Increasing the number of video gaming terminals

News

DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — At a Public Services Committee meeting Tuesday night, aldermen voted 4-0 to send an ordinance amendment out of committee that would increase the number of video gaming terminals from five to six per establishment.

According to the Illinois Gaming Board’s 2018 Video Gaming Report, 31 establishments in Danville have a combined 141 video gaming terminals. The Marathon gas station at 3401 E. Main Street brought in the most revenue in 2018, with $275,884.88 in taxes going to the state of Illinois, and $51,576.94 in taxes going to the city of Danville. The station hopes to add a sixth terminal.

“It’s always packed, so there’s always a need for more machines,” Imad Kaid said. “For people that are always sticking around here waiting two to three hours, we would love to have more machines if the city would let us.”

Committee members also discussed a different video gaming issue: whether or not they should put a revenue cap on gaming parlors in the city. Danville’s council is debating whether to add a line to city code that would cap bars’ gaming revenue at 49-percent.

Mayor Rickey Williams said the initial intent of the proposal was to prevent an increase in video gaming parlors throughout the city. However, bar owners said at the committee meeting that many of them get at least 50-percent of their revenue from gaming machines, so that kind of cap could put them out of business.

“If you’re just trying to keep the cafes out, I don’t think you should bother the local taverns,” pub owner Drew Rush said in a discussion.

Committee members discussed the possibility of grandfathering in current license-holders.

“There are some that are parlors, but they were bars first and they’ve done a great service to our community,” Williams said. “And I think that we should do what we can to support them.”

Williams said he has asked the city’s comptroller to find out from local bars how much of their revenue comes from food and drinks versus video gaming terminals. The issue could be discussed again at a full city council meeting in August.

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