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Current through Dec. 1, 2016

New York Bingo Control Commission Law

Table of Sections

430. Short title.

431. Purpose of article.

432. Definitions.

434. Utilization of other agency assistance.

435. Powers and duties of the commission.

436. Hearings; immunity.

437. Place of investigations and hearings; witnesses; books and documents.

438. Privilege against self-incrimination.

439. Filing and availability of rules and regulations.

439-a. Municipality to file copies of local laws and ordinances; reports.

S 430. Short title . This article shall be known and may be cited as the bingo control law.

S 431. Purpose of article . The purpose of this article is to implement section nine of article one of the state constitution, as amended by vote of the people at the general election in November, nineteen hundred fifty-seven. The legislature hereby declares that the raising of funds for the promotion of bona fide charitable, educational, scientific, health, religious, civic and patriotic causes and undertakings, where the beneficiaries are indefinite, is in the public interest. It hereby finds that, as conducted prior to the enactment of this article, bingo was the subject of exploitation by professional gamblers, promoters, and commercial interests. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the legislature that all phases of the supervision, licensing and the regulation of bingo and of the conduct of bingo games, should be closely controlled and that the laws and regulations pertaining thereto should be strictly construed and rigidly enforced; that the conduct of the game and all attendant activities should be so regulated and adequate controls so instituted as to discourage commercialization in all its forms, including the rental of commercial premises for bingo games, and to ensure a maximum availability of the net proceeds of bingo exclusively for application to the worthy causes and undertakings specified herein; that the only justification for this article is to foster and support such worthy causes and undertakings, and that the mandate of section nine of article one of the state constitution, as amended, should be carried out by rigid regulation to prevent commercialized gambling, prevent participation by criminal and other undesirable elements and prevent the diversion of funds from the purposes herein authorized.

S 432. Definitions. As used in this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

1. "Control commission " or "commission " shall mean the state racing and wagering board.

2. "Municipality " shall mean any city, town or village within this state.

3. "Bingo " or "game " shall mean 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.

4. "Authorized organization " shall mean any bona fide religious or charitable organization or bona fide educational, fraternal, civic or service organization or bona fide organization of veterans, volunteer firefighters, or volunteer ambulance workers, which by its charter, certificate of incorporation, constitution, or act of the legislature, shall have as its dominant purpose or purposes one or more of the lawful purposes as defined in the bingo licensing law, 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 the bingo licensing law, article fourteen-H of the general municipal law, for a period of one year immediately prior to applying for a license under the licensing law.

5. "Bingo licensing law " shall mean article fourteen-h of the general municipal law.

S 434. Utilization of other agency assistance. To effectuate the purposes of this article, the governor may authorize any department, division, board, bureau, commission or agency of the state or of or in any political subdivision thereof to provide such facilities, assistance and data as will enable the commission properly to carry out its activities and effectuate its purposes hereunder.

S 435. Powers and duties of the commission.

1. The commission shall have the power and it shall be its duty to:

(a) Supervise the administration of the bingo licensing law and adopt, amend and repeal rules and regulations governing the issuance and amendment of licenses thereunder and the conducting of games under such licenses, which rules and regulations shall have the force and effect of law and shall be binding upon all municipalities issuing licenses, and upon licensees thereunder and licensees of the commission, to the end that such licenses shall be issued to qualified licensees only and that said games shall be fairly and properly conducted for the purposes and in the manner in the said bingo licensing law prescribed and to prevent the games thereby authorized to be conducted from being conducted for commercial purposes or purposes other than those therein authorized, participated in by criminal or other undesirable elements and the funds derived from the games being diverted from the purposes authorized, and, to provide uniformity in the administration of said law throughout the state, the commission shall prescribe forms of application for licenses, licenses, amendment of licenses, reports of the conduct of games and other matters incident to the administration of such law;

(b) Conduct, anywhere within the state, investigations of the administration, enforcement and potential or actual violations of the bingo licensing law and of the rules and regulations of the commission;

(c) Review all determinations and actions of the municipal governing body in issuing an initial license, and it may review the issuance of subsequent licenses and, after hearing, revoke those licenses which do not in all respects meet the requirements of this article, article fourteen-h of the general municipal law and the rules and regulations of the commission;

(d) Suspend or revoke a license, after hearing, for any violation of the provisions of this article, article fourteen-h of the general municipal law or the rules and regulations of the commission;

(e) Hear appeals from the determinations and action of the municipal governing body in connection with the refusing to issue licenses, the suspension and revocation of licenses and the imposition of fines in the manner prescribed by law and the action and determination of the commission upon any such appeal shall be binding upon the municipal governing body and all parties thereto;

(f) Initiate prosecutions for violations of this article and of the bingo licensing law;

(g) Carry on continuous study of the operation of the bingo licensing law to ascertain from time to time defects therein jeopardizing or threatening to jeopardize the purposes of this article, and to formulate and recommend changes in such law and in other laws of the state which the commission may determine to be necessary for the realization of such purposes, and to the same end to make a continuous study of the operation and administration of similar laws which may be in effect in other states of the United States.

(h) Supervise the disposition of all funds derived from the conduct of bingo by authorized organizations not currently licensed to conduct such games; (i) Issue an identification number to an applicant authorized organization if it shall determine that the applicant satisfies the requirements of the bingo licensing law and the rules and regulations.

2. (a) The commission shall have the power to issue or, after hearing, refuse to issue a license permitting a person, firm or corporation to sell or distribute to any other person, firm or corporation engaged in business as a wholesaler, jobber, distributor or retailer of all cards, boards, sheets, pads and all other supplies, devices and equipment designed for use in the play of bingo by an organization duly licensed to conduct bingo games or to sell or distribute any such materials directly to such an organization. For the purposes of this section the words "sell or distribute" shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following activities; offering for sale, receiving, handling, maintaining, storing the same on behalf of such an organization, distributing or providing the same to such an organization, and offering for sale or lease bingo devices and equipment. Each such license shall be valid for one year.

(b) No person, firm or corporation, other than an organization which is or has been during the preceding twelve months duly licensed to conduct bingo games, shall sell or distribute bingo supplies or equipment without having first obtained a license therefor upon written application made, verified and filed with the commission in the form prescribed by the rules and regulations of the commission. As a part of its determination concerning the applicant`s suitability for licensing as a bingo supplier, the New York state racing and wagering board shall require the applicant to furnish to such board two sets of fingerprints.

Such fingerprints shall be submitted to the division of criminal justice services for a state criminal history record check, as defined in subdivision one of section three thousand thirty-five of the education law, and may be submitted to the federal bureau of investigation for a national criminal history record check. In each such application for a license under this section shall be stated the name and address of the applicant; the names and addresses of its officers, directors, shareholders or partners; the amount of gross receipts realized on the sale or distribution of bingo supplies and equipment to duly licensed organizations during the last preceding calendar or fiscal year, and such other information as shall be prescribed by such rules and regulations. The fee for such license shall be a sum equal to twenty-five dollars plus an amount based upon the gross sales, if any, of bingo equipment and supplies to authorized organizations by the applicant during the preceding calendar year, or fiscal year if the applicant maintains his accounts on a fiscal year basis, and determined in accordance with the following schedule:

gross sales of $1,000 to $4,999................$10.00

gross sales of $5,000 to $19,999...............$50.00

gross sales of $20,000 to $49,999.............$200.00

gross sales of $50,000 to $100,000............$500.00

gross sales in excess of $100,000...........$1,000.00

(c) The following shall be ineligible for such a license:

(1) a person convicted of a crime who has not received a pardon, a certificate of good conduct or a certificate of relief from disabilities;

(2) a person who is or has been a professional gambler or gambling promoter or who for other reasons is not of good moral character;

(3) a public officer or employee;

(4) an operator or proprietor of a commercial hall duly licensed under the bingo licensing law;

(5) a firm or corporation in which a person defined in subdivision (1), (2), (3) or (4) above, or a person married or related in the first degree to such a person, has greater than a ten per centum proprietary, equitable or credit interest or in which such a person is active or employed.

(d) The control commission shall have power to examine or cause to be examined the books and records of any applicant for a license, or any licensee, under this section. 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 article and article fourteen-h of the general municipal law.

(e) Any solicitation of an organization licensed to conduct bingo games, to purchase or induce the purchase of bingo supplies and equipment, or any representation, statement or inquiry designed or reasonably tending to influence such an organization to purchase the same, other than by a person licensed or otherwise authorized pursuant to this section shall constitute a violation of this section.

(f) Any person who willfully shall make any material false statement in any application for a license authorized to be issued under this article or who willfully shall violate any of the provisions of this section or of any license issued hereunder shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, in addition to the penalties in such case made and provided, shall forfeit any license issued to him or it under this section and be ineligible to apply for a license under this section for one year thereafter.

(g) At the end of the license period, a recapitulation shall be made as between the licensee and the commission in respect of the gross sales actually recorded during the license period and the fee paid therefor, and any deficiency of fee thereby shown to be due shall be paid by the licensee and any excess of fee thereby shown to have been paid shall be credited to said licensee in such manner as the commission by the rules and regulations shall prescribe.

3. The commission shall have the power to approve and establish a standard set of bingo cards comprising a consecutively numbered series and shall by its rules and regulations prescribe the manner in which such cards are to be reproduced and distributed to licensed authorized organizations. The sale or distribution to a licensed authorized organization of any card or cards other than those contained in the standard set of bingo cards shall constitute a violation of this section. Licensed authorized organizations shall not be required to use nor to maintain such cards seriatim excepting that the same may be required in the conduct of limited period bingo games.

S 436. Hearings; immunity.

1. A hearing upon any investigation or review authorized by this article or by article fourteen-h of the general municipal law may be conducted by two or more members of the commission or by a hearing officer duly designated by the commission, as the commission shall determine.

2. A person who has violated any provision of this article or article fourteen-h of the general municipal law, or of the rules and regulations of the commission, or any term of any license issued under said articles or said rules and regulations, is a competent witness against another person so charged. In any hearing upon any investigation or review authorized by this article or article fourteen-h of the general municipal law, for or relating to a violation of any provision of said articles or of the rules and regulations of the commission or of the term of any such license, the commission, may confer immunity upon such witness in accordance with the provisions of section 50.20 of the criminal procedure law. Such immunity shall be conferred only upon the vote of at least three members of the commission, and only after affording the attorney general and the appropriate district attorney a reasonable opportunity to be heard with respect to any objections which they or either of them may have to the granting of such immunity.

S 437. Place of investigations and hearings; witnesses; books and documents. The commission may conduct investigations and hearings within or without the state and shall have power to compel the attendance of witnesses, the production of books, records, documents and other evidence by the issuance of a subpoena signed by a member of the commission.

S 438. Privilege against self-incrimination. The willful refusal to answer a material question or the assertion of privilege against self-incrimination during a hearing upon any investigation or review authorized by this article or by article fourteen-h of the general municipal law by any licensee or any person identified with any licensee as an officer, director, stockholder, partner, member, employee or agent thereof shall constitute sufficient cause for the revocation or suspension of any license issued under this article or under the licensing law, as the commission or as the municipal governing body may determine.

S 439. Filing and availability of rules and regulations . A copy of every rule and regulation adopted and promulgated by the commission shall be filed in the office of the secretary of state before it shall become effective and copies thereof shall be made available to the various municipalities operating under the bingo licensing law.

S 439-a. Municipality to file copies of local laws and ordinances; reports . Each municipality in which the bingo licensing law shall be adopted shall file with the commission a copy of each local law or ordinance enacted pursuant thereto within ten days after the same has been approved by a majority of the electors voting on a proposition submitted at a general or special election, or within ten days after the same has been amended or repealed by the common council or other local legislative body, and on or before February first of each year, and at any other time or times which the commission may determine, make a report to the commission of the number of licenses issued therein under the bingo licensing law, the names and addresses of the licensees, the aggregate amount of license fees collected, the names and addresses of all persons detected of violating the bingo licensing law, this law or the rules and regulations adopted by the commission pursuant hereto, and of all persons prosecuted for such violations and the result of each such prosecution, the penalties imposed therein during the preceding calendar year, or the period for which the report is required, which report may contain any recommendations for improvement of the bingo licensing law or the administration thereof which the governing body of the municipality shall deem to be desirable.