Public Entertainment License

The Select Board issues the Entertainment License and governed by Massachusetts General Law Chapter 140 Section 181 and Section 183A. The process length for an Entertainment License is approximately four to six weeks.

You will need to obtain an entertainment license under the following circumstances:

Entertainment Licenses under M.G.L. c.140 183A: You will need this license if you are a holder of a Common Victualler or Alcohol License, and feature any kind of "concert, dance exhibition, cabaret, or public show of any description.  A "public show of any description" would include dancing by patrons or performers, recorded or live music, use of an amplification system, a theatrical play or exhibition, a film, a floor show or light show of any description, or any other kind of dynamic audio or visual show, whether live or recorded." M.G.L. c. 140 183A.

Entertainment Licenses under M.G.L. c. 140 181: You will need this license if you offer "theatrical exhibitions, public shows, public amusements and exhibitions of every description" and you charge an admission fee, or if "after free admission, amusement is furnished upon a deposit of money in a coin controlled apparatus." M.G.L. c. 140 181.

Entertainment Licenses under M.G.L. c. 140 177A: You will need this license if you offer an "automatic amusement device," which is a coin-operated amusement skill game such as a pinball machine or video game.

If your business plays music or has a television, you would need to apply for an annual Entertainment License. Additional services that would require your establishment to have an Annual Entertainment License include but are not limited to:

  • Disc Jockey
  • Karaoke
  • Dancing by Patrons
  • Live Band Music
  • Juke Box
  • Trivia
  • Billiard, Pool or Sippio Tables
  • Bowling Alley
  • Video Games machines, including Pinball
  • Readings
  • Theatrical Stage
  • Cinema Screen
  • Live Show