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General Laws

Section 4. (1) The mayor of a city or the selectmen of a town, upon written application describing the proposed dancing or game, sport, fair, exposition, play, entertainment or public diversion, except as provided in section one hundred and five of chapter one hundred and forty-nine, may grant, upon such reasonable terms and conditions as they may prescribe, a license to hold on Sunday dancing or any game, sport, fair, exposition, play, entertainment or public diversion for which a charge in the form of payment or collection of money or other valuable consideration is made for the privilege of being present thereat or engaging therein, except horse racing, dog racing, boxing, wrestling and hunting with firearms; provided, however, that no such license shall be issued for dancing for which a charge in the form of the payment or collection of money or other valuable consideration is made for the privilege of engaging therein; and provided further, however, that no license issued under this paragraph shall be granted to permit such activities before one o’clock in the afternoon; and provided further, that such application, except an application to conduct an athletic game or sport, shall be approved by the commissioner of public safety and shall be accompanied by a fee of two dollars, or in the case of an application for the approval of an annual license by a fee of fifty dollars.

(2) Licenses may be issued by the authorities designated in paragraph (1) to permit such activities before one o’clock in the afternoon, with the written approval of the commissioner of public safety and upon such reasonable terms and conditions as prescribed by him therein. The application for the approval of the proposed activity by the commissioner shall be in writing and shall be accompanied by a fee of five dollars or in the case of an application for the approval of an annual license by a fee of one hundred dollars.

(3) The licensing authority, or the commissioner of public safety or his designee, may revoke, cancel or suspend any license issued under this section upon evidence that the terms or conditions of such license or provisions of law are being violated; provided, however, that said commissioner shall not revoke, cancel or suspend any license issued under paragraph (1) which he is not required by said paragraph to approve.

(4) The city council of a city or board of selectmen of a town may determine fees for the issuance of licenses, but in no event shall any such fee be greater than twenty dollars per event and four hundred dollars per year.

(5) The city council of a city and board of selectmen of a town may make regulations relative to granting of licenses under this section and may revoke or amend them from time to time.

(6) The provisions of this section shall not apply to premises licensed under the provisions of section one hundred and eighty-three A of chapter one hundred and forty; provided, however, that paragraph (2), insofar as it regulates activities on such premises between the hours of two o’clock in the morning and one o’clock in the afternoon on Sunday, shall apply to premises licensed under said section one hundred and eighty-three A of said chapter one hundred and forty.

(7) Sections two and three and this section shall not apply to golf, tennis, bowling, skiing, or any activity in a gymnasium or on any rink, court, or field, for which a charge is made only for the privilege of engaging therein and not for the privilege of being present thereat as a spectator, nor to the conduct for charitable purposes of amateur contests involving time trial driving of automobiles nor to beano games licensed under the provisions of section thirty-eight of chapter ten.

(8) Sections 2 and 3 and this section shall not apply to an athletic game or contest for which a charge in the form of the payment of money or other valuable consideration is made for the privilege of being present thereat, conducted, presented or exhibited on Sunday prior to 1 o’clock antemeridian; provided, however, the said athletic game or contest was commenced before the hour of 9 o’clock postmeridian on Saturday and it was necessary to continue said game after midnight on Saturday in order to complete the game.

(8A) Sections 2 and 3 and this section shall not apply to the exhibition of motion pictures by a movie theater, including any drive-in theater, licensed under the provisions of section 181 of chapter 140.

(9) Sections two and three and this section shall not apply to standardbred racing conducted under the provisions of clauses (b) and (c) of section eleven of chapter twenty.

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