[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the Town of Wethersfield as Secs. 6-3-1 through 6-3-9 of the Code of 1972. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the respective meanings ascribed to them:
- Any person who owns or distributes any such machine.
- MECHANICAL AMUSEMENT DEVICE
- Any machine which, upon the insertion of a coin, slug or token or upon payment of a charge, releases balls which are propelled by a plunger across a board and which registers scores by striking pins, levers or bumpers or by falling into holes or slots or which, upon insertion of a coin or slug or the payment of a charge, is operated to register a score or tally of any kind. It shall include such devices as pinball or pin-game machines.
- Any person in whose place of business any such machine is placed for use by the public.
Every distributor shall obtain a license from the Chief of Police for each mechanical amusement device placed in operation by him.
Every operator shall obtain a license from the Chief of Police for each mechanical amusement device in operation in his place of business.
Applications for such licenses shall be made to the Chief of Police upon forms to be supplied by him for that purpose.
The application for such a license shall contain the following information, under oath:
The name of the applicant; if a partnership, the names of all partners; if a corporation, club or association, the names of the officers.
The residence of the applicant.
The age of the applicant; if a corporation, club or association, the date organized and under the laws of what state.
The type of business or activity.
Whether the applicant or, if a corporation, club or association, the officers have ever been convicted of a crime.
The place where the machine or device is to be displayed or operated and the business or activity conducted at that place. This shall apply only to the operator.
The description of the type of machine to be covered by the license.
The Chief of Police shall investigate the character and record of the applicant and the location wherein it is proposed to operate the machines described in the application and shall not approve said application or issue a license unless he finds that the applicant is over 21 years of age and is a person of good moral character and that the business or activity in such location is a bona fide and lawful one. In any case of the denial or refusal to grant or renew a license, the Chief of Police shall notify the applicant of his proposed action and set a day and place for a hearing thereon, giving the applicant reasonable notice in advance thereof and an opportunity to be represented by counsel at such hearing.
A license shall be issued by the Chief of Police in the name of each applicant. Annual license fees shall be paid for each machine licensed under this chapter as follows:
The license fees shall become due on the first day of July in each year or on the date on which each machine is first placed in operation. In the former case, the license fee shall be reckoned for the year; in the latter case, proportionately from the first day of the month in which the machine is placed in operation to and including the 30th day of June following.
The licenses herein provided for shall be posted permanently and conspicuously at the location of the machine or device in the premises wherein the machine or device is to be operated or maintained.
Such license may be transferred from one machine or device to another similar machine or device without the necessity of making application therefor. Not more than one machine or device shall be distributed, displayed or operated under one license, and a separate license shall be required for each machine or device so displayed, distributed or operated; provided, however, that the maximum fee for all such machines or devices placed in any one establishment or place of business for the use of the public shall be $100 per annum, irrespective of the number of such machines or devices so placed and operated therein.
Each applicant shall notify the Chief of Police promptly of any change in the ownership of his place of business or any other change in the information set forth in the original application. In the event of a sale or transfer of the business of the operator, a new license must be obtained. Any distributor may be permitted, at the discretion of the Chief of Police, to file with him the information required under § 53-2D and may thereafter not be required to furnish such information upon the signing of each separate application, but such distributor shall notify the Chief of Police promptly of any change in such information.
The Chief of Police shall have the power to revoke any license issued hereunder for cause, after due notice, in writing, to the licensee and a hearing to be held not less than 10 days after the date of such notice. Cause shall be deemed to include, but shall not be limited to, conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude subsequent to the issuance of the license, false information in the application for a license knowingly given or any violation of this chapter.
Nothing in this chapter shall in any way be construed to authorize or permit any gambling device whatsoever or any mechanism that has been judicially determined to be a gambling device or in any way contrary to law.
Each operator and each servant, agent and employee of each operator shall maintain good order in his place of business and not permit any such mechanical amusement device to be used for gambling. No operator of any mechanical amusement device and no servant, agent or employee of any such operator shall harbor in his place of business persons under 18 years of age or allow them to congregate therein or play any such machines or devices unless accompanied by their parents or guardians. The provision herein stated related to parental accompaniment may be waived for any operator having been granted a special permit as defined under Article XXXII of the Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Wethersfield.