State ex rel. Trampe v. Multerer

Decision Date12 March 1940
Citation289 N.W. 600,234 Wis. 50
PartiesSTATE ex. rel. TRAMPE v. MULTERER et al.
CourtWisconsin Supreme Court

OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE

Appeal from a judgment of the Circuit Court for Milwaukee County; Charles L. Aarons, Judge.

Affirmed.

In the action, commenced July 28, 1939, in the name of the State of Wisconsin, upon the relation of Charles W. Trampe, a private individual, upon leave first obtained from the court, pursuant to sec. 280.02, Stats., it was sought to enjoin the defendants, Albert Multerer, Marie Multerer, his wife, Edward F. Zrimsek and Marie Zrimsek, his wife, and each of them, from maintaining or permitting their certain premises to be used as a gambling house and from conducting thereon games of “Bingo,” on the ground that such games as theretofore and then conducted, constituted a public nuisance. It was alleged in substance in the complaint that the premises in question were known as Nos. 1118-1126 West North avenue; that the defendants Zrimsek had an equitable interest in the premises by virtue of an assignment of a land contract; that leave of the circuit court for Milwaukee county to bring the action had been obtained pursuant to the provisions of ch. 280, Stats.; that, upon information and belief, the defendants were then using and for a long time prior thereto had openly and notoriously used said premises for the purpose of conducting and carrying on the game of Bingo, or similar games and other games of chance; that, upon information and belief, the premises constituted a common gambling resort; that great numbers of persons resorted to said premises for the purpose of gaming and gambling; that the defendants kept, continued and maintained said premises as a gambling resort, to which great numbers of persons were permitted to resort for the purpose of gaming and gambling and to which persons did actually resort for such purposes, in violation of the laws of this state and to the injury of the public morals, welfare and decency of the community in which said premises are located and that said premises and the games conducted therein constitute and are a public nuisance, within the meaning of ch. 280, Stats. The defendants Zrimsek answered and admitted all of the allegations of the complaint except (1) those which charged that the defendants had openly and notoriously used said premises for conducting and carrying on the game of Bingo or similar games and other games of chance, and (2) those which charged that the said premises constituted a gambling resort and a public nuisance. They alleged that the premises consist of large public halls which are rented for meetings, weddings, parties and other large social functions, and that various charitable, religious and fraternal organizations had rented said premises and had conducted therein and had provided for their members and patrons, entertainments and amusements among which was a game commonly called Bingo, the proceeds of which entertainments and amusements, including the game of Bingo were used exclusively for either charitable, religious or fraternal objectives and purposes. Trial was had to the court. By stipulation, the action was dismissed as to the defendants, Multerer. The trial court rendered an exhaustive written decision and thereafter made its findings of fact and conclusions of law. The facts found by the court are in accord with the undisputed facts and are not assailed. The court concluded in substance that Bingo is a gambling game and violative of sec. 348.07, Stats.; that the defendants Zrimsek, in leasing a part of their premises and permitting the use thereof for gambling purposes, violated secs. 348.09 and 348.11, Stats., that the operation of Bingo games upon the premises constituted a public nuisance; that the use of the proceeds from Bingo games for religious, charitable or other worthy objectives did not render inapplicable the provisions of sec. 348.07, 348.09 and 348.11, Stats.; that the plaintiff was entitled to an injunction, pursuant to the provisions of sec. 280.02, Stats., and that the plaintiff had no adequate remedy at law. Entry of judgment was accordingly ordered. From a judgment, entered November 2, 1939, perpetually restraining the use of the premises, or any part thereof, as a place for playing, conducting or operating Bingo games, and for costs, the defendants, Zrimsek, appealed.Max Raskin and Wm. F. Quick, both of Milwaukee, for appellants.

Benjamin J. Miller and Geo. J. Laikin, both of Milwaukee, for respondent.

NELSON, Justice.

The facts are not in dispute. The defendants, Edward F. Zrimsek and Marie Zrimsek, his wife, hereinafter called the defendants, are the owners of certain premises on West North avenue in the city of Milwaukee. The defendant, Edward F. Zrimsek, operates a tavern on the ground floor thereof. On the second floor is a large hall which for about a year prior to the commencement of the action, was leased four or five nights each week and at least two afternoons each week to Auxiliary to Sons of Union Veterans, and St. Victoria Society, patriotic and charitable organizations. For about a year prior to the commencement of the action, those two societies had conducted games of Bingo in the large hall, the proceeds of which were turned over to the patriotic or charitable objectives of those organizations. Bingo was played in the following manner: Every person who desired to play was required to pay an admission price upon entering the hall where the game was played. He was given a card, rectangular in shape, divided into twenty-five squares, each of which contained a number. The squares were arranged in vertical and horizontal columns containing five squares. The cards so distributed had different combinations of numbers on them. Numbers corresponding to the numbers on the various cards were placed in a container or drum, which was kept in a conspicuous place. The container was revolved until a number was caught upon a device designed for the random selection of a number. That number was removed from the container and called out to the players. Each of the players having this number upon his card placed a kernel of corn upon the square containing it. When a row of numbers on a card was completely filled out with kernels of corn (either vertically, horizontally or diagonally) the player called out “Bingo.” His card was then checked by an attendant and if found to be correct, he was declared the winner of that game. He was entitled to the prize that had been announced just prior to the commencement of that particular game. The price of admission was either twenty-five or thirty-five cents, depending upon the day when the game was played and the organization sponsoring the game. The admission price entitled a patron to a Bingo card which gave him the opportunity to play a fixed number of games. Additional Bingo cards might be purchased at five and ten cents each, so that a player might play as many cards as he desired. As many as ten cards were often played by patrons. No one could play who had not paid the admission price. The prizes, according to the evidence, varied from $2.50 to $165 per game. To the winner a certificate was given which was payable at the bar of the tavern. Ordinarily the winners made purchases at the bar although it was not necessary to do so. If two or more players, on the calling out of a certain number, filled out a row on their cards, the prize was divided and certificates issued to them for a proportional part of the prize. In addition to the chance to win at Bingo, a door prize amounting to $1 was given away at each afternoon or evening session. That prize was awarded by lot. The testimony showed that at times there were as many as one thousand people playing. One of the lady managers testified that we must have seven hundred.” The defendant, Edward F. Zrimsek, testified that something like $1,600 to $2,000 was paid out by him each week in redeeming prize certificates. Children were not permitted to purchase admission tickets but were admitted if accompanied by their parents and were permitted to play Bingo in case their parents purchased cards for them. Conspicuous signs advertising that “Bingo” was played there and that the public was invited to play, was displayed in the ground floor windows of the premises. The organizations from time to time redeemed or repaid to the defendant, Edward F. Zrimsek, the...

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12 cases
  • Dairyland Greyhound Park, Inc. v. Doyle
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • 14 de julho de 2006
    ...129, 294 N.W. 491 (1940); and La Crosse Theaters, 232 Wis. 153, 286 N.W. 707). Curiously, the opinion omitted State ex rel. Trampe v. Multerer, 234 Wis. 50, 289 N.W. 600 (1940). ¶ 165 The La Crosse Theaters case involved bank nights at a theater. The State sought to enjoin the practice as a......
  • Panzer v. Doyle
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • 13 de maio de 2004
    ...Wis. 524, 528, 71 N.W.2d 287 (1955); State ex rel. Regez v. Blumer, 236 Wis. 129, 130, 294 N.W. 491 (1940); State ex rel. Trampe v. Multerer, 234 Wis. 50, 56, 289 N.W. 600 (1940); State ex rel. Cowie v. La Crosse Theaters Co., 232 Wis. 153, 155, 286 N.W. 707 (1939). Under this broad reading......
  • Knight v. State ex rel. Moore, 1 and B
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • 21 de dezembro de 1990
    ...60 N.W.2d 889, 892-93 (1953); Society of Good Neighbors v. Van Antwerp, 324 Mich. 22, 36 N.W.2d 308, 309 (1949); State v. Multerer, 234 Wis. 50, 289 N.W. 600, 603-04 (1940). In the face of such authority, I find the majority's holding that bingo is not a lottery to be both unpersuasive and ......
  • Dairyland Greyhound Park, Inc. v. Doyle, 2006 WI 107 (Wis. 7/14/2006)
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • 14 de julho de 2006
    ...236 Wis. 129, 294 N.W. 491 (1940); and La Crosse Theaters, 232 Wis. 153). Curiously, the opinion omitted State ex rel. Trampe v. Multerer, 234 Wis. 50, 289 N.W. 600 (1940). ¶ 165 The La Crosse Theaters case involved bank nights at a theater. The State sought to enjoin the practice as a nuis......
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