[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of South River 7-15-1982 by Ord. No. 1982-21 (Ch. 196 of the 1977 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to promote and protect the public health, safety, morals and general welfare and is passed in furtherance of the specific objective to properly establish, regulate and control amusement devices within the Borough of South River and, in so doing, to protect the established character and the social and economic well-being of both private and public property.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person who supplies any mechanical amusement device to another for use in his place of business, whether under lease or any similar arrangement.
- MECHANICAL AMUSEMENT DEVICE
- Any machine which may be operated by the public for entertainment or amusement, whether the machine is coin-operated or not and whether or not it registers scores or tallies. Examples of mechanical amusement devices are pinball machines, bowling machines, mechanical grab machines, Skee-Ball machines, pokerino machines, juke boxes, electronic video games, electronic video games and similar devices. The enumeration is intended to be typical and shall not be construed as exclusive. All "mechanical amusement devices" are subject to Chapter 350, Zoning, of the South River Code. Such devices are permitted uses only in the B-2 Zone. The installation of "mechanical amusement devices" shall be considered to be an amusement facility subject to the remaining provisions of the Code of the Borough of South River.
- Any person in whose place of business or upon whose premises any mechanical amusement device is placed or kept for operation by the public, whether or not such device is owned by said person.
No person shall distribute or operate a mechanical amusement device within the Borough of South River without having first obtained a license and paid the required license fee.
Applicants for distributor's or operator's licenses shall supply the information required on forms available at the office of the Borough Clerk. Applicants which are corporations shall supply the information required for all officers and directors and for all stockholders of the corporation who own more than 10% of its issued and outstanding capital stock. Corporations shall also supply the name and address of their registered agent. Applicants for licenses under this chapter shall be required to supply a description of the machine or device sought to be licensed.
Operators shall be charged fees as provided in Chapter 155, Fees. An operator who uses machines owned by him in his own place of business shall not be required to possess a distributor's license.
The fees shall be paid annually by March 31 of each year.
[Added 8-8-1985 by Ord. No. 1985-21]
A license may be transferred from one machine to another by giving notice to the Borough Clerk to that effect and giving a description of the new machine. A license may be transferred from one place to another by giving notice to the Borough Clerk to that effect and supplying the required information as to the new premises.
[Amended 6-16-1983 by Ord. No. 1983-21]
No mechanical amusement device shall be located in any premises within 300 feet of a church or religious institution or a public or private school. The distance shall be measured from the nearest entrance of the church or school to the nearest entrance of the premises on which the mechanical amusement devise is located or is sought to be located along the route that a pedestrian would normally walk. Mechanical amusement devices are permitted in B-2 Zones and premises licensed for retail consumption of alcoholic beverages and are specifically prohibited in all other zones.
[Amended 9-9-1982 by Ord. No. 1982-32; 9-18-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-31; 7-12-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-23]
A copy of the application shall be referred immediately to the Zoning Officer of the Borough of South River, who shall determine if the proposed location of said amusement device shall be in compliance with Chapter 350, Zoning, of the Code of the Borough of South River. Both the Zoning Officer and the Code Enforcement Officer of the Borough of South River shall be responsible for the enforcement of the terms and provisions of this chapter.
The following regulations shall apply to all mechanical amusement devices:
The premises shall be so arranged as to permit a clear view of each mechanical amusement device from the exterior at all times.
No operator shall knowingly permit any person convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude to be associated with him in the ownership or management of the business or to be in his employ or to loiter on the premises.
No operator shall offer or permit to be offered any prizes or awards, whether in cash or otherwise, as an inducement to use mechanical amusement devices except for trophies, plaques or items of a similar nature of nominal value.
No operator shall permit any minor under the age of 16 years, unaccompanied by a parent or guardian, to remain on the premises after 10:00 p.m.
No operator shall permit any activity which is illegal or immoral or which creates an undue amount of noise or a danger of a breach of the peace to occur on the premises.
No operator shall permit the operation of his premises between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 9:00 a.m.
Applicability of other regulations; open space requirements.
[Amended 9-23-1982 by Ord. No. 1982-36]
Erection and installation of coin-operated or non-coin-operated mechanical amusement devices shall comply with all local, state and federal fire and safety regulations, statutes and codes. In addition, for each one square foot of floor space occupied, taken up or covered by a machine (to be measured at its widest, deepest and longest points whether touching the surface of the floor or not) there shall be a minimum of three square feet of open space in order to provide an established ratio between occupied space and space for the unobstructed flow of customers. If machines are located along an aisleway, the minimum width of aisles between the machines shall be eight feet.
In computing open space as used in this section, any and all interior sections of the structure reserved for an office, rest room, operation, storage or other facilities shall be deducted and only the actual open unobstructed floor space shall be considered open for purposes of this calculation.
During the hours of operation, the premises must be supervised at all times by at least one responsible adult individual, who shall be an employee of the owner or operator of the premises and who shall be responsible for the supervision, maintenance and operation of the premises. At least one such individual shall be visibly present on the premises during all hours of operation.
Each license shall be granted only after a determination by the Borough Council that the issuance of the license will not be detrimental to the public health, safety, welfare and morals of the citizenry of the Borough of South River. The Borough Council may, if it so desires, in its sole discretion, hold public hearings regarding the issuance of any license requested in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. The Borough Council may consider such factors as the number of such devices or machines previously approved for the same premises; the degree to which the grant of license may create a tendency toward crowding or loitering and such other factors as the Council deems in accordance with the public interest in deciding whether to grant any license requested or whether to hold a hearing with regard to any application for such license.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to authorize any gambling device of any kind whatsoever, including any device that dispenses any kind of payoff or reward or any device that has been judicially determined to be a gambling device under any law of the State of New Jersey. If the Chief of Police has reason to believe any mechanical amusement device is used as a gambling device, he shall cause that machine to be seized and impounded. If after trial it is determined that the machine was in fact being used as a gambling device, it shall be destroyed, and the license of the operator or distributor shall be revoked. Revocation of license and seizure of machine are in addition to any other penalty which may be imposed for a violation of this chapter.
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the Code Enforcement Officer of the Borough.
Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction for such violation, be punished as provided in Chapter 1, Article I, General Penalty, at the discretion of this court. Each and every day in which a violation of any provision of this chapter exists shall constitute a separate violation.