DANVILLE — Aldermen on Tuesday night continued their discussion on how to prevent video-gambling parlors from setting up shop in Danville. Only this time, there was a new wrinkle.
In response to recent state legislation that allowed for video-gambling expansion, city leaders expressed a desire to change Danville’s ordinances to keep out so-called parlors or cafes — businesses where video gambling is the main focus. To do so, the city would limit liquor licenses to businesses and organizations that generate more than half of their revenue from sources other than video gambling.
The idea: to protect existing businesses.
But Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. said he didn’t realize how many of those current bars and other businesses such a change would affect until he was contacted by some of their owners.
A handful of them — including Drew Rush, owner of The Pub downtown — attended Tuesday’s meeting. Rush told aldermen his business generates more than 50 percent of its revenue from gambling.
Dale’s Place owner Greg Filicksy urged aldermen to figure out another way to restrict parlors and cafes, because adding them to an already saturated gambling market would hurt existing businesses.
Aldermen discussed an option that would essentially grandfather in existing video-gambling locations and require that future ones generate more than half their revenue from non-gambling sources.
Williams said the city will research the legalities and bring a proposal to the council.
Even if the city restricts parlors and cafes, video gambling will likely expand in the city, due to a change in the state law that raises the cap on terminals from five to six per establishment.
Aldermen also suggested that Williams bring back an earlier proposal that called for charging a fee for each gambling terminal in the city.