Prussing changes recommendations on video gambling

URBANA — Mayor Laurel Prussing is recommending changes to the city's proposed ordinance on video gambling after business owners largely opposed the rules as presented two weeks ago.

Cities and towns throughout Illinois are making changes to their local rules as a new state law allowing video-gambling terminals at certain businesses like bars and restaurants as a revenue-generating mechanism gradually comes into effect. Prussing has said the common approach for local governments has been to either allow or disallow video gambling in its entirety, but she wants to find a middle ground.

City council members will continue to discuss the proposed video-gambling ordinance when they meet as the committee of the whole on Monday at 7 p.m. in the Urbana City Building, 400 S. Vine St.

Earlier this month, the city council began its discussion on how to deal with the new state law. As a starting point, Prussing suggested licensing up to six businesses in the city of Urbana for video gambling terminals. Those licensed businesses would have to pay a $1,000 fee per machine for up to five machines, and they would have been required to close their doors to anyone under the age of 21.

A handful of businesses owners at a July 9 meeting told city council members that, while they look forward to bringing video-gambling terminals into their bars and restaurants, they thought the proposed rules were too restrictive. Some owners have said operating the machines could be the difference between staying open and going out of business.

In response, Prussing has sent a memo to council members laying out further changes. She now is suggesting that the city license up to 12 businesses for video gambling. The under-21 restriction would be removed from the proposed ordinance, and the licensing fee would drop from $1,000 to $200 per machine.

The state law itself requires that the area containing the video-gambling terminals be closed off to anyone under 21 years old, but not the entire business.

Each business wanting a video-gambling license from the city must first get one from the state, and in her memo, Prussing notes that will take many months as the state board overseeing the program works methodically through hundreds of applications.

"If any other Urbana business wants a license, they could ask the council to approve an additional license and we could weigh the pros and cons," Prussing wrote in her memo to the city council. "Also, since this will take many months to get 12 in operation, new applicants would have some perspective on how it has worked for other businesses.

The Champaign City Council has already allowed video gambling as prescribed by the state law. The state will tax the net income of the machines at 30 percent, of which 25 percent goes into the state's capital projects fund and the remaining 5 percent is distributed to the cities which have chosen to allow video gambling.

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natebaux wrote on July 23, 2012 at 11:07 am

greetings urbana business owners.

this is official notice to inform you that by placing these "state sanctioned" video gaming machines (you are not fooling anyone) in your business will result in never seeing me or any of my money. im quite happy to watch you and the rest of illinois  flash-fail. you really cant run a profitable business in this state anymore. go find an owner and talk to them, they are leveraged to the hilt. more and more taxes with loads of new ones on the way.

thats a  pretty big divide, jumping from 1000 to 200 per machine. greedy greedy greedy. i wonder what else we can get the fees lowered for...towing, parking fines, building permits...and just how many people it would take to accomlish this. "we dont get to keep as much of this money for ourselves that you helped us steal from people....waahhhaaaaa!"

lets cut to the chase. whip up the bill legalizing prostitution and recreational drug use...the profits are INSANE! if its tax revenue you want, lets reach for the gold. oh sure, people and churches will complain, but when did you ever stop to listen to them? they dont contribute enough to matter.

if you are running a backroom card game, WATCH OUT! you are now stealing directly from the city coffers. time to dust off the swat tactital armor.

please wake up and see these people for what they really are.

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on July 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm
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I wonder whether anyone in Urbana government will ever acknowledge that these machines are already in use (and already paying out) and have been for years.

Sid Saltfork wrote on July 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Your right.  Most bar owners will tell you that they were better off profit wise before the state, and municipalities got involved.  Some even decided to remove the machines once the state got involved.  Now with the municipalities involved; the bar owners have to have the machines in order to compete for customers with the other bars that have machines.  Twelve licenses will not be enough.  How many bars, and restaurants are there in Urbana?

use er name wrote on July 23, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    So now young service (wo)men returning from duty will first be greeted with the insult of being unable to have a beer at the VFW/American Leigion, etc. This despite the fact that many could drink legally  overseas.

    Now comes the State, and the Peoples Republic of Urbana, to declare them unworthy to even occupy * the same area as a poker machine.

(*By occupy I do not meen to imply loitering, pooping on police cars, and whining about needing more handouts-occupy actually refers to being in a place; not demanding the that Government steal it for you)

 

antigambler wrote on July 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Report "for-amusement-only" machines, whether they are paying out or not, to the Gaming Board:  GENE.OSHEA@igb.illinois.gov  As of August 18th, possession of one of those machines is a felony.

natebaux wrote on July 30, 2012 at 10:07 pm

i encourage everyone to purchase one of these machines, and report yourself.

dont go to court.

dont pay the fine.

the igb will go broke paying for fuel.