[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of East Hampton 2-15-1979. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board finds as follows:
Gambling houses constitute a threat to the peace and good order of the community.
The welfare of the citizens of the town would be advanced by the prevention and suppression of the evils associated with gambling houses.
Gambling houses would bring a large influx of gamblers with an accompanying increase in crime, congestion and accidents, and any revenue which might be derived from gambling houses is likely to be offset by the cost of additional services required to be provided by the town.
Gambling houses in the town would be detrimental to the orderly economic development of the town by increased land speculation and the attraction of illegitimate business.
Numerous community organizations and a substantial number of residents of the town have communicated to the Town Board their opposition to gambling houses in the town.
As used in this ordinance, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A person engages in gambling when he stakes or risks something of value on the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his control or influence upon an agreement or understanding that he will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome. "Gambling" does not include bingo or lotto as authorized by the State Constitution in Article 1, Section 9.
- GAMBLING DEVICE
- Any device, machine, paraphernalia or equipment which is used or is usable in the playing phases of any gambling activity, whether such activity consists of gambling between persons or gambling by a person involving the playing of a machine.
- GAMBLING HOUSE
- Any premises or establishment at which gambling is conducted as a trade or business for profit. A person profits from gambling activity when, other than as a player, he accepts or receives money or other property pursuant to an agreement or understanding with any person whereby he participates or is to participate in the proceeds of gambling activity. "Gambling house" does not include nonpublic or noncommercial premises at which casual betting or gaming are conducted for private amusement or recreation.
- An individual, firm, partnership, corporation or other entity.
It shall be a violation of this ordinance for any person to own, maintain, conduct or promote any gambling house in the Town of East Hampton.
It shall be a violation of this ordinance for any person to possess any gambling device with the intent to use it in the conduct of a gambling house.
This ordinance shall in no way affect the right of citizens to vote in any referendum on gambling or gambling casinos which may be held pursuant to state law.
This ordinance is intended to be consistent with the State Penal Law and to be enforced in a manner that preserves the authority of state law.
This ordinance shall be effective within the confines of the town outside any incorporated village therein.
Any person who shall own, maintain, conduct or promote a gambling house in the town or who shall possess a gambling device therein shall be guilty of a violation of this ordinance, punishable, upon conviction, by a fine not exceeding $250 or by imprisonment up to 15 days, or both, for each and every violation.
Each and every day in which a violation occurs shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation.
The town police shall be empowered to arrest any person upon probable cause that he or she has violated this ordinance, and to confiscate any gambling device or evidence relating thereto, and to close down the premises or establishment.
Nothing herein shall be construed to change the authority of the town police to work with and assist state and county law enforcement agencies in the enforcement of this ordinance and of the State Penal Law.
The invalidity of any section or provision of this ordinance shall not invalidate any other section or provision thereof.
This ordinance shall take effect immediately.