[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Mount Vernon 6-22-1983, approved 6-23-1983. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated:
- AUTHORIZED ORGANIZATION
- Includes any bona fide religious or charitable organization or bona fide education, fraternal or service organization or bona fide organization of veterans or volunteer firemen, 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 this article, 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 this article for a period of five years immediately prior to applying for a license under this article. 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."
- The New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
- The City Clerk unless otherwise indicated.
- The Commissioner of Public Safety unless otherwise indicated.
- GAMES OF CHANCE
- Includes only the games known as "merchandise wheels" and such other specific games as may be authorized by the Board, in which prizes are awarded on the basis of a designated winning number or numbers, color or colors, symbol or symbols determined by chance, but not including games commonly known as "bingo" or "lotto" which are controlled under Article 14-H of this chapter and also not including "slot machines," "bookmaking," "policy or numbers games" and "lottery" as defined in § 225.00 of the Penal Law. No game of chance shall involve wagering of money by one player against another player.
- LICENSE PERIOD
- A period of time not to exceed 14 consecutive hours.
- The play of a single type of game of chance necessary to determine the outcome or winners each time wagers are made.
- SERIES OF PRIZES
- The total amount of single prizes minus the total amount of wagers lost during the successive operations of a single type of game of chance, except that for merchandise wheels, "series of prizes" shall mean the sum of the actual value of merchandise awarded as single prizes during the successive operations of any single merchandise wheel.
- SINGLE PRIZE
- The sum of money or actual value of merchandise awarded to a participant by a games of chance licensee in any one operation of a single type of game in excess of his wager.
- SINGLE TYPE OF GAME
- The games of chance known as "merchandise wheels" and each other specific game of chance authorized by the Board.
It shall be lawful for any authorized organization, upon obtaining a license therefor, as hereinafter provided, to conduct games of chance within the territorial limits of the City of Mount Vernon, New York, subject to the provisions of this chapter, the provisions of Article 9-A (§§ 185 through 195-n) of the General Municipal Law and the provisions of the Board.
Any game or games licensed hereunder shall be subject to the following restrictions in addition to such other restrictions as may be provided herein or contained in the rules and regulations of the Board:
No person, firm, partnership, corporation or organization, other than a licensee under the provisions of Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law, shall conduct such game or shall lease or otherwise make available for conducting games of chance premises for any consideration whatsoever, direct or indirect.
No game of chance 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.
No authorized organization licensed under the provisions of Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law shall purchase or receive any supplies or equipment specifically designed or adapted for use in the conduct of games of chance from other than a supplier licensed by the Board or from another authorized organization.
The entire net proceeds of any game of chance shall be exclusively devoted to the lawful purposes of the organization permitted to conduct the same, and the net proceeds of any rental derived therefrom shall be exclusively devoted to the lawful purposes of the authorized games of chance lessor.
No single prize shall exceed the sum or value of $100, except that for merchandise wheels, no single prize shall exceed the sum or value of $250. No single wager shall exceed $2.
No authorized organization shall award a series of prizes consisting of merchandise with an aggregate value in excess of $1,000 during the successive operations of any one merchandise wheel.
In addition to merchandise wheels, no more than five other single types of games of chance shall be conducted during any one license period.
Except for merchandise wheels, no series of prizes on any one occasion shall aggregate more than $200 when the licensed authorized organization conducts five single types of games of chance during any one license period. Except for merchandise wheels, no series of prizes on any one occasion shall aggregate more than $250 when the licensed authorized organization conducts less than five single types of games of chance, exclusive of merchandise wheels, during any one license period.
Except for the limitations on the sum or value for single prizes and series of prizes, no limit shall be imposed on the sum or value of prizes awarded to any one participant during any occasion or any license period.
No person except a bona fide member of the licensed authorized organization shall participate in the management of such games; no person except a bona fide member of the licensed authorized organization, its auxiliary or affiliated organization shall participate in the operation of such game, as set forth in Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law.
No person shall receive any remuneration for participating in the management or operation of any such game.
No authorized organization shall extend credit to a person to participate in playing a game of chance.
No game of chance shall be conducted on other than the premises of an authorized organization or an authorized games of chance lessor.
The unauthorized conduct of a game of chance shall constitute and be punishable as a misdemeanor.
Each applicant for a license shall file with the City Clerk of the City of Mount Vernon a written application in the form prescribed in the rules and regulations of the Board, duly executed and verified.
Each application shall include the following:
The name and address of the applicant, together with sufficient facts relating to its incorporation and organization to enable such Clerk or department, as the case may be, to determine whether or not it is a bona fide authorized organization.
The names and addresses of its officers; the place or places where, the date or dates and the time or times when the applicant intends to conduct games under the license applied for.
The amount of rent to be paid or other consideration to be given directly or indirectly for each licensed period for use of the premises of an authorized games of chance lessor.
All other 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 purposes to which the entire net proceeds of such games are to be devoted and in what manner; that no commission, salary, compensation, reward or recompense will be paid to any person for conducting such game or games or for assisting therein except as in this article otherwise provided; and such other information as shall be prescribed by such rules and regulations.
The name of each single type of game of chance to be conducted under the license applied for and the number of merchandise wheels, if any, to be operated.
In each application, there shall be designated not less than four bona fide members of the applicant organization under whom the game or games of chance will be managed and to the application shall be appended a statement executed by the members so designated that they will be responsible for the management of such games in accordance with the terms of the license, the rules and regulations of the Board, this article and the applicable local laws or ordinances.
Authorized games of chance lessor. 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 Clerk, a written application therefor in a form to be prescribed by the Board, duly executed and verified, which shall set forth the name and address of the applicant, designation and address of the premises intended to be covered by the license sought, a statement that the applicant in all respects conforms with the specifications contained in the definition of "authorized organization" set forth in § 139A-1 of this chapter, a statement of the lawful purposes to which the net proceeds from any rental are to be devoted by the applicant and such other information as shall be prescribed by the Board.
The City Clerk of the City of Mount Vernon shall cause to be investigated the qualifications of each applicant and the merits of each application with due expedition after the filing of the application. The City Clerk shall deliver to the Commissioner of Public Safety the application, together with the supporting documents therefor and a detailed report of the results of his investigation, including the due qualifications of the applicant to be licensed, the relationship of the members under whom such games are to be conducted to the applicant, whether such persons are of good moral character or have ever been convicted of a crime, whether the conduct of such games will comply with all the provisions of law and rules and regulations applicable thereto, whether a commission, salary, compensation, reward or recompense of any nature will be paid to any person conducting or assisting in conducting such games of chance, whether a prize will be offered or given in excess of the sum or value of $250 in any single game or an aggregate of all prizes given in a series of games on a given occasion will exceed the sum or value of $1,000 and such other questions or inquiries as the Commissioner of Public Safety may direct.
If the Commissioner of Public Safety shall determine that the requisite conditions have been met by the applicant, he shall so inform the City Clerk, who shall issue a license to the applicant for the holding, operation and conduct of the specific kinds of games of chance applied for upon payment of a license fee or fees of $25 for each occasion upon which any games of chance are to be conducted under such license, which fees are to be paid to the Comptroller of the City of Mount Vernon. Said license shall be countersigned by the Commissioner of Public Safety.
On or before the 30th day of each month, the Comptroller of the City of Mount Vernon shall transmit to the State Comptroller a sum equal to 50% of all license fees collected by the City of Mount Vernon pursuant to this chapter during the preceding calendar month.
No license for the holding, operation or 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.
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein contained, the City Clerk shall not issue a license to any applicant where there is found to be a violation of any state law or City ordinance respecting premises where it is intended that such games of chance are to be held, operated or conducted by said applicant.
No application for the issuance of a license shall be denied by the City Clerk 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.
Any license issued under this chapter may be amended upon application made to the City Clerk where 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.
The Commissioner of Public Safety shall have and exercise rigid control and close supervision over all games of chance conducted under such license, 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, the provisions of Article 9-A of the General Municipal Law and this chapter; and the Board shall have the power and the authority to temporarily suspend any license issued by the Clerk or department pending a hearing; and after notice and hearing, the Clerk, Commissioner or Board may suspend or revoke the same and, additionally, impose a fine in an amount not exceeding $1,000 for violation of any such provisions, and shall 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. An agent of the appropriate office or department shall make an on-site inspection during the conduct of all games of chance licensed pursuant to this article.
Such games may be held on any day provided for in such license, to include the first day of the week, commonly known and designated as "Sunday," after 1:05 p.m. No games of chance shall be conducted on Easter Sunday, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve.
No persons under the age of 18 years shall be permitted to participate in any game or games of chance held, operated or conducted pursuant to any license issued under this chapter.
No game or games of chance shall be held, operated or conducted under any license issued under this chapter more often than on 12 times in any one calendar year or in any room or outdoor area where alcoholic beverages are sold or served during the progress of the game or games. No premises shall be used for the conduct of games of chance on more than 24 license periods in any one year.
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 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. No such games 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 licensee 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 or furnished 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 § 139A-4 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 Board.
Not more than $5 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. 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. 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 beverages shall be offered or given as a prize in any such game.
A license holder may advertise the conduct of games of chance to the general public by means of newspaper, circular, handbill and poster and by one sign which 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. All advertisements shall be limited to the description of such event as "games of chance" or "Las Vegas night," the name of the authorized organization conducting such games, the license number of the authorized organization as assigned by the Clerk and the date, location and time of the event. Any signs posted shall fully comply with the Building Code and Zoning Ordinances of the City of Mount Vernon, New York.
Within seven days after the conclusion of any license period, 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 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.
Upon the filing of such statement of receipts, the authorized organization furnishing the same shall pay to the Clerk or department as and for an additional license fee a sum based upon the reported net proceeds, if any, for the license period 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 municipalities or counties of administering the provisions of this article, but such additional license fee shall not exceed 5% of the net proceeds for such license period.
The City Clerk and the Board shall have the 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 by the City Clerk aggrieved by any action of the 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 Clerk by filing with the Clerk 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 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 said Clerk and all parties to said appeal.
No person or corporation lawfully conducting or participating in the conduct of, or 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, 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 225 of the Penal Law or any other law or ordinance to the extent that such conduct is specifically authorized by this City Council, 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.
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 § 139A-4 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 its 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 it relates to any transaction connected with the holding, operating or conducting of any game of chance under any 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 for one year thereafter.
This chapter may be amended from time to time or repealed by the City Council of the City of Mount Vernon, and such amendment or repeal, as the case may be, made effective and operative not later than 30 days following the date of the ordinance effecting such amendment or repeal, as the case may be; and the approval of a majority of the electors shall not be a condition prerequisite to the taking effect of such chapter.
If any provision of this chapter or the application thereof to any municipality, person or circumstances shall be adjudged unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction thereunder, the remainder of this chapter or the application thereof to such municipality, person or circumstances shall not be affected thereby, and the City Council 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.
The proposition that this chapter be adopted shall be submitted to the electors of the City of Mount Vernon at the general election to be held on the 8th day of November 1983. If the proposition shall be approved by a vote of the majority of the qualified electors voting thereon, this chapter shall be deemed adopted and shall become effective January 1, 1984, but if the proposition shall not be approved by a vote of the majority of the qualified electors voting thereon, no provision of this chapter shall become effective.
Editor's Note: Said proposition was approved by a vote of the majority of the qualified electors at said general election on 11-8-1983.
This chapter, including the following notice, shall be published by the City Clerk of the City of Mount Vernon, New York, in the Daily Argus, the official newspaper of the City of Mount Vernon, twice a week in each of three calendar weeks prior to November 8, 1983, the date of such general election.
This chapter shall be dated June 22, 1983, and shall take effect upon its approval by the Mayor of the City of Mount Vernon, New York.