Gaming Proposal Aims to Protect Businesses

Gaming Proposal Aims to Protect Businesses

A Danville City Council committee has informally placed its support behind a new idea to prevent gaming cafes from popping up around the city.  It would grandfather in existing liquor establishments allowing them to get over 49-percent of their gross revenue from video gaming machines.  Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. likes the idea….

{We are hoping to have an ordinance drafted that might – if it’s legal – to allow the current owners to be grandfathered in under current rules.  And then possibly put forth the new rules for any incoming businesses,’’ said Mayor Williams.}

Greg Filicsky owns a local bar and also likes the proposal….

{It is a good idea, but my other idea was to reduce the amount of liquor licenses,’’ said Filicsky.  ‘’I still think that would be the easiest way for us because I think grandfathering in we’ll have a problem if we ever decide to sell the business, the value of the business if they can’t get poker machines,’’ he said.

Michael Gregory, owner of the Big Four Tavern in Danville, supports the efforts to keep gaming cafes out of the city….

{”I would say that the number of machines in this town, we felt as bar owners the machines are totally saturated in this town already. With the addition of the casino, that’s going to spread the revenue even thinner.  A lot of folks are really struggling to keep their businesses open even now,” added Gregory, ”so the addition of more licenses, more gaming locations across this town will put other businesses out of business.”

The committee did approve a proposal to allow the existing liquor establishments to get licenses for six video gaming machines.  The proposal must still be approved by the full city council.

A proposal that had been introduced earlier said that for any liquor establishment allowing video gaming, the revenue generated from the gaming shall not exceed 49-percent of the license holder’s gross revenue.   Some bar owners had cautioned that if that proposal is approved it would force their businesses to close.  They explained they receive more of their gross revenue from video gaming than on sales of alcohol and food.

[Photo at top is Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. on left and Alderman Steve Foster.]