Town of Amherst, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Amherst 4-7-1958, approved at referendum 5-10-1958. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Amusements — See Ch. 68.
Games of chance — See Ch. 114.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Bingo Licensing Law."
As used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
AUTHORIZED ORGANIZATION
Includes only bona fide religious, charitable or nonprofit organizations of veterans, volunteer firemen and similar nonprofit organizations.
BINGO or GAME
Includes a specific game of chance, commonly known as "bingo" or "lotto," in which prizes are awarded on the basis of designated numbers or symbols on a card conforming to numbers or symbols selected at random.
CONTROL COMMISSION
The State Lottery Control Commission.
LICENSE
A license pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
MUNICIPALITY
Includes the entire Town of Amherst.
[Amended 2-11-1963, effective 3-30-1963]
The purpose of this chapter is to amend an ordinance adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Amherst, Erie County, New York, dated April 7, 1958, authorizing the conduct of bingo in such Town, to change the reference in such ordinance from Article 14-G of the General Municipal Law to Article 14-H of the General Municipal Law, as so renumbered by Chapter 438 of the Laws of 1962, and to set forth therein the following additional amended and renumbered restrictions concerning the conduct of the game of bingo by an authorized organization in such Town, as required by § 479 of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York as amended by Chapter 438 of the Laws of 1962.
The following restrictions upon the conduct of bingo games herein authorized are hereby imposed.
A. 
No person, firm, association, corporation or organization other than a licensee under the provisions of Article 14-H of the General Municipal Law shall conduct such game or shall lease or otherwise make available for conducting bingo a hall or other premises for any consideration whatsoever, direct or indirect.
[Added 2-11-1963, effective 3-30-1963]
(1) 
No bingo games 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.
(2) 
No authorized organization licensed under the provisions of Article 14-H of the General Municipal Law shall purchase or receive any supplies or equipment specifically designed or adapted for use in the conduct of bingo games from other than a supplier licensed under the Bingo Control Law or from another authorized organization.
(3) 
The entire net proceeds of any game of bingo and of any rental shall be exclusively devoted to the lawful purposes of the organization permitted to conduct the same.
B. 
No single prize shall exceed the sum or value of $250.
C. 
No series of prizes on any one occasion shall aggregate more than $1,000.
D. 
No person except a bona fide member of any such organization shall participate in the management or operation of such game.
E. 
No person shall receive any remuneration for participating in the management or operation of any such game.
F. 
The unauthorized conduct of a bingo game and any willful violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute and be punishable as a misdemeanor.
A. 
Each applicant for a license shall file with the Clerk of the Town of Amherst a written application therefor in the form prescribed in the rules and regulations of the Control Commission, duly executed and verified, in which shall be stated the name and address of the applicant, together with sufficient facts relating to its incorporation and organization to enable the Town Board of the Town of Amherst to determine whether or not it is a bona fide authorized organization; the names and addresses of its officers; the specific kinds of games of chance intended to be held, operated and conducted by the applicant and the place or places where, the date or dates and the time or times when such games of chance are intended to be held, operated and conducted by the applicant under the license applied for; the 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; the specific purposes to which the entire net proceeds of such games of chance are to be devoted and in what manner; that no commission, salary, compensation, reward or recompense will be paid to any person for holding, operating or conducting such game or games of chance or for assisting therein except as in this chapter otherwise provided; and that no prize or aggregate of prizes will be offered or given under such license of a value in excess of the sum or value authorized to be offered or given by this chapter, and a description of all prizes to be offered and given in all such games of chance to be held, operated and conducted under such license and such other information as shall be prescribed by such rules and regulations.
B. 
In each application there shall be designated an active member or members of the applicant organization under whom the game or games of chance described in the application are to be held, operated and conducted and to the application shall be appended a statement executed by the applicant and by the member or members so designated, that he or they will be responsible for the holding, operation and conduct of such games of chance in accordance with the terms of the license and the provisions of the rules and regulations governing the holding, operation and conduct of such games of chance and of this chapter, if such license is granted.
C. 
In the event that any premises upon which any such game of chance is to be held, operated or conducted or which is to be used for any other purpose in connection with the holding, operating or conducting thereof is to be leased from any person, persons or corporation, a written statement shall accompany the application, signed and verified under oath on behalf of such corporation, stating his or its address and the amount of rent which will be paid for such premises and that such lessor or lessors or, if a corporation, all of its officers and each of its stockholders who hold 10% or more of its stock issued and outstanding, are of good moral character and have not been convicted of a crime.
A. 
The Town Board of the Town of Amherst 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, and if it shall determine that the applicant is duly qualified to be licensed under this chapter to hold, operate and conduct games of chance under the provisions of this chapter and the rules and regulations governing the holding, operation and conduct thereof in the Town of Amherst; that the member or members of the applicant designated in the application to hold, operate or conduct the games of chance which the license was applied for are bona fide active members of the applicant and are persons of good moral character and have never been convicted of a crime; that such games of chance are to be held, operated and conducted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and in accordance with the rules and regulations governing the holding, operation and conduct thereof and that the proceeds thereof are to be disposed of as provided by this chapter; and if the Town Board is satisfied that no commission, salary, compensation, reward or recompense whatever will be paid or given to any person holding, operating or conducting or assisting in the holding, operation and conduct of any such games of chance except as in this chapter otherwise provided; and that no prize will be offered and given in excess of the sum or value of $250 in any single game of chance and that the aggregate of all prizes offered and given in all of such games of chance held, operated and conducted on a single occasion under said license shall not exceed the sum or value of $1,000, it shall issue a license to the applicant for the holding, operation and conduct of the specific kinds of games of chance applied for, accordingly, upon payment of a license fee or fees of $10 for each occasion upon which any games of chance are to be conducted under such license.
B. 
On or before the 30th day of each month, the Supervisor of the Town of Amherst shall transmit to the State Comptroller a sum equal to 50% of all license fees collected by such Town of Amherst pursuant to this section during the preceding calendar month.
C. 
No license for the holding, operation and conduct of any game or games of chance shall be issued under this chapter which shall be effective for a period of more than one year.
A. 
No application for the issuance of a license shall be denied by the Town Board 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 Town Board of the Town of Amherst, 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.
Each license shall be in such form as shall be prescribed in the rules and regulations promulgated by the Control Commission and shall contain a description of the kind of games of chance authorized to be held, operated and conducted thereunder, a statement of the name and address of the licensee, of the names and addresses of the member or members of the licensee under whom such games of chance will be held, operated and conducted of the number of times or the hours during which such games of chance are authorized to be conducted and the place or places where and the date or dates and time or times when such games of chance are to be conducted and of the specific purposes to which the entire net proceeds of such games of chance are to be devoted; if any prize or prizes are to be offered and given in cash, a statement of the amounts of the prizes authorized so to be offered and given; and any other information which may be required by said rules and regulations to be contained therein, and each license for the conduct of any game or games of chance shall be conspicuously displayed at the place where same is to be conducted at all times during the conduct thereof.
The Town Board of the Town of Amherst, issuing any license under this chapter, shall have and exercise control and supervision over all games of chance held, operated or conducted under such license, to the end that same are fairly held, operated and conducted in accordance with the provisions of such license, the rules and regulations promulgated by the Control Commission and the provisions of this chapter governing the holding, operation and conduct of same; and such Town Board and the Control Commission shall have the power and the authority to suspend any license issued by such Town Board and to revoke same after notice and hearing for violation of any such provision and shall have the right of entry, by the respective officers and agents, at all times into any premises where any such game of chance is being held, operated and conducted or where it is intended that any such game of chance shall be held, operated and 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.
The Town of Amherst does hereby permit the operation and conduct of games of chance under this chapter on Sunday. However, no such games shall be conducted under this chapter on Sunday unless it shall be so provided in the license issued for the holding, operating and conducting thereof.
No person under the age of 18 years shall be permitted to participate in any game or games of chance held, operated and conducted pursuant to any license issued under this chapter unless accompanied by an adult.
No game or games of chance shall be held, operated or conducted under any license issued under this chapter more often than on six days in any one calendar month or in any room or outdoor area where alcoholic beverages are sold or served during the progress of the game or games.
No person shall hold, operate or conduct any game or games of chance under any license issued under this chapter except an active member of the authorized organization to which the license is issued; and no person shall assist in the holding, operating or conducting of any game or games of chance under such license except such an active member or a member of an organization or association which is an auxiliary to the licensee or a member of an organization or association of which such licensee is an auxiliary or a member of an organization or association which is affiliated with the licensee by being, with it, auxiliary to another organization or association and except bookkeepers or accountants as hereinafter provided; and no such game of chance shall be conducted with any equipment except such as shall be owned absolutely or used without payment of any compensation therefor by the licensee; and no item of expense shall be incurred or paid in connection with the holding, operating or conducting of any game of chance held, operated or conducted pursuant to any license issued under this chapter except such as are bona fide items of reasonable amount for goods, wares and merchandise furnished or services rendered which are reasonably necessary to be purchased for the holding, operating or conducting thereof under any circumstances whatever; no rental shall be paid for the use of any premises for holding, operating or conducting any such game of chance thereon or for any other purpose in connection with the holding, operating or conducting thereof unless the amount of such rental is stated in a statement annexed to the application for the license as provided in § 77-5 of this chapter or which is in excess of the sum stated as the rental to be charged therefor in such statement; and no commission, salary, compensation, reward or recompense whatever shall be paid or given, directly or indirectly, to any person holding, operating or conducting or assisting in the holding, operation or conduct of any game of chance so held, operated or conducted, except that reasonable compensation may be paid to bookkeepers or accountants for bookkeeping or accounting services rendered according to a schedule of compensation prescribed by the rules of the Control Commission.
Not more than $1 shall be charged by any licensee for admission to any room or place in which any game or games of chance are to be held, operated and conducted under any license issued under this chapter, which admission fee, upon payment thereof, shall entitle the person paying same to a card entitling him to participate without additional charge in all regular games of chance to be played under such license on such occasion, and no charge in excess of $1 shall be made for a single opportunity to participate in all special games to be played under such license on such occasion. No prize greater in amount or value than $250 shall be offered or given in any single game conducted under any such license, and the aggregate amount or value of all prizes offered or given in all games played on a single occasion shall not exceed $1,000, and all winners shall be determined and all prizes shall be awarded in any game played on any occasion 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 such game.
No game of chance to be conducted under any license issued under this chapter 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 by means of newspapers, radio, television or sound trucks 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 where the game will be played, and an additional sign may be displayed on or adjacent to the premises where the prize or prizes are displayed, and 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 belonging to any licensee which is a first-aid or rescue squad, 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.
Within 15 days after the conclusion of the holding, operating and conducting of any such game of chance, the authorized organization which held, operated or conducted same and its members who are in charge thereof shall furnish to the Clerk of the Town of Amherst a duly verified statement showing the amount of the gross receipts derived from each game of chance, which shall include receipts from the sale of shares, tickets or rights in any manner connected with participation in said game or the right to participate therein, each item of expense incurred or paid and each item of expenditure made or to be made, the name and address of each person to whom each such item has been paid or is to be paid, with a detailed description of the merchandise purchased or the services rendered therefor, the net profit derived from each such game of chance and the use to which such net profit has been or is to be applied and a list of prizes offered and given, with the respective value thereof, 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 report.
The Town Board of the Town of Amherst and the Control Commission shall have power to examine or cause to be examined the books and records of any authorized organization to which any such license is issued so far as they may relate to any transactions connected with the holding, operating and conducting of any game of chance thereunder and to examine any manager, officer, director, agent, member or employee thereof under oath in relation to the conduct of any such game of chance under any such license, but 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 the Town Board of the Town of Amherst, to which such application has been made or by which such license has been issued, may appeal to the Control Commission from the determination of said Town Board by filing with the Town Board 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 the Town Board 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 Control Commission upon said appeal shall be binding upon said Town Board and all parties to said appeal.
No person or corporation lawfully conducting or participating in the conduct of, possessing, selling or in any manner disposing of any shares, tickets or rights to participate in or permitting the conduct upon any premises owned by him or it of any game of chance, conducted or to be conducted under any license lawfully issued pursuant to this chapter, shall be liable to prosecution or conviction for violation of any provision of Article 130 of the Penal Law[1] 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 any game of chance under any license obtained by any false pretense or statement made in any application for such license or otherwise, or possessing, selling or disposing of shares, tickets or rights to participate in, or permitting the conduct upon any premises owned 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.
[1]
Editor's Note: Article 130 of the Penal Law of 1909 was incorporated into Article 225, Gambling Offenses, of the Penal Law of 1965, and parts were included as §§ 5-415, 5-417 and 5-423 of the General Obligations Law.
Any person, association or corporation who or which shall make any false statement in any application for any such license or in any statement annexed thereto or shall pay any rental for the use of any premises for holding, operating or conducting any game of chance under this chapter or for any other purpose in connection with the holding, operating or conducting thereof, unless the amount of such rental is stated in a statement annexed to the application for the license as provided in § 77-5 of this chapter, or shall pay or receive any sum for such rental in excess of the sum stated as the rental to be charged therefor in such statement executed by him or on his behalf or shall fail to keep such books and records as shall fully and truly record all transactions connected with the holding, operating and conducting of games of chance under any such license or shall falsify or make any false entry in any book or record so far as they relate to any transaction connected with the holding, operating or conducting of any game of chance under such license or shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or of any term of such license shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall forfeit any license issued to it under this chapter and be ineligible to apply for a license under this chapter for one year thereafter.
The provisions of this chapter shall remain inoperative in the Town of Amherst unless and until a proposition therefor submitted at a general or special election in such Town shall be approved by a vote of the majority of the qualified electors in such Town voting thereon.[1] This chapter shall become effective immediately upon certification of the results of said election.
[1]
Editor's Note: Said referendum was held 5-10-1958.
This chapter may be amended, from time to time, or repealed by the Town Board of the Town of Amherst, and such amendment or repeal, as the case may be, may be made effective and operative not earlier than 30 days following the date of enactment of the ordinance effecting such amendment or repeal, as the case may be; and the approval of a majority of the electors of such Town shall not be a condition prerequisite to the taking effect of such amendment or repeal.
The Town Board of the Town of Amherst may delegate by a resolution to an officer or officers of said Town, designated by said Town Board for that purpose, any of the authority granted to the Town Board hereby in relation to the issuance, amendment and cancellation of licenses; the conduct of investigations and hearings, the supervision of the operation of the games and the collection and transmission of fees.
If any provision of this chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstances shall be adjudged unconstitutional or beyond the powers granted to the Town of Amherst by the legislature by any court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this chapter or the application thereof to persons and circumstances shall not be affected thereby, and the Town Board hereby declares that it would have enacted this chapter without the invalid provision or application, as the case may be, had such invalidity been apparent.