Town of Bethel, NY
Sullivan County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Bethel as Ch. 48 of the 1979 Code (Ch. 82 of the 1990 Code); amended in its entirety 10-23-2008by L.L. No. 7-2008 . Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Bingo — See Ch. 97.

§ 186-1 Definitions.

As used herein, the following terms shall have the same definitions as are assigned to them by § 186 of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York, as the same may be amended from time to time: "Board," "games of chance," "authorized organization," "lawful purposes," "net proceeds," "net lease," "authorized games of chance lessor," "authorized supplier of games of chance equipment," "one occasion," "bell jars," "raffle," "coin board," "seal cards," "single type of game," "operation," "single prize," "series of prizes" and "license period."

§ 186-2 Restrictions.

All games of chance subject to the licensing requirements of this chapter shall also be subject to the restrictions set forth at § 189 of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York, as the same may be amended from time to time.

§ 186-3 Authorization to conduct games.

From and after the effective date of this chapter's having been approved by the voters of the Town of Bethel,[1] as hereafter provided, it shall be lawful for any authorized organization, upon obtaining a license therefor as hereinafter provided, to conduct games of chance within the Town of Bethel, subject to the provisions of this chapter, Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York and the rules and regulations promulgated by the Board, as the same may be amended from time to time.
[1]
Editor's Note: This legislation was originally approved by the voters 5-5-1979.

§ 186-4 Application for licenses.

A. 
Each applicant for a license to conduct games of chance shall, after obtaining an identification number from the Board, file with the Town Clerk a written application therefor in a form to be prescribed by the Board, duly executed and verified, containing such information as may be required by law and by the rules and regulations of the Board. In each such application, there shall be designated not less than four active members of the application organization under whom the game or games of chance will be conducted; and to the application shall be appended a statement, executed by the members so designated, that they will be responsible for the conduct of such games in accordance with the terms of the license, the rules and regulations of the Board and of Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York.
B. 
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 Town Clerk a written application therefor in a form to be prescribed by the Board, duly executed and verified, and which shall contain such information as shall be required by law and by the rules and regulations of the Board.
C. 
An authorized organization having obtained an identification number from the Board and having applied for no more than one license to conduct games of chance during the period not less than 12 months nor more than 18 months immediately preceding may file with the Clerk or department a summary application in a form to be prescribed by the Board, duly executed and verified, containing the names end addresses of the applicant organization and its officers, the date, time and place or places where the applicant intends to conduct games under the license applied for, the purposes to which the entire net proceeds of such games are to be devoted and the information and statement required under Subsection A of this section.
D. 
Notwithstanding and in lieu of the licensing requirements set forth in this section, an authorized organization may file a verified statement, for which no fee shall be required, with the Clerk and the Board attesting that such organization shall derive net proceeds or net profits from raffles in an amount less than $30,000 during one occasion or part thereof at which raffles are to be conducted. Such statement shall be on a single-page form prescribed by the Board and shall be deemed a license to conduct raffles: a) under this chapter; and b) within the Town of Bethel, provided that the authorized organization is domiciled in the Town of Bethel. An authorized organization that has filed a verified statement with the Town Clerk and the Board attesting that such organization shall derive net proceeds or net profits from raffles in an amount less than $30,000 during one occasion or part thereof that in fact derives net proceeds or net profits exceeding $30,000 during any one occasion or part thereof shall be required to obtain a license as required by this Chapter 186 and shall be subject to the provisions hereof and to the provisions of § 195-f of the New York General Municipal Law.

§ 186-5 Raffle license not required.

A. 
Notwithstanding the licensing requirements set forth in this chapter, an authorized organization may conduct a raffle without complying with such licensing requirements, provided that such organization shall derive net proceeds from raffles in an amount less than $5,000 during the conduct of one raffle and shall derive net proceeds from raffles in an amount less than $20,000 during one calendar year.
B. 
For the purposes of this section, "authorized organization" shall mean and include any bona fide religious or charitable organization or bona fide educational, fraternal or service organization or bona fide organization of veterans or volunteer fire fighters, 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 Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law, 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 said Article 9-A for a period of three years immediately prior to being granted any filing requirement exemption contained therein.
C. 
No organization shall be deemed an authorized organization which is formed primarily for the purpose of conducting games of chance and 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.
D. 
No person under the age of 18 shall be permitted to play, operate or assist in any raffle conducted pursuant to this section.

§ 186-6 Investigation of applicants.

The Town 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. As standards for determining the fitness of applicants for a license to conduct games of chance or for a license for authorized games of chance lessors, the Town Clerk will rely upon § 191 of the General Municipal Law, as the same may be amended from time to time. If, upon the basis of a summary application as prescribed under § 186-4C of this chapter, the Town Clerk shall determine that the applicant is duly qualified to be licensed to conduct games of chance under this chapter, said Town Clerk shall forthwith issue said license. In the event the Town Clerk has reason to believe that the applicant is not so qualified, the applicant shall be directed to file an application pursuant to § 186-4A of this chapter. For purposes of assisting in the conduct of such investigation, the Town Clerk may call upon the resources of the constables of the Town of Bethel, other duly appointed and acting Town officials and other law enforcement agencies.

§ 186-7 Issuance of licenses.

A. 
If the Town Clerk shall determine that the applicant for a license to conduct games of chance is duly qualified therefor and meets the requirements of § 191, Subdivision 1(a), of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York and the rules and regulations of the Board and the provisions of this chapter, as the same may be amended from time to time, he or she shall issue the appropriate license to the qualified applicant upon payment of a license fee in an amount to be established from time to time by resolution of the Town Board.
B. 
If the Town Clerk shall determine that the applicant seeking to lease a hall or premises for the conduct of games of chance to an authorized organization is duly qualified to be licensed under the provisions of § 191, Subdivision 1(b), of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York and the rules and regulations of the Board and the provisions of this chapter, as the same may be amended from time to time, he or she shall issue a license permitting the applicant to lease said premises for the conduct of such games of chance to the authorized organization or organizations specified in the application during the period therein specified or such shorter period as such Clerk shall determine, but not to exceed 12 license periods during a calendar year, upon payment of a license fee in an amount to be established from time to time by resolution of the Town Board. Nothing herein shall be construed to require the applicant to be licensed under Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law to conduct games of chance.
C. 
No license shall be issued under this chapter which shall be effective for a period of more than one year.

§ 186-8 Hearings.

No application for the issuance of a license to an authorized organization shall be denied by the Town Clerk until after a public 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 applicant.

§ 186-9 Amendments to licenses.

Any license issued under this chapter may be amended upon application made to the Town 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 fee, if any, as would have been payable if it had been so included.

§ 186-10 Form and display of licenses.

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 addresses 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 and raffles, 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 are 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.

§ 186-11 Control and supervision of games; penalties for offenses.

The Town Clerk shall have and exercise rigid control and close supervision over all games of chance conducted under any license under this chapter, 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. The Town Clerk and the Board shall have the power and the authority to temporarily suspend any license issued by the Town Clerk and/or impose fines for violations not to exceed $1,000. Temporary suspension of licenses shall be promptly followed by a public hearing, and, after notice and hearing, the Town Clerk or Board may suspend or revoke the same and declare the violator ineligible to apply for a license for a period not exceeding 12 months thereafter. Any fines tendered to the Town Clerk or Board shall not be paid from funds derived from the conduct of games of chance. The Town Clerk or the Board shall additionally 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. A Code Enforcement Officer or inspector shall make an on-site inspection during the conduct of all games of chance licensed pursuant to this chapter.

§ 186-12 Sale of alcoholic beverages.

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 Subdivision 19 of § 186 of the General Municipal Law; 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 games of chance known as "bell jar" or "raffles" are conducted.

§ 186-13 Days of conduct.

Except as provided in § 186-14, no games of chance shall be conducted on Sunday unless specifically so provided in the license. The Town Clerk is hereby authorized to include such provision in any license, upon a proper showing by the applicant of the need therefor. No games of chance shall be conducted on Easter Sunday, Christmas Day or New Year's Eve.

§ 186-14 Frequency of games; hours.

A. 
No game or games of chance shall be conducted under a license issued under this chapter more than 12 times in any calendar year.
B. 
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. on Saturday and only between the hours of 12:00 noon on Saturday and 2:00 a.m. on Sunday. The closing period of 2:00 a.m. shall also apply to a legal holiday.

§ 186-15 Restrictions on minors.

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. No person under the age of 18 years shall be permitted to conduct or assist in the conduct of any game of chance conducted pursuant to any license issued under this chapter.

§ 186-16 Conduct of games.

A. 
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 of which such licensee is an auxiliary 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.
B. 
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.
C. 
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. However, in no event shall bell jar tickets be transferred from one authorized organization to another, with or without payment of any compensation thereof. 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.
D. 
Upon request by the Town Clerk, 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 Town Clerk. No commission, salary, compensation, reward or recompense shall be paid or given to any person for the sale or assisting with the sale of raffle tickets.
E. 
For the purpose of the sale of tickets for the game or raffle, the term "operate" shall not include the sale of such tickets by persons of lineal or collateral consanguinity to members of an authorized organization licensed to conduct a raffle.

§ 186-17 Admission price; prizes.

A. 
Not more than $2 shall be charged by any licensee for admission to any room or place in which any game or games of chance are to be conducted under any license issued under this chapter.
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.
C. 
No alcoholic beverage shall be offered or given as a prize in any game of chance.

§ 186-18 Advertisement; signs.

No game of chance conducted or to be conducted in the Town of Bethel shall be advertised as to its location, the time when it is to be or has been played or the prizes awarded or to be awarded or transportation facilities to be provided in such game by means of newspapers, radio, television or sound tracks or by means of billboards, posters or handbills or any other means addressed to the general public, except that one sign not exceeding 60 square feet in area 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 licensee which is a volunteer fire company or upon any first aid or rescue squad equipment in and throughout the community or communities served by such volunteer fire company or such first aid or rescue squad, as the case may be.

§ 186-19 Records.

A. 
Within seven days after the conclusion of any license period other than a license period for a raffle, or as otherwise prescribed by the Board, 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 Town 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. 
Within 30 days after the conclusion of an occasion during which a raffle was conducted, the authorized organization conducting such raffle and the members in charge of such raffle, and, when applicable, the authorized games of chance lessor which rented its premises therefor, shall each furnish to the Town Clerk a statement on a form prescribed by the Board, subscribed by the member in charge and affirmed by him as true, under the penalties of perjury, showing the number of tickets printed, the number of tickets sold, the price, and the number of tickets returned to or retained by the authorized organization as unsold; a description and statement of the fair market value for each prize actually awarded; the amount of the gross receipts derived therefrom; 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; a detailed description of the merchandise purchased or the services rendered therefor; the net proceeds derived from the raffle at such occasion, and the use to which the 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; provided, however, that where the cumulative net proceeds or net profits derived from the conduct of a raffle or raffles are less than $30,000 during any one occasion, in such case, the reporting requirement shall be satisfied by the filing within 30 days of the conclusion of such occasion a verified statement prescribed by the Board attesting to the amount of such net proceeds or net profits and the distribution thereof for lawful purposes with the Town Clerk and a copy with the Board, and provided further, however, that where the cumulative net proceeds derived from the conduct of a raffle or raffles are less than $5,000 during any one occasion and less than $20,000 during one calendar year, no reporting shall be required.

§ 186-20 Additional license fee.

Upon the filing of such statement of receipts, the authorized organization furnishing the same shall pay to the Town Clerk as and for an additional license fee a sum based upon the reported net proceeds, if any, for the license period, or, in the case of raffles, for the occasion covered by such statement and determined in accordance with such schedule as shall be established from time to time by the Board to defray the actual cost to the Town of administering the provisions of this chapter, but such additional license fee shall not exceed 5% of the net proceeds for such license period. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the net proceeds from the sale of bell jar tickets. No fee shall be required where the net proceeds or net profits derived from the conduct of a raffle or raffles are less than $30,000 during any one occasion.

§ 186-21 Examination of records.

A. 
The Town Clerk shall have power to examine or cause to be examined the books and records of:
(1) 
Any authorized organization which is or has been licensed to conduct games of chance, so far as it 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.
(2) 
Any authorized games of chance lessor so far as it 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.
B. 
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.

§ 186-22 Appeals.

Any applicant for or holder of any license issued or to be issued under this chapter, aggrieved by any action of the enforcement officer designated by the Town Board or Town 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 enforcement officer or Town Clerk by filing with the enforcement officer or Town Clerk a written appeal within 30 days after the determination or action appealed from; and, upon the hearing of such, the evidence, if any, taken before such enforcement officer or Town 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 the enforcement officer or Town Clerk and all parties to said appeal.

§ 186-23 Effect of making application.

Any person or persons who shall execute an application on behalf of any authorized organization shall, by the making of such application, warrant that he is familiar with the provisions of state law and the rules and regulations of the Board which may be applicable to such license and agrees to abide thereby.