far as may be necessary for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this chapter.
Any applicant for, or holder of, any license issued or to be issued under this chapter aggrieved by any action of the City, its officers or agents concerning an application which has been made or a license which has been issued, may appeal to the control commission from the determination of the city, its officers or agents, by filing with the City Clerk a written notice of appeal within thirty (30) days after the determination or action appealed from, and upon the hearing of such appeal, the evidence, if any, taken before the City Clerk, and any additional evidence may be produced and shall be considered in arriving at a determination of the matters in issue, and the action of the control commission upon said appeal shall be binding upon the City and all parties to said appeal.
No person or corporation lawfully conducting, or participating in the conduct of; possessing, selling or in any manner disposing of, any shares, tickets or rights to participate in; or permitting the conduct upon any premises owned by him or it of any game of chance conducted or to be conducted under any license lawfully issued pursuant to this chapter, shall be liable to prosecution or conviction for violation of any provision of Article 130 of the Penal Law or any other law or ordinance to the extent that such conduct is specifically authorized by this chapter, but this immunity shall not extend to any person or corporation knowingly conducting or participating in the conduct of any game of chance under any license obtained by any false pretense or statement made in any application for such license or otherwise, or possessing, selling or disposing of shares, tickets or rights to participate in or permitting the conduct upon any premises owned 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 or corporation who or which shall make any false statement in any application for any such license or in any statement annexed thereto or shall pay any rental for the use of any premises for holding, operating or conducting any game of chance under this chapter or for any other purpose in connection with the holding, operating or conducting thereof, unless the amount of such rental is stated in a statement annexed to the application for the license as provided in § 127-3 of this chapter, or shall pay or receive any sum for such rental in excess of the sum stated as the rental to be charged therefor in such statement executed by him or on its behalf, or shall fail to keep such books and records as shall fully and truly record all transactions connected with the holding, operating and conducting of games of chance under any such license or shall falsify or make any false entry in any book or record so far as they relate to any transaction connected with the holding, operating or conducting of any game of chance under any such license or shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or of any term of such license shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall forfeit any license issued to it under this chapter and be ineligible to apply for a license under this chapter for one (1) year thereafter.
This chapter may be amended, from time to time, or repealed by the Common Council, and such amendment or repeal, as the case may be, may be made effective and operative not earlier than thirty (30) days following the date of enactment of the local law or ordinance effecting such amendment or repeal, as the case may be; and the approval of a majority of the electors shall not be a condition prerequisite to the taking effect of such local law or ordinance.
If any provision or application of this chapter or any provision or application of Chapter 854 of the Laws of 1957, as amended, to any municipality, person or circumstances shall be adjudged unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this chapter or the application of Chapter 854 of the Laws of 1957, as amended, to other municipalities, persons and circumstances shall not be affected thereby, and the Council hereby declares that it would have enacted this chapter without the invalid provision or application, as the case may be, had such invalidity been apparent.