St. Joseph in no hurry for gambling at new convenience store

ST. JOSEPH — Gas stations and video gaming don't mix. At least not in St. Joseph.

The developer of a new convenience store in St. Joseph, Wortman Properties Inc., recently asked the village if it had any liquor licenses available that would allow the store to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises.

That would allow the store to feature video gaming. The 2012 state law that legalized video gambling requires that businesses must be able to serve alcohol for on-site consumption before they're eligible to get the gaming machines.

In March, a similar request was made to the Champaign City Council by six gas stations in Champaign. It was turned down, and it appears that St. Joseph will follow suit.

St. Joseph Mayor B.J. Hackler said a straw poll of the village board showed members were not interested in pursuing the matter at this time.

"I don't think the board is ready for that," he said.

Currently, the village has four Class R liquor licenses that allow restaurants to sell liquor for on-premise consumption. They're all spoken for — by El Toro, Rochs, La Luna and Monicals Pizza.

The village also has four class P-1 liquor licenses which allow the package-only sale of liquor. A P-2 license allows the package sale of beer and wine.

The village also has special event liquor licenses and a Class OC liquor license for outdoor cafes.

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