Township of Clark, NJ
Union County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Derived from Sec. 4-14 of the 2002 Revised General Ordinances, adopted 12-16-2002 by Ord. No. 02-27]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AUTOMATIC AMUSEMENT DEVICE
Any machine which, upon insertion of a coin, slug, token plate or disc, may be operated by the public for use as a game, entertainment or amusement, whether or not registering a score. Automatic amusement devices shall include, but are not limited to, such devices as marble machines, pinball machine, skill ball, mechanical grab machines, video machines and all games, operations or transactions similar thereto, under whatever name they may be indicated.[1]
DISTRIBUTOR
Any person who supplies any automatic amusement device to another for use in his/her premises, whether under lease or any similar arrangement, including the principals and manager of any business entity.
OPERATOR
Any person in whose premises, either owned or leased, any automatic amusement device is placed or kept for operation, and shall include the principals of any corporate operator, the partners of a partnership and the manager responsible for the establishment.
[1]
Editor's Note: The original definition of "amusement center," which immediately preceded this definition, was deleted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
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. The 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 and to prevent gambling, loitering or the creation of an unhealthy atmosphere for the youth of the community or other foreseeable undesirable effects of such devices.
A. 
Operator's license. No person shall maintain, operate or possess in any store, building or other place where individuals may enter or wherein any club or organization meetings are held within the Township any automatic amusement devices without first obtaining a license for each such machine or device.
B. 
Distributor's license. No person shall lease, rent or place under any kind of arrangement any one or more amusement games or devices, as defined herein, within the Township in premises or locations owned or controlled by another without first having obtained a distributor's license to so distribute from the Township, after written application therefor, in accordance with the terms of this article.
A. 
All applications for a license under this article shall be made and delivered to the Chief of Police 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, in addition to the requirements of § 203-2, as applicable, the following:
(1) 
Name under which the place is being operated and the location of the same.
(2) 
Number and type of alcoholic beverage license, where applicable.
(3) 
Number and type of machines sought to be licensed.
(4) 
Location where each automatic amusement device is to be located.
(5) 
Name and address of the person from whom each device is to be purchased, rented or otherwise obtained.
(6) 
A description of each automatic amusement device sought to be licensed, including, for each device, the name of the manufacturer, model number and serial number.
(7) 
Information indicating whether the distributor, the applicant or any person connected with the operation of the place wherein the game or device is to be installed has ever been convicted of any crime or found guilty of the violation of any ordinance pertaining to gambling or gaming.
(8) 
Any other information which the Chief of Police or appropriate subcode officials may deem reasonably necessary and proper for the full protection of the interest of the patrons or the public in the application.
C. 
All applications shall be accompanied by the appropriate fee.
A. 
The Chief of Police may make an investigation of the premises and the applicant to determine the truth of the facts set forth in the application. The Construction Code Official and the Fire Subcode Official may inspect the premises to determine whether such premises comply with existing building regulations of the Township. The Chief of Police, the Construction Code Official and the Fire Subcode Official shall, upon completion of their inspections, attach their reports to the application.
B. 
If the Police Chief, the Construction Code Official and the Fire Subcode Official elect not to make investigations and/or inspections as set forth herein, then they, or any of them, shall attach a written memorandum to that effect to the application in the file of the Chief of Police.
Before the Township Clerk shall issue a license, he/she shall determine that the following requirements have been met:
A. 
An application properly completed with all information required by this article has been supplied.
B. 
The appropriate license fee has been paid.
C. 
The premises sought to be licensed comply with the requirements of this article for such premises.
D. 
Certification by the Chief of Police that he/she has made an investigation of the applicant and there is no evidence that the applicant has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, drug sale or possession or gambling.
E. 
Certification by the Fire Subcode Official that he/she has made a thorough inspection of the premises and finds compliance with this article and all ordinances and laws required to be enforced by him/her.
Upon receipt of the application and reports, the Chief of Police shall determine whether the requirements for a license have been met. If the applicant meets the requirements of this article, the Township Clerk shall issue the necessary licenses.
If the provisions of this article are not complied with, the Chief of Police shall deny the license. The applicant may appeal such denial to the Township Council within 10 days of the receipt of the denial. Thereafter, the Township Council shall grant a hearing to the applicant and afford him/her the right to submit relevant information on his/her own behalf. After the hearing, if the Township Council finds the denial was inappropriate, it shall direct the issuance of a license.
A. 
The number of automatic amusement devices that may be located in any one location shall be governed by the physical space available in any business location for the use of such devices.
B. 
The following rules shall govern the location within all business premises of automatic amusement devices:
(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 unobstructed passage to and from the premises of patrons or users of the premises.
(2) 
Each device shall have an unobstructed perimeter zone or distance of four feet around the sides of the three linear borders of each device wherein the users of such device may use, watch or wait to use the device. The area which is required hereunder for each such machine shall not be encroached upon by the area of any other machine. It is the intent of this article that, for purposes of preventing overcrowding and assuring safe passage of the general public, each machine shall have its own unobstructed perimeter zone.
C. 
No games subject to this article may be operated within 300 feet of a school up to the 12th grade, hospital, nursing home, library or house of worship. The distance shall be measured for similar restrictions imposed and as interpreted for alcoholic-beverage-licensed premises by the Alcoholic Beverage Commission. This section shall not be construed to require the removal of any automatic amusement devices which are in place as of the effective date of this article.
A. 
The annual fees for all licenses or applications required by this article shall be as follows:
(1) 
Amusement devices, each machine: $100.
(2) 
Distributor's license: $200.
B. 
The licensee may substitute one machine for a similar machine, upon notification to the Chief of Police and the issuance of a new license therefor, without an additional license fee.
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 shall be renewed by submission to the Township Clerk, no later than November 1, of an application therefor, pursuant to §§ 80-12 and 80-18.
C. 
A license may not be transferred from one machine to another or from person to person or place to place.
The license for each device or machine shall be posted on the machine or device in a visible location or in such other visible manner approved by the Construction Code Official. Such license shall contain the name of the manufacturer, the model number and serial number for the machine or device issued.
Anytime after the granting of a license, the Township Council may revoke such license or licenses if, after notice to the licensee and a hearing, if requested, it finds:
A. 
Gambling on the premises.
B. 
False or incorrect information on the application furnished by the applicant.
C. 
Failure to maintain good and safe conduct on the premises.
D. 
Violation of the laws of the State of New Jersey or of this article or other ordinances of the Township of Clark.
E. 
The presence of the machine or device results in gambling, obscene or loud language disturbing, or likely to disturb, the public or other patrons of the premises or results in creating a nuisance, excessive noise, litter, traffic or rowdyism by the patrons.
F. 
Failure of the licensee to notify the Chief of Police, in writing, of any change to any information provided in the application.
The provisions of this article requiring an operator's license shall not apply to the Township, any church, fraternal or veteran's organization or other religious or charitable nonprofit organization which operates any amusement game or device exclusively for the use of its members and the guests of such members on premises owned or controlled by it. Each exempt group must, however, notify the Chief of Police of the number of devices on the premises and the name and address of the distributor, if applicable, by January 1 of each year.
A. 
Noise. The operator shall not permit any amusement game or device to emit loud and disturbing noises and shall at all times control the sound so as not to cause a disturbance to persons in the vicinity of the amusement game or device. The amusement game or device shall not be placed so that sound is disturbing to the public in the streets or to other persons occupying buildings in the immediate vicinity.
B. 
Nuisances. No amusement game or device or amusement game arcade shall be allowed to become a public nuisance or to otherwise endanger public health, safety or general welfare.
C. 
Responsibility of operator. The person operating the premises where the machine is located shall be liable and responsible for the proper operation thereof, regardless of whether or not he/she is the actual owner of the machine or has rented same, but this shall not in any way release the actual owner of the machine or device from liability for responsibility for violations of this article or any ordinance of the Township.
D. 
Gambling; supervision.
(1) 
No person shall, in his/her place of business, permit gambling in connection with the playing of any mechanical amusement device.
(2) 
An automatic amusement device may only be used or operated during the hours of operation of the premises in which located and when the owner or an employee of the business is present in the premises.
Any person who violates any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be liable to the penalty stated in Chapter 1, Article III, General Penalty. Each day that a violation occurs or is committed shall constitute a separate offense.