City of Waltham, MA
Middlesex County
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[Gen. Ords. 1962, § 9-3; Ord. No. 26916, 5-14-1990]
Every person licensed to keep a billiard, pool or sippio table or a shuffle board or a bowling alley, shall pay to the City Clerk for the use of the City, the sum of $15 for each table or board or alley. All such licenses shall be recorded by the City Clerk in a book kept for that purpose before being delivered to the licensee, and shall set forth the name of the person licensed, the nature of the business, the number of tables and the building or place in the City in which it is to be carried on, and shall continue in force until the first day of May next ensuing, unless sooner revoked; provided, that such licenses may be granted during the month of April, to take effect on the first day of May then next ensuing.
State law reference — Licensing of billiard tables, bowling alleys, etc., MGL c. 140, §§ 177; 178; 202-205.
[Ord. No. 25163, 9-13-1982]
(a) 
Definitions. For the purposes of this Section, the following words shall have the following meanings:
ARCADE
The business premises, open to the public, where more than five mechanical or electronic amusement devices are located. Where the business premises are used for business purposes other than the operation of mechanical or electronic amusement devices, then "arcade" shall mean that portion of the premises where the devices are located.
MECHANICAL OR ELECTRONIC AMUSEMENT DEVICE (DEVICE)
Any machine, apparatus, contrivance, appliance or mechanism which may be operated or played by placing or depositing therein of any coin, check, slug, ball, or any other article or by paying therefor, either in advance of or after use, involving in its use either skill or chance, including but not limited to, pinball machines, electronic video games and automatic amusement devices as defined in Chapter 140, Section 177A of the General Laws or any other similar machine or device.
PERSON
Any corporation, association, syndicate, joint-stock company, partnership, club, society or individual. Use of the pronoun "he" shall include reference (to the pronoun "she";) where appropriate, the singular shall include the plural and the plural shall include the singular.
(b) 
License required. It shall be unlawful for any person having title to or responsibility for the maintenance or operation of any restaurant, public hall, store, place of amusement or any other place, to which members of the public have access, to maintain, operate or permit to be operated or maintained in said premises, any device without having first obtained a valid license from the License Commission, pursuant to the provisions of this section.
A license granted by the License Commission for the operation of more than five devices at the same business address shall be called an "arcade license."
(c) 
Special provisions. Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsection (1) of this section or any other subsection to the contrary, the following provisions shall apply:
(1) 
Where the business premises are used for business purposes other than the operation of devices, then the "arcade" portion of those premises shall be maintained separate from the business premises by a divider approved by the License Commission.
(2) 
The licensee shall provide a minimum of 50 square feet for each device located in an arcade.
(3) 
In no event shall the License Commission allow more than 35 devices on a single arcade license; and, in no event shall more than one arcade license be issued to the same business address.
(4) 
Each licensee shall have at all times, during hours of business, a responsible attendant on duty for the purpose of supervising activities within, and said employee shall be at least 18 years of age and shall not have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. Such attendant shall wear proper identification which shall be clearly visible. In addition, the License Commission shall have the authority, as a condition to granting a license, to require the licensee of an arcade to have a police officer or security officer on duty on the premises during certain hours specified by the Commission.
(5) 
No arcade license shall be issued for premises located at a distance of less than 200 feet from any church or elderly housing complex.
[Amended 10-9-2018 by Ord. No. 34226]
(6) 
The devices in an arcade shall not be operated between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 6:00 a.m. The License Commission shall have discretion to require earlier closing times for any arcade.
(d) 
Gambling devices not permitted. Nothing in this section shall in any way be construed to authorize, license or permit any gambling devices whatsoever, or any mechanism that has been judicially determined to be a gambling device, or in any way contrary to any future laws of the commonwealth.
(e) 
Application. Application for such license shall be made out in duplicate and submitted to the License Commission upon a form to be supplied by the License Commission for that purpose. The application for such license shall contain the following information.
(1) 
Name and address of the applicant, age, date and place of birth. If said applicant is a corporation, partnership, association or other business entity, said application shall include certified documentation sufficient to prove the applicant's existence, principal business address, person or officer upon whom service of process may be served, and the names and addresses of all directors, partners, or if an association or corporation, of all members of said association or corporation.
(2) 
Prior criminal convictions, if any, of the applicant or its directors, partners or members as specified in paragraph (1) above.
(3) 
Place where machine or device is to be displayed or operated and the business conducted at that place.
(4) 
Description of machine or machines to be covered by the license, mechanical features, name of manufacturer, and model number.
(5) 
A floor plan of the business premises intended to be used for the housing of devices for play by members of the public. For the purpose of this subsection, the term "business premises" shall include the entire building or structure, or portion thereof, housing said devices, and open for public access. Said floor plan shall clearly indicate the total square foot area of said business premises and shall indicate the intended position of said devices. The scale of said plan shall be established by regulation of the license commission.
(6) 
An approved certificate of occupancy issued by the building department for the business premises intended to be used for the housing of devices for play by members of the public.
(7) 
A certificate of approval issued by the inspector of wires, verifying that the electrical installation in said premises is adequate for the uses intended and is in conformance with the Massachusetts Electrical Code (Form FPR-11) as amended.
(8) 
A certificate of approval from the fire department.
(9) 
The names and residential addresses of all persons who have any equitable consideration to the applicant's business, as said interest or consideration relates to the procurement, maintenance, operation or display of devices.
(10) 
Documentation sufficient to prove that the devices to be licensed shall be lawfully in the possession of the applicant within 14 days after approval of said license.
(f) 
Age of applicant. No license shall be issued to any applicant unless he shall be over 18 years of age, and provide proof of United States citizenship or legal residence status as an alien.
This provision shall similarly apply to any applicant acting as the authorized agent of a corporation, partnership, association, or other business entity.
(g) 
Consideration of application. The license commission shall conduct a public hearing in accordance with the provisions of General Laws, Chapter 39, Section 23B, within 30 days from the date of receipt by the license commission of a properly completed application as set forth in Subsections (e) and (f) above, to consider said application.
The license commission may refuse to approve issuance or renewal of a license for one or more of the following reasons:
(1) 
A false statement as to a material matter made in an application for a permit.
(2) 
Revocation of a permit, pursuant to this section, of the applicant or corporate officers of the applicant within two years preceding the filing of the application.
(3) 
Failure by the applicant or any officer or principal of the applicant to comply with the provisions of the building code, fire code and other pertinent provisions of all City ordinances as far as can be determined.
(4) 
Failure by the applicant or any officer or principal of the applicant to comply with the rules and regulations of the license commission or with specific conditions imposed by the commission on the particular license in question.
(5) 
Determination by the commission that the applicant or any officer or principal of the applicant has, within the past 10 years, been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.
(6) 
Determination by the commission that the approval of such issuance or renewal of the license would lead to the creation of a public nuisance or endanger the health, safety, order or morals of the general public by:
a. 
Unreasonably increasing pedestrian or vehicular traffic in the area in which the premises are located;
b. 
Increasing the incidence of illegal or disruptive conduct in the area in which the premises are located; or
c. 
Unreasonably increasing the level of noise in the area in which the premises are located; or
d. 
Otherwise significantly harming the legitimate protectable interests of the affected citizens of the City.
(h) 
License fee. Every applicant, before being granted a license, shall pay $100 as the annual license fee for the privilege of operating or maintaining for operation each device as defined in Subsection (a) paragraph (1) herein. Each license shall expire on December 31 of each year. A license shall not be transferable from person to person nor place to place, and shall be usable only at the place and by the person designated in the license.
(i) 
Display of license.
(1) 
The license herein provided for shall be posted permanently and conspicuously in the premises wherein said device or devices are to be operated or maintained to be operated.
(2) 
Such license may be transferred from one device or devices to another similar device or devices upon application to the license commission to such effect and the giving of a description and the serial numbers of the devices involved in the transfer and the filing of a $25 fee.
(3) 
If the licensee shall move his place of business to another location within the City, the license may be transferred to such new location only upon reapplication to the license commission in accordance with the provision of Subsections (e), (f) and (g) of this section.
(j) 
Revocation of license. Every license issued under this section is subject to the right of the license commission, which is hereby expressly reserved, to revoke the same should the licensee, directly or indirectly, permit the operation of any device contrary to the provisions of this section, the ordinances of the City, the rules and regulations of the license commission or the laws of the commonwealth. Said license may be revoked by the license commission after written notice to the licensee, which notice shall specify the ordinance or law violations with which the licensee is charged, if after a hearing the licensee is found to be guilty of such violations. Ten days notice of the hearing shall be given the licensee. At such hearing the licensee and his attorney may present and submit evidence of witnesses in his defense.
(k) 
Seizure and destruction of device. If the chief of police shall have reason to believe any device or devices are used as gambling devices, he shall, upon a validly issued search and seizure warrant, cause said device or devices to be seized and impounded and if, upon trial of the exhibitor for allowing said device or devices to be used as gambling devices, said exhibitor be found guilty, such device or devices shall be destroyed by the police, upon proper order by the court.
(l) 
Prohibitions.
(1) 
Each device shall be installed in such manner as to afford a direct and unobstructed means of entrance and exit from the business premises by means of a corridor or system of corridors of no less than 36 inches in width.
(2) 
Any business establishment which utilizes more than a total of 150 square feet of open and accessible space between said devices and for use as corridors between or adjacent to said devices as detailed in the immediately preceding paragraph, or any business establishment which displays on its premises a number of devices available for play by the public, which devices if played simultaneously could accommodate an aggregate of 50 or more players, shall be deemed a place of public assembly and shall be subject to all regulations of the Building Code of the commonwealth governing places of public assembly as set forth therein.
(3) 
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this section for any business establishment to erect and maintain for play by members of the public, more than one device for each 500 square feet of gross floor area of said business establishment, except as provided in Subsection (c) of this section.
For the purpose of this subsection, gross floor area shall be defined as the sum, in square feet, of the gross horizontal areas of the floor of a building where the devices are located. Gross floor area shall not include:
a. 
Elevator shafts and stairwells on each floor;
b. 
Attic space, whether finished or unfinished, not excluded in paragraph g. below;
c. 
Interior balconies, mezzanines;
d. 
Basement and cellar areas, not excluded in paragraph f. below;
e. 
Areas used for parking garages, accessory parking, or off-street loading purposes;
f. 
Areas devoted exclusively to the operations and maintenance of the building such as heating and cooling equipment, electrical and telephone facilities, and fuel storage; and
g. 
Other areas for elevator machinery or mechanical equipment necessary for the operation of the building.
(4) 
It shall be unlawful for any licensee or permit holder to operate any establishment without an attendant, at least 18 years of age, in attendance at all times.
(5) 
It shall be unlawful for a licensee to allow any person under the age of 17 years of age to play a device during the hours of 6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on those days when Waltham public schools are in session.
(m) 
Rules and regulations of commission. The license commission shall issue rules and regulations for the use of such devices, but said rules and regulations may only relate the compliance with applicable laws or ordinances, or to public safety, health order or welfare, or to steps required to be taken to guard against creation of a nuisance or to insure adequate safety and security for patrons of the affected public. The license commission may also require from time to time the furnishing of reports concerning the ownership of such devices or other interest therein, receipts for the use of such devices and any other information which it may deem pertinent concerning such devices and their use and operation.
(n) 
Penalty. Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this section, in addition to the revocation of the license involved, shall be liable to a fine or penalty of not less than $50 nor more than $200 for each offense. Every day that the offense continues shall be considered a separate violation.
(o) 
Repeal of conflicting ordinance. All existing ordinances of the City are hereby repealed insofar as they may be inconsistent with the provisions of this section.
(p) 
Effective date. The section shall be in full force and effect 60 days from the date of passage for all business premises which currently maintain and operate devices for play by members of the public. For all other applicants, this section shall take effect on the date of passage.
(q) 
Nonprofit organizations. The provisions of this section shall not apply to devices located on the premises of universities, colleges, fraternal organizations, veterans' organizations and other so-called "nonprofit" organizations.
State law reference — Automatic amusement devices, M.G.L.A. c. 140, §§ 177A—180.