Town of Niskayuna, NY
Schenectady County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Niskayuna 9-3-1991 as L.L. No. 11-1991. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Amusement games and game rooms — See Ch. 59.
Bingo — See Ch. 65.
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 this chapter.
AUTHORIZED ORGANIZATION
Includes any bona fide religious or charitable organization or bona fide educational, fraternal 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. No organization shall be deemed an "authorized organization" which is formed primarily for the purpose of conducting games of chance or which does not devote at least 75% of its activities to other than conducting games of chance. No political party shall be deemed an "authorized organization."
AUTHORIZED SUPPLIER 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 herein 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 shall be sold or leased to any other authorized organization, without written permission from the Board.
BOARD
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
CLERK
The Town Clerk of the Town of Niskayuna.
GAMES OF CHANCE
Include only the games known as "merchandise wheels" and "bell jars" and such other specific games as may be authorized by the Board, 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 the General Municipal Law and also not including "slot machines," "bookmaking," "policy or numbers games" and "lottery" as defined in § 225.00 of the Penal Law. No game of chance shall involve wagering of money by one player against another player.
A. 
Include those games in which a participant shall draw a card from a jar or other suitable container which contains numbers, colors or symbols that are covered and which, when uncovered, may reveal that a prize shall be awarded on the basis of a designated winning number, color or symbol or combination of numbers, colors or symbols.
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, including, in the case of volunteer firemen's activities, the purchase, erection or maintenance of a building for a firehouse, activities open to the public for the enhancement of membership and the purchase of equipment which can reasonably be expected to increase the efficiency of response to fires, accidents, public calamities and other emergencies.
LICENSE PERIOD
A period of time not to exceed 14 consecutive hours and, for purposes of the game of chance known as a "bell jar," "license period" shall mean a period of time running from January 1 to December 31 of each year.
MUNICIPALITY
The Town of Niskayuna.
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 noncommercial or nonprofit authorized games of chance lessor for which the lessee pays rent to the lessor and likewise undertakes to pay substantially all of the regularly recurring expenses incident to the operation and maintenance of such leased premises.
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 game 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.
OFFICER
The Chief of the Niskayuna Police Department.
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 $500 or $400 during any one license period, in accordance with the provisions of § 127-2H of this chapter as the case may be. From purposes of the game of chance known as a "merchandise wheel," "one occasion" shall mean the successive operations of any one such merchandise wheel for which the limit on a series of prizes provided by § 127-2F shall apply. For purposes of the game of chance known as a "bell jar," "one occasion" shall mean the successive operation of any one such bell jar which results in the awarding of a series of prizes amounting to $1,000.
OPERATION
The play of a single type of game of chance necessary to determine the outcome or winners each time wagers are made.
PREMISES
A designated area within a building, hall, tent or grounds reasonably identified for the conduct of games of chance. Nothing herein 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 value of the 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 one operation of a single type of game of chance in excess of his wager.
SINGLE TYPE OF GAME
The games of chance known as "merchandise wheels" and "bell jars" and each other specific game of chance authorized by the Board.
The conduct of games of chance shall be subject to the following restrictions:
A. 
No person, firm, partnership, corporation or organization, other than a licensee under the provisions of this chapter, shall conduct such game or shall lease or otherwise make available for conducting games of chance premises for any consideration whatsoever, direct or indirect.
B. 
No game of chance 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.
C. 
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 supplier licensed by the Board or from another authorized organization.
D. 
The entire net proceeds of any game of chance shall be exclusively devoted to the lawful purposes of the organization permitted to conduct the same and the net proceeds of any rental derived therefrom shall be exclusively devoted to the lawful purposes of the authorized games of chance lessor.
E. 
No single prize shall exceed the sum or value of $300, except that for merchandise wheels and bell jars, no single prize shall exceed the sum or value of $250. No single wager shall exceed $6.
F. 
No authorized organization shall award a series of prizes consisting of cash or of merchandise with an aggregate value in excess of $1,000 during the successive operations of any one merchandise wheel or bell jar.
G. 
In addition to merchandise wheels and bell jars, no more than five other single types of games of chance shall be conducted during any one license period.
H. 
Except for merchandise wheels, no series of prizes on any one occasion shall aggregate more than $400 when the licensed authorized organization conducts five single types of games of chance during any one license period. Except for merchandise wheels and bell jars, no series of prizes on any one occasion shall aggregate more than $500 when the licensed authorized organization conducts fewer than five single types of games of chance, exclusive of merchandise wheels and bell jars, during any one license period.
I. 
Except for the limitations on the sum or value for single prizes and series of prizes, no limit shall be imposed on the sum or value of prizes awarded to any one participant during any occasion or any license period.
J. 
No person except a bona fide member of the licensed authorized organization shall participate in the management of such games. No person except a bona fide member of the licensed authorized organization or its auxiliary or affiliated organization shall participate in the operation of such game, as set forth in § 127-12 of this chapter.
K. 
No person shall receive any remuneration for participating in the management or operation of such game.
L. 
No authorized organization shall extend credit to a person to participate in playing a game of chance.
M. 
No game of chance shall be conducted on other than the premises of an authorized organization or an authorized games of chance lessor.
N. 
The unauthorized conduct of a game of chance shall constitute and be punishable as a misdemeanor.
A. 
To conduct games of chance:
(1) 
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:
(a) 
The name and address of the applicant, together with sufficient facts relating to its incorporation and organization to enable the Clerk to determine whether or not it is a bona fide authorized organization.
(b) 
The names and addresses of its officers, 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.
(c) 
The amount of rent to be paid or other consideration to be given, directly or indirectly, for each licensed period for use of the premises of an authorized games of chance lessor.
(d) 
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.
(e) 
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.
(f) 
The name of each single type of game of chance to be conducted under the license applied for and the number of merchandise wheels, if any, to be operated.
(2) 
In each application there shall be designated not fewer than four bona fide members of the applicant organization under whom the game or games of chance will be managed and to the application shall be appended a statement executed by the members so designated, that they will be responsible for the management of such games in accordance with the terms of the license, the rules and regulations of the Board, this chapter and the applicable local laws or ordinances.
B. 
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 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 § 127-1 of this chapter, a statement of the lawful purposes of which the net proceeds from any rental are to be devoted by the applicant and such other information as shall be prescribed by the Board.
A. 
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. Determination and issuance shall be as follows:
(1) 
Issuance of licenses to conduct games of chance. If the Clerk 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 manage 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, a certificate of good conduct or a certificate of relief from disabilities; 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 the Clerk is satisfied that no commission, salary, compensation, reward or recompense whatever will be paid or given to any person managing, operating or assisting therein except as in this chapter otherwise provided; he/she shall issue a license to the applicant for the conduct of games of chance upon payment of a license fee of $25 for each license period.
(2) 
Issuance of licenses to authorized games of chance lessors. If the Clerk shall determine that the applicant seeking to lease premises for the conduct of games of chance to a games of chance licensee is duly qualified to be licensed under this chapter; that the applicant satisfies the requirements for an authorized organization as defined in § 127-1 of this chapter; that the applicant has filed its proposed rent for each license period and that the Clerk has approved the proposed rent as fair and reasonable; that the net proceeds from any rental will be devoted to the lawful purposes of the applicant; 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 premises for the conduct of such games is to be in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and with the rules and regulations of the Board; he/she shall issue a license permitting the applicant to lease said premises for the conduct of such games to the games of chance licensee or licensees specified in the application during the period therein specified or such shorter period as the Clerk shall determine, but not to exceed 12 license periods during a calendar year, upon payment of a license fee of $50. Nothing herein shall be construed to require the applicant to be licensed under this chapter to conduct games of chance.
B. 
On or before the 30th day of each month, the comptroller 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 the Clerk pursuant to this section during the preceding calendar month.
C. 
No license shall be issued under this section which shall be effective for a period of more than one year.
A. 
No application for the issuance of a license to conduct games of chance or lease premises 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.
B. 
Any license issued under this chapter may be amended, upon application made to the Clerk, 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.
A. 
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 address of the members of the licensee under whom the games will be managed, 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; the name of each single type of game to be conducted under the license and the number of merchandise wheels, if any, to be operated; 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 the same is to be conducted at all times during the conduct thereof.
B. 
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 premises, 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.
The officer shall have and exercise rigid control and close supervision of all games of chance conducted under such license, to the end that the same are fairly conducted in accordance with the provisions of such license, the provisions of the rules and regulations promulgated by the Board and the provisions of this chapter, and such officer and the Board shall have the power and the authority to temporarily suspend any license issued by the Clerk, pending a hearing and after notice and hearing, the Clerk or Board may suspend or revoke the same, declare the violator ineligible to apply for a license for a period not exceeding 12 months thereafter, and additionally, impose a fine in an amount not exceeding $1,000 for violation of any such provisions, which shall not be paid from funds derived from the conduct of games of chance, and shall have the right of entry, by their respective officers and agents, at all times into any premises where any game of chance is being conducted or where it is intended that any such game shall be conducted or where any equipment being used or intended to be used in the conduct thereof is found, for the purpose of inspecting the same. Upon suspension or revocation of any license or upon declaration of ineligibility to apply for a license, the Board may suspend or revoke the identification number issued pursuant to § 188-a of the General Municipal Law. An agent of the appropriate officer or department shall make an on-site inspection during the conduct of all games of chance licensed pursuant to this chapter.
Subject to the applicable provisions of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, beer may be offered for sale during the conduct of games of chance on games of chance premises as such premises are defined in § 127-1 of this chapter; provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed to limit the offering for sale of any other alcoholic beverage in areas other than the games of chance premises or the sale of any other alcoholic beverage in premises where only the game of chance known as the "bell jar" is conducted.
Except as provided in § 127-11 of this chapter, no games of chance shall be conducted under any license issued under this chapter on the first day of the week, commonly known and designated as "Sunday." Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, no games of chance shall be conducted on Easter Sunday, Christmas Day or New Year's Eve.
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. Persons under the age of 18 years may be permitted to attend games of chance at the discretion of the games of chance licensee. No person under the age of 18 years shall be permitted to operate any game of chance conducted pursuant to any license issued under this chapter or to assist therein.
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. No particular premises shall be used for the conduct of games of chance on more than 24 license periods during any one 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. Saturday and only between the hours of 12:00 noon on Saturday and 2:00 a.m. Sunday. The 2:00 a.m. closing period shall also apply to a legal holiday. The above restrictions shall not apply when only the game of chance known as the "bell jar" is conducted.
No person shall operate any game of chance under any license issued under this chapter except a bona fide member of the authorized organization to which the license is issued or a bona fide member of an organization or association which is an auxiliary to the licensee or a bona fide member of an organization or association which is affiliated with the licensee by being, with it, auxiliary to another organization or association. Nothing herein shall be construed to limit the number of games of chance licensees for whom such persons may operate games of chance nor to prevent nonmembers from assisting the licensee in any activity other than managing or operating games. No game of chance shall be conducted with any equipment except such as shall be owned or leased by the authorized organization so licensed or used without payment of any compensation therefor by the licensee. The head or heads of the authorized organization shall, upon request, certify, under oath, that the persons operating any game of chance are bona fide members of such authorized organization, auxiliary or affiliated organization. Upon request by an officer, any such person involved in such games of chance shall certify that he or she has no criminal record. No items of expense shall be incurred or paid in connection with the conducting of any game of chance pursuant to any license issued under this chapter except those that are reasonable and are necessarily expended for games of chance 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, and license fees and the cost of bus transportation, if authorized by the Clerk.
A. 
A fee may be charged by any licensee for admission to any game or games of chance conducted under any license issued under this chapter. The Clerk may in his discretion fix a minimum fee.
B. 
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.
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 and the date, location and time of the event.
A. 
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 games of chance lessor 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 expense incurred or paid 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 games of chance during such license period and the use to which such proceeds have been or are to be applied 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.
B. 
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, if any, for the license period covered by such statement and determined in accordance with such schedule as shall be established from time to time by the Board, but such additional license fee shall not exceed 5% of the net proceeds for such license period.
The Clerk and the Board shall have the power to examine or cause to be examined the books and records of:
A. 
Any authorized organization which is or has been licensed to conduct games of chance, so far as they may relate to games of chance, including the maintenance, control and disposition of net proceeds derived from games of chance or from the use of its premises for games of chance, and to examine any manager, officer, director, agent, member or employee thereof under oath in relation to the conduct of any such game under any such license, the use of its premises for games of chance or the disposition of net proceeds derived from games of chance, as the case may be.
B. 
Any authorized games of chance lessor so far as they may relate to leasing premises for games of chance and to examine said lessor or any manager, officer, director, agent or employee thereof under oath in relation to such leasing. 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 an officer or Clerk to which such application has been made or by which such license has been issued may appeal to the Board from the determination of said officer or Clerk by filing with such officer or Clerk a written notice of appeal within 30 days after the determination or action appealed from, and upon the hearing of such appeal, the evidence, if any, taken before such officer or 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 Board upon said appeal shall be binding upon such officer or Clerk and all parties to said appeal.
No person, firm, partnership, corporation or organization lawfully conducting or participating in the conduct of games of chance or permitting the conduct upon any premises owned or leased by him or it under any license lawfully issued pursuant to this chapter shall be liable to prosecution or conviction for violation of any provision of Article 225.00 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 games of chance under any license obtained by any false pretense or by any false statement made in any application for license or otherwise, or permitting the conduct upon any premises owned or leased 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, firm, partnership, corporation or organization who or which shall commit any of the following offenses shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall forfeit any license issued under this chapter and be ineligible to apply for a license under this chapter for at least one year thereafter. The offenses shall include the following:
A. 
Making any material false statement in any application for any license authorized to be issued under this chapter.
B. 
Paying or receiving, for the use of any premises for conducting games of chance, a rental in excess of the amount specified as the permissible rent in the license provided for in § 127-6B of this chapter.
C. 
Failing to keep such books and records as shall fully and truly record all transactions connected with the conducting of games of chance or the leasing of premises to be used for the conduct of games of chance.
D. 
Falsifying or making false entry in any books or records so far as they relate in any manner to the conduct of games of chance, to the disposition of the proceeds thereof and to the application of the rents received by any authorized organization.
E. 
Diverting or paying any portion of the net proceeds of any game of chance to any person, firm, partnership or corporation, except in furtherance of one or more of the lawful purposes defined in this chapter.
Any person, association, corporation or organization holding, operating or conducting a game or games of chance is guilty of a misdemeanor, except when operating, holding or conducting:
A. 
In accordance with a valid license issued pursuant to this chapter; or
B. 
On behalf of a bona fide organization of persons 60 years of age or over, commonly referred to as "senior citizens," solely for the purpose of amusement and recreation of its members, where:
(1) 
The organization has applied for and received an identification number from the Board;
(2) 
No player or other person furnishes anything of value for the opportunity to participate;
(3) 
The prizes awarded or to be awarded are nominal;
(4) 
No person other than a bona fide active member of the organization participates in the conduct of the games; and
(5) 
No person is paid for conducting or assisting in the conduct of the game or games.
Except as provided in § 127-20 of this chapter, the provisions of this chapter shall remain inoperative unless and until a proposition therefor submitted at a general or special election in the Town of Niskayuna shall be approved by a vote of the majority of the qualified electors in the Town of Niskayuna voting thereon.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: This chapter was approved at a mandatory referendum on November 5, 1991.