[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Selectmen of the Town of East Hampton 7-17-1981 (Ord. No. 13.03); amended 6-25-1982; 11-22-1988. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The regulation of the operation of mechanical/electronic amusement devices and the constant supervision of the operation of such machines are hereby declared necessary for the protection of the health, safety and morals of the residents of the Town of East Hampton.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ANNUAL LICENSE
- A license issued pursuant to this ordinance and good up to and including the 31st day of December following its issuance.
- MECHANICAL/ELECTRONIC AMUSEMENT DEVICE
- Any machine that, upon the insertion of a coin, slug or token, or upon payment of a charge, releases an object which is propelled manually, mechanically, or electronically and which registers scores, by striking pins, levers, or bumpers or by falling into holes or slots, or that, upon insertion of a coin or slug or the payment of a charge, is operated to register a score or tally of any kind. It shall include such devices as pin-ball or pin-game machines, computer games, television games, coin-operated table games (i.e., hockey, soccer, bowling) and mechanical/electronic coin-operated moving picture devices.
- Any person, firm, corporation, club, or association in whose place of business any such mechanical/electronic amusement device is placed for use by the public, or anyone who may arrange with the owner of a business or premises for the use of space in which any such mechanical/electronic amusement device may be placed for the use by the public.
- SEASONAL LICENSE
- A license issued pursuant to this chapter and good for up to five months after the date of issuance.
Nothing in this chapter shall in any way be construed to authorize or permit any gambling device whatsoever or any mechanism that has been judicially determined to be a gambling device or in any way contrary to law, or that may be contrary to any future laws of the State of Connecticut, including, but not limited to, § 53-278a et seq. of the General Statutes.
The application for such a license shall contain the following information under oath:
Name of applicant(s): if a partnership, names of all partners; if a corporation, club or association, names of officers; if applicant is an agent, the principal or real party in interest shall be disclosed and such person or persons shall be considered an applicant or applicants for purposes hereof;
Residence of applicants;
Age of applicants; if a corporation, club or association, date organized and under laws of what state;
Type of business or activity;
Whether applicants or, if a corporation, club or association, officers have ever been convicted of a crime;
The place where a mechanical/electronic amusement device is to be displayed or operated and the business or activity conducted at that place (this shall apply only to operators);
Description or type of mechanical/electronic amusement device to be covered by the license.
The Chief of Police shall investigate the character and criminal record of the applicants and the location wherein it is proposed to operate the mechanical/electronic amusement device or devices described in the application and shall not approve said application or issue a license unless he finds that the applicants are over 18 years of age and are persons of good moral character and that the business or activity in such location is a bona fide and lawful one.
In any case of denial or refusal to grant or renew a license, the Chief of Police shall notify the applicant in writing, by certified mail, return receipt requested, of his proposed action and set a date, time and place for hearing thereon, giving the applicant not less than five business days' notice in advance thereof and an opportunity to be represented by counsel, to testify or offer other evidence, and to question any other person testifying at such hearing.
If the investigation conducted under § 161-6 of this chapter indicates that a license or licenses should issue, the Chief of Police shall issue in the name of such applicant such license or licenses upon payment by said applicant of a fee for each annual license or a fee for each such seasonal license to be issued pursuant to § 161-4 of this chapter in an amount as set from time to time by the Town Council.
Such license fees shall become due and payable as of January first of each year. If in the event a machine is placed in operation after the first of the year, the applicant shall pay a license fee to be pro-rated from the first day of the month on which the machine is first placed in operation up to and including the 31st day of December following. There shall be no rebate for any unexpired portion of the term of a permit revoked by reason of a violation of any provision of this chapter. Each license issued shall be renewable upon request of the holder thereof not less than 15 days prior to the expiration of the license sought to be renewed, upon payment of prescribed fee. Notwithstanding the above, the Chief of Police reserves the right to make further investigation of the applicant for a renewal license hereunder, and a determination thereon as set forth in § 161-6 of this chapter.
Any applicant that is a nonprofit corporation under the Internal Revenue Code, Section 501-C, shall be exempt from payment of the fee for one mechanical/electronic amusement device upon furnishing proof of same to the Chief of Police. All additional mechanical/electronic amusement devices shall be subject to said fees.
The license or licenses herein provided for shall be posted permanently and conspicuously at the location of the mechanical/electronic amusement device or devices for which such license or licenses have been issued. This location must in all respects conform to the location as stated in the license.
Each license may be transferred, with notification to the Chief of Police, from one mechanical/electronic amusement device of the same type without making separate application therefor. Notwithstanding the above, the failure to notify the Chief of Police by written statement containing a description of new machine of such transference within three business days shall be deemed a violation of this chapter, and shall permit the revocation of such license.
Each operator, and each servant, agent and employee of each operator, shall maintain good order in his place of business and not permit such mechanical/electronic amusement devices to be used for gambling. No person under the age of 14 shall be harbored or allowed to congregate in said place of business unless accompanied by his or her parent or legal guardian. The licensed operator, or his approved designee, of any mechanical/electronic amusement device shall be available on the premises during all hours during each day said devices are in operation. Any place of business containing three or more mechanical/electronic amusement devices shall not operate such devices on Sunday before 1:00 p.m., nor on any other day between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. on the following day, except that such places of business may be permitted to operate such devices until 12:00 midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, upon prior notification to the Chief of Police. The provisions of this section regarding hours of operation shall be applicable to any premises under the jurisdiction of the Division of Liquor Control, State of Connecticut, provided permission for such devices has been obtained from the proper authority.
The Chief of Police shall have the power to revoke any license issued hereunder for cause in accordance with the following procedures: The Chief of Police or his authorized representative shall cause to be sent to the licensee by certified mail, return receipt requested, a notice of intent to revoke license, which shall set forth the cause for such intended revocation, the place, date and time for a hearing before the Chief of Police to be held thereon, which shall not be sooner than five business days from the delivery of such notice, and a statement that the licensee shall be permitted to be represented by counsel, to testify or offer other evidence, and to question any other person testifying at such hearing. At the conclusion of such hearing, the Chief of Police shall issue a decision in writing as to whether such license or licenses shall be revoked, and if the decision is to revoke, the Chief of Police, or his authorized representative, may enter the premises and take possession of the license or licenses if so revoked. A written decision to revoke shall also notify the licensee that he may appeal such decision to revoke to the Town Council within five business days. The license shall remain revoked during any such appeal period. Cause shall be deemed to include, but shall not be limited to, conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude subsequent to the issuance of the license, false information in the application for a license knowingly given, or any violation of this chapter.
The following rules and regulations shall apply to operators and distributors of mechanical/electronic amusement devices, and any violation thereof shall be deemed sufficient cause for revocation and/or sufficient grounds for denial of an application for license or renewal thereof:
No mechanical/electronic coin-operated moving picture devices or lewd behavior shall be permitted in any place of business where licenses have been issued for the operation or distribution of mechanical/electronic amusement devices.
All places of business in which mechanical/electronic amusement devices are sought to be operated must comply with all firesafety and building and health codes, including, but not limited to, provisions concerning maximum occupancy and proper exits.
No operator shall permit loitering within or adjacent to the premises in which a licensed mechanical/electronic amusement device is operated. Each such operator shall provide sufficient places for bicycles and other vehicles in a manner which leaves free for passage all driveways and walkways within 50 feet of the premises.
The premises shall be of such construction or interior design so as to prevent the noises emanating from the mechanical/electronic amusement devices from being heard by persons at adjoining or nearby premises.
The Town of East Hampton reserves the right to amend this chapter to include other reasonable rules and regulations which are reasonably necessary for the preservation of property, health, safety and welfare of the citizens of East Hampton.
Any violation of the above rules and regulations shall be deemed to be a nuisance and shall subject the applicant to proceedings in Superior Court to enjoin the activity or conditions creating such nuisance, and the applicant shall be liable for costs of such suit and a reasonable attorney's fee.
Any person, firm, corporation or association operating any such mechanical/electronic amusement device without a permit as required hereunder shall be fined not more than $100 for each offense. Each date of violation shall constitute a separate offense.