In front of an audience that included a few interested video gaming establishment representatives, the city council’s Public Services Committee on Tuesday night recommended amending city code pertaining to video gaming licenses.
The full city council will act on the amendment next week.
City Corporation Counsel David Wesner said the city didn’t want to duplicate the state licensing process and what the state now does under the Video Gaming Act.
For example, the city won’t require an additional background check with the license holder, as the state requires.
The reason the city is also licensing the establishments at all is for “some monitoring and enforcement,” Wesner said.
He said if there is no local license, the city can’t step in on issues.
“We want the ability to react locally as quickly as we can if a problem comes up,” Wesner said.
The city is altering its current arrangement regarding amusement devices in certain establishments that serve liquor.
The machine owner and licensed premise will see fees.
Under the proposed annual licensing, it will cost $100 for each video gaming terminal and a $50 fee for the licensed premise.
Mayor Scott Eisenhauer said with the specific liquor license required for the video gaming machines, the city
now could see 100 machines in the city.
Penalties of suspension or revocation of a license can occur, in addition to fines of $100 to $5,000 for a licensing violation.
One premise can have up to five video gaming terminals, as licensed by the state.
Eisenhauer said the penalties are to serve as a deterrent and a way to discipline repeat offenders.
The state expanded video gaming in 2012, allowing certain businesses to operate video gaming machines for profit.
In addition to the licensing fees, the city will derive revenue, 5 percent of state revenues of the local machines, from the operations under the Illinois Video Gaming Act.
The city’s proposed 2013-14 budget shows the video gaming machine tax bringing in $6,500.
In other business Tuesday, the committee: