[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee (now Mayor and Council) of the Township of North Brunswick 5-17-1948; amended in its entirety 11-1-1982. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter may be known and cited as the "Amusement Device Ordinance."
For the purpose of this chapter, the terms used herein are defined as follows:
- Any music-vending machine, contrivance or device which, upon the insertion of a coin, slug, token, plate, disc or key into any slot, crevice or other opening or by the payment of any price, operates or may be operated for the emission of songs, music or similar amusement.
- MECHANICAL AMUSEMENT DEVICE
- Any machine which, upon the insertion of a coin, slug, token, plate or disc, may be operated by the public generally for use as a game, entertainment or amusement, whether or not registering a score. It shall include such devices as marble machines, pinball machines, skill ball, mechanical grab machines, electronic video games, and all games, operations or transactions similar thereto under whatever name they may be indicated.
- PERSON, FIRM, CORPORATION or ASSOCIATION
- Includes the following: any person, firm, corporation or association which owns any such machine; the person, firm, corporation or association in whose place of business any such machine is placed for use by the public; and the person, firm, corporation or association having control over such machine; provided, however, that the payment of any fee by any person, firm, corporation or association enumerated herein shall be deemed a compliance with this section of this chapter.
Nothing in this chapter shall in any way be construed to authorize, license or permit any gambling devices whatsoever or any mechanism that has been judicially determined to be a gambling device or in any way contrary to law or that may be contrary to any future laws of the State of New Jersey.
Any person, firm, corporation or association displaying for public patronage or keeping for operation any jukebox, electronic video game or mechanical amusement device, as herein defined by § 109-2, shall be required to obtain a license from the Township of North Brunswick upon payment of a license fee. Application for such license shall be made to the Township Clerk upon a form to be supplied by the Township Clerk for that purpose.
The application for such license shall contain the following information:
Name and address of the applicant, date and place of birth, and whether or not the applicant is an individual, partnership or corporation.
The age of the applicant, of each partner, if a partnership, and of each of the principal officers of the corporation, if the applicant is a corporation. The corporation or partnership shall list the names and addresses of its stockholders holding 10% or more of its stock or of 10% or greater interest in the partnership, as the case may be.
The criminal record of the applicant, if any, setting forth the date or dates of conviction, the nature of the violation and the jurisdiction in which the violation occurred. If the applicant is a partnership, the same information shall be supplied for each partner, and, if the applicant is a corporation, this information shall be supplied for each of the principal officers of said corporation.
A description of the machine to be covered by the license, mechanical features, name of manufacturer and serial number.
The street number and description of the area where the machines or devices are to be operated, stating the floor or floors of the premises and attaching a sketch showing the rooms or areas involved. Such sketch shall be drawn to scale, with the scale set forth on the sketch, and shall designate all exits, windows and storage spaces to be used in the operation.
No license shall be issued to any applicant unless he shall be over 18 years of age.
Fees for the operation of mechanical amusement devices are specified in Chapter 212, Licensed Occupations.
[Amended 9-15-1997 by Ord. No. 97-10]
License fees shall become payable to the Township Clerk on the first day of August in each year, and all such licenses shall expire on the 31st day of July in each year. All licenses issued between the first day of January and the first day of August following in any year shall be issued for 1/2 the required fee. All licenses issued between the first day of August and the first day of January following in any year shall be issued for the full license fee.
Exempted from said fees shall be any group, agency, organization or club recognized as a nonprofit and/or tax-exempt entity.
A new license fee shall not be required for the replacement or substitution of one mechanical amusement device for another.
All applications to operate and maintain for operation mechanical amusement devices as defined in § 109-2 of this chapter shall be referred to the Zoning Officer for review and determination as to its conformity with the Land Use Ordinance of the Township of North Brunswick.
Each application shall be referred to the Chief of Police or a police officer designated by him, who shall immediately institute whatever investigation of the applicant's business responsibility, moral character and ability to properly conduct and supervise the use of amusement games as he considers necessary for the protection of the public. He shall communicate his findings, in writing, to the Clerk within a reasonable time after the application has been filed. If the Chief of Police decides that the applicant's character, ability or business responsibility are unsatisfactory or the products, services or activity are not free from fraud, he shall disapprove the application; the Clerk shall refuse to issue the license and shall so notify the applicant. Otherwise, the Clerk shall issue the license immediately, provided that the required license fees have been paid except in cases where approval of the Mayor and Council is required. In the event of the refusal of the issuance of a license, the applicant may appeal to the Mayor and Council for a hearing.
The Township Clerk shall maintain records of all persons and devices licensed or denied same, pursuant to this chapter. Such records shall contain the applications and other information relating to ownership, placement, maintenance, use and operation of such devices and shall be open to inspection of the public for good cause at reasonable times and shall constitute public records. Extracts thereof may be certified by the Township Clerk for use as legal evidence.
A new license issued pursuant to the provision of this chapter shall be required to transfer the rights to use, operate and maintain existing licensed mechanical amusement devices, provided that the location of the originally licensed mechanical amusement device is not changed. The license fee for the transfer from one license to another shall equal 10% of the annual license fee established herein. Thereafter, upon renewal of said license, the annual fee shall be paid in full. Any change of location of any such mechanical amusement device from the premises of any license shall automatically revoke such license. In such cases, application for a new license must be made, and no fees paid for revoked licenses shall be refunded.
Any license issued by the township may be suspended or revoked by the Mayor and Council after notice and a hearing for any of the following causes:
Fraud or misrepresentation in any application for a license.
Fraud, misrepresentation or other dishonesty in the conduct of the licensed activity.
The licensee has violated any ordinance of the township or any law of the State of New Jersey or of the United States, which violation reflects unfavorably on the fitness of such licensee to be so licensed.
Conduct of the licensed activity whether by the licensee himself, his agents or employees in a manner that constitutes a breach of the peace or a menace to the public health, safety or general welfare.
Habitual conduct of the users of the licensed game in any unlawful manner or in a manner that constitutes a breach of the peace or a menace to the public health, safety or general welfare.
Notice of hearing. Notice of hearing for the revocation or suspension of a license shall be given, in writing, by the Clerk. The notice shall specifically set forth the grounds upon which the proposed revocation or suspension is based and the time and place of the hearing. It shall be served by mailing a copy of the notice to the licensee at his last known address by certified mail, return receipt requested, at least five days prior to the date set for the hearing.
Hearing; determination. At the hearing, the licensee shall have the right to appear and to be heard to be represented by an attorney, to present witnesses in his own behalf, to cross-examine opposing witnesses and have a permanent record made of the proceedings at his own expense. The Mayor and Council shall revoke or suspend the license if it is satisfied by a preponderance of the evidence that the licensee is guilty of the acts charged.
Reinstatement of revoked licenses. The Mayor and Council may issue another license to a person whose license has been revoked or denied as provided in this section if after hearing it is satisfied by clear and convincing evidence that the acts which led to the revocation or denial will not occur again; otherwise, no person whose license has been revoked or denied nor any person acting for him, directly or indirectly, shall be issued another license to carry on the same activity.
No more than four mechanical amusement devices and/or licenses shall be located or issued to any one legally established business use in the Township of North Brunswick except as provided in § 109-12B below.
The licensing of premises for more than four mechanical amusement devices shall only be permitted in the C-2 Zone as provided in the Township Land Use Ordinance. Any business use located in the C-2 Zone containing more than four mechanical amusement devices shall be considered a commercial recreational use as defined in the Township Land Use Ordinance.
No licensee shall permit any person using an amusement game to operate the same for any gambling purpose prohibited by law. In the event that it is determined judicially or by admission of the licensee that any commercial amusement device is being operated as a gambling device, the machine may be confiscated and destroyed or sold at public auction, and the license of the licensee may be revoked after a hearing.
Either the licensee or an adult agent or employee of the licensee shall be present and supervise the use of any amusement game by a minor under the age of 16 years.
No person, firm, corporation or association shall permit the playing of mechanical amusement devices within 600 feet of any church, public or parochial school or playground.
The licensee shall, at all times, control the sound so as not to cause disturbance or nuisance to others in the vicinity of the machines. The licensee shall not, at any time, place a jukebox so that the sound is disturbing to the public in the street or to other persons occupying the building in the immediate vicinity.
The applicant shall submit plans to the Construction Official or other designated township official demonstrating that the building or place where the machine is to be located is properly insulated to prevent noise of both the patrons and the machines from disturbing or entering adjacent buildings at the location. Furthermore, he shall offer proof that the location will conform with all state noise level regulations.
[Amended 4-17-2006 by Ord. No. 06-06]
Any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable by a fine of not more than $2,000 or by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the Judge. The continuation of such violation on each successive day shall constitute a separate offense, and the person or persons allowing or permitting the continuation of the violation may be punished as provided above for each separate offense.