Urbana endorses video-gambling ordinance; final vote Monday
URBANA — City council members next week could finalize their approval of an ordinance that would allow video gambling in bars and restaurants in Urbana under a new state law that goes into effect next month.
Council members will take up the vote at a special meeting on July 30 in an attempt to get their rules established before the Aug. 1 effective date.
The ordinance they supported on Monday night is more restrictive than the state law, but less restrictive than a proposal they offered earlier this month.
If approved in its current form, businesses that wish to offer video gambling to their customers will have to pay a $200 licensing fee per machine for up to five machines. They would not, however, need to limit their entry age to 21 years old, a key part of a proposal that a handful of business owners opposed two weeks ago.
The city ordinance would make 12 licenses available to Urbana businesses, up from the six-license limit in the initial proposal. Council members said they could review that limit at a later date if they felt the need to do so.
The city ordinance is on top of the state law, which also requires licensing, details where inside a business the video gambling machines may be located and how the machines must work. The American Legion is the only Urbana location that has been approved by the state so far as state officials work methodically through hundreds of applications.
In May, the Champaign City Council voted to allow video gambling as prescribed by state law with no additional city-imposed limits. Businesses in Champaign that want to offer video gambling still need to be licensed by the state.