Township of Bloomfield, NJ
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 1-21-1985 as Sec. 19-4 of the 1962 Code (Ch. 74, Part 2, Art. VI, of the 1987 Code)]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AUTOMATIC AMUSEMENT DEVICE
Any machine which, upon the insertion of a coin, slug, token, plate or disk, may be operated by the public generally for use as a game, entertainment or amusement, whether or not registering a score, including but not limited to such devices as marble machines, pinball machines, skill ball, mechanical grab machines and all games, operations or transactions similar thereto under whatever name they may be indicated. It shall also include video-type games or machines or similar devices that use a display screen for points, lines and dots of light that can be manipulated to simulate games or other types of entertainment.
OPERATOR
Any person in whose premises any automatic amusement device is placed or kept for operation.
PERSON
Any person, firm, corporation, partnership or association.
A. 
The purpose of this article is to license, regulate and control those automatic amusement devices which are operated for the purpose of making a profit.
B. 
The purpose and objective of this article is to regulate the business of amusement devices so as to prevent nuisances to patrons and the public, fire hazards from overcrowding, poor ingress and egress at premises where amusement devices are located, the promotion of gambling, loitering or the creation of an unhealthy atmosphere for the youth of the community or other foreseeable undesirable effects of such devices.
A. 
No person shall maintain, operate or possess in any store, building or other place where individuals may enter, or in any building or other place wherein any club or organization meetings are held within the Township of Bloomfield, any automatic amusement device without first obtaining a license therefor.
B. 
Exceptions. The license requirements of this article shall not apply to private residences, colleges and institutions of higher learning, churches, synagogues and other places of worship.
A. 
All applications for a license under this article shall be made and delivered to the Township Clerk on forms to be supplied for the purpose and shall be subscribed and sworn to by the applicant.
B. 
The application for the license shall contain the following:
(1) 
The name and address of the applicant.
(2) 
The name under which the place is being operated and the location of same.
(3) 
The number and type of alcoholic beverage licenses, where applicable.
(4) 
The number and type of machines sought to be licensed.
(5) 
The location where each automatic amusement game is to be located.
(6) 
A description of each automatic amusement game sought to be licensed, including, for each device, the name of the manufacturer, model number and serial number.
(7) 
Information indicating whether the applicant or transferee or any person connected by way of employment with the operation of the establishment wherein the game or device is to be installed has ever been convicted of or pleaded guilty to:
(a) 
A crime relating to narcotics or a controlled dangerous substance as defined in the statutes of the State of New Jersey.
(b) 
A crime pertaining to gambling or gaming in violation of the statutes of the State of New Jersey.
(c) 
A crime involving moral turpitude.
C. 
The Mayor and Council may request of an applicant additional information supplementing the information given in the application.
A. 
Placement.
(1) 
Each device shall be located at least 10 feet from the entranceway to the premises in which located and placed so that it does not obstruct or interfere with the free and unfettered passage of patrons or users of the premises.
(2) 
Each device shall have an unobstructed perimeter zone or distance of 2 1/2 feet around the sides of said device wherein the users of said device may use, watch or wait to use said device.
B. 
An automatic amusement device may only be used or operated during the hours of operation of the premises in which it is located, provided that the operator or an employee of the operator is present in the premises.
A. 
The fee for all applications for licenses pursuant to this article shall be $100 in addition to all licensing or transfer fees.
B. 
The fee for a license to operate an automatic amusement device shall be $350 for each device up to four devices and $50 for each device in excess thereof.
[Amended 6-6-1994]
C. 
Any fees charged pursuant to Subsection B above shall be prorated based on the number of months remaining in the year of licensing but no less than 1/4 of the amount as set forth in Subsection B of this section.
A. 
All licenses issued under this article shall be for a term of one year, commencing on January 1 and expiring on December 31 of the year of issuance.
B. 
A license may be transferred from one machine to another by giving notice to the Township Clerk to that affect and giving a description of the new machine, including manufacturer, model number and serial number. A license may be transferred from one place to another by giving notice to the Township Clerk to that effect and supplying the required information as to the new premises. There shall be a fee for all transfers from one place to another in the amount of $100 per place or transfer.
C. 
A license shall be renewed by submission to the Township Clerk no later than November 1 of an application therefor, pursuant to §§ 128-31 and 128-33 of this article.
No person shall, in his place of business:
A. 
Permit gambling in connection with the playing of any mechanical amusement game.
B. 
Permit the playing of a device by minors under 14 years of age not in the company of an adult.
C. 
Permit any automatic amusement devices known as "Joke Poke," or any similar automatic amusement devices displaying playing cards; keno or any similar automatic amusement devices displaying a number board where numbers are designated by random; horse racing; roulette; dice; Lucky Lines, Cherry Master or any similar automatic amusement devices styled after a slot machine with a rolling display or circular wheel on which are depicted symbols; lotto; or lottery-type machines.
[Added 8-4-1992]
D. 
Permit any automatic device the operation of which is based in any part on random chance or the random assignment of numbers and the generation of which does not require more than minimal skill or hand-eye coordination and with buttons or controls labeled "double up" or "bet," or buttons or controls performing said function regardless of label.
[Added 8-4-1992]
E. 
Permit any automatic devices the operation of which is based in any part on random chance or the random assignment of numbers and the generation of which does not require more than minimal skill or hand-eye coordination and which can be controlled or operated from a remote location by other than the individual player.
[Added 8-4-1992]
F. 
Permit any automatic device the operation of which is based in any part on random chance or the random assignment of numbers and the generation of which does not require more than minimal skill or hand-eye coordination and which is readily capable of being converted by the internal technology of the automatic device to machines such as set forth in Subsection C above. For the purpose of this prohibition, automatic devices commonly known as "pinball machines," regardless of the nature of any visual display thereon, shall be deemed to require more than minimal skill or hand-eye coordination and thus are not subject to this prohibition against licensing.
[Added 8-4-1992]
A. 
Investigations.
(1) 
The Chief of Police or his designee shall make an investigation of the premises and the applicant to determine the truth of the facts set forth in the application.
(2) 
The Fire Chief or his designee shall inspect the premises to determine whether said premises complies with existing fire regulations and the Fire Code of the Township.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 239, Fire Prevention and Protection.
(3) 
The Board of Health and the Building Department shall make inspections of the premises to determine whether said premises complies with building and health regulations promulgated by the Township.
B. 
The Chief of Police, the Fire Chief, the Health Inspector and the Building Inspector, upon completion of their investigations and inspections, respectively, shall attach to the application their reports, in writing. The report of the Chief of Police shall advise the Mayor and Council as to the veracity of the facts as set forth in the application. The reports of the Fire Chief, Health Inspector and Building Inspector shall advise the Mayor and Council as to the compliance or noncompliance of the premises to the pertinent regulations and codes.
A. 
Upon receipt of said application and reports as set forth in the above section, the Mayor and Council shall proceed to consider the application and shall either approve or disapprove the issuance of a license to said applicant.
B. 
The action by the Mayor and Council in approving or disapproving said application shall be taken within 45 days from the date of said application to the Township Clerk. Failure to take such action within 45 days by the Mayor and Council shall constitute an approval of said application.
C. 
If the application is approved, the Mayor and Council shall authorize the Township Clerk to issue the necessary license upon the receipt of the license fee or fees as herein provided.
D. 
If the application is disapproved, the applicant shall be notified, in writing, of the disapproval and the reasons therefor.
E. 
The applicant, upon being advised of a denial of his application, may, in writing, request a hearing and be afforded an opportunity to dispute or disprove the reasons for said denial of said hearing. The applicant may be represented by an attorney at said hearing.
F. 
The Mayor and Township Council shall either affirm or reverse the decision in denying the application within 15 days after the date of said hearing unless there is an extension of time agreed to by both the applicant and the Mayor and Council.
A. 
Provided that proper notice is given to the licensee, setting forth the reasons for the proposed revocation or failure to renew, and provided that the licensee is afforded a hearing to dispute or disprove the violation as set forth in the notice of proposed revocation, at any time after the granting of a license under this article, or after the submission of the application of renewal of a license pursuant to § 128-34 of this article, the Mayor and Council, in the exercise of its reasonable discretion, may revoke or act not to renew said license if the Mayor and Council determines a violation as follows:
(1) 
Gambling on the premises.
(2) 
False or incorrect material on the application or information furnished by the applicant.
(3) 
The failure to maintain good and safe conduct on the premises.
(4) 
Violation of the laws of the State of New Jersey, as set forth in § 128-31B(7) hereinabove.
(5) 
The presence of the machines results in gambling, obscene and loud language disturbing to the public or to other patrons of the premises, the creating of a nuisance, excessive noise, litter, traffic or rowdyism by the patrons.
(6) 
Patrons under 14 years of age are permitted to play when not in the company of an adult.
B. 
The applicant, upon being advised of the action of the Mayor and Township Council, may, in writing, request a hearing and be afforded an opportunity to dispute or disprove the reasons for said revocation at said hearing. The applicant may be represented by an attorney at said hearing.
C. 
The Mayor and Township Council shall either affirm or reverse its decision in denying the license within 15 days after the date of said hearing unless there is an extension of time agreed to by both the applicant and the Mayor and Council.
An operator's license granted pursuant to this article shall:
A. 
Be posted in a conspicuous place at the location for which said license was granted.
B. 
State the name and address of the licensee.
C. 
State the manufacturer, model number and serial number for each and every mechanical amusement game for which said license was issued.
A. 
The maximum number of mechanical amusement devices per establishment shall be six, provided that the machines shall not violate any of the provisions of the Building Code, Fire Code, Health Code[1] or other applicable codes of the Township of Bloomfield.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 149, Art. II, Uniform Construction Codes, Ch. 239, Fire Prevention and Protection, and Part III of the Code, Board of Health Legislation, respectively.
B. 
The number of machines permitted in an establishment in a B-1 Zone shall be restricted to the extent that the number of machines shall not violate any of the provisions of the Building Code, Fire Code, Health Code or other applicable codes of the Township of Bloomfield.
A. 
No devices subject to this article may be operated within 500 feet of a school up to the 12th grade or a house of worship. The distance shall be measured in the same manner that distances from schools or houses of worship are measured for similar restrictions imposed and interpreted for alcoholic-beverage-licensed premises by the Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
B. 
No establishment licensed to permit more than four machines shall be located closer than a five-hundred-foot radius to an existing establishment which has been licensed to permit four or more machines.
[Amended 8-4-1992]
A. 
If a police officer of the Police Department or any law enforcement officer with the authority to act within this jurisdiction shall have probable cause to believe that an automatic device is prohibited pursuant to § 128-35 herein, such device may be seized and removed from the premises by the Police Department or its authorized personnel or other law enforcement officer with the authority to act within this jurisdiction and impounded. The Chief of Police or his designee shall give written notice of the seizure to the distributor of said device as designated on the device or on the license application on file with the Township Clerk for the device in question. Said notice shall be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested and regular mail to the distributor at the address designated on the machine or on file with the Township Clerk within two days of seizure, excluding holidays and weekends; said notice to be complete on mailing. Said device shall not be released until proper ownership documents are presented and/or licensing fees, if such machine is eligible for licensing, are paid, together with a removal/storage charge of $250 per device seized. If possible, those removing the machine or device shall provide the person in charge of the licensed premises with a report to be filed with the Police Department, noting any obvious damage to the property. Thereafter, any person aggrieved thereby may demand a hearing before the Township Council, in writing, directed to the Township Clerk.
B. 
Any owner of an automatic device who wishes to appeal the seizure of a device pursuant to Subsection A or refusal to license said device pursuant to § 128-30 may appeal said decision to the Township Council. Said appeal must be filed in writing with the Township Clerk within 15 days of mailing of notice of seizure or the refusal to issue a license. The fee for said appeal shall be $25, and said fee must be paid in order to perfect the appeal. The Township Council will render a decision on said appeal within 60 days of perfection of the appeal. The filing of an appeal shall not delay or affect the owner's ability to retrieve any seized device upon compliance with the provisions of this section. This appeal shall not affect the right of any person to appeal any action taken under this section to New Jersey Superior Court or other court of competent jurisdiction.
All premises licensed to permit 15 or more machines are required to provide uniformed supervision to be on duty when open for business during the hours and on days as follows:
A. 
When Bloomfield Junior High Schools and the Senior High School are in session:
(1) 
Fridays from 7:00 p.m. to closing.
(2) 
Saturdays from 1:00 p.m. to closing.
(3) 
Sundays from 7:00 p.m. to closing.
B. 
When Bloomfield Junior High Schools and the Senior High School are not in session:
(1) 
Monday through Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to closing.
(2) 
Sundays from 7:00 p.m. to closing.
[Amended 11-2-1987[1]]
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to the penalty provided in § 1-15, General penalty, of this Code. Each day that a violation occurs or is committed shall constitute a separate offense.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, Art. I.