Council Sets Gambling Parlor Limits

The Decatur City Council on Monday voted to cap the number of video gaming parlors in Decatur and held a public review of the city’s bidding process and minority business enterprise requirements implemented to encourage diversity on public projects.

Members voted 5-2 to limit the number of Class P liquor licenses for the parlors to 20 and to require that all class P licenses issued in the future be located 1500 feet or more from other establishments that offer video gaming terminals. Class P licenses are issued for parlors, defined as “an establishment or business whose primary purpose is to operate video gaming terminals and in which the sale of foods or snacks and alcoholic beverages is only incidental to the operation of the video gaming terminals.”

Council members have expressed concern that this type of establishment doesn’t meet the intent of the local legislation, has had a dramatic negative impact on the local economy and has potentially created a public health concern. Plans at this time are not to place limits on licenses for other types of establishments where video gambling is not a primary use.

There are currently 23 class P license holders and 7 applications now being processed that will be allowed to continue operating or receive licenses if all requirements to do so are met. Plans are to reach the new limit through attrition.

In other business council member held an in-depth review of local bidding requirements for state and local motor fuel tax funded projects and for meeting city minority participation goals. The Council voted unanimously in March 2015 to amend City Code Chapter 28 to establish goals for participation by Minority Business Enterprises and for minority workers on public works contracts. Some questions about the requirements arose during the recent bidding and subsequent awarding of the first round of contracts to be funded through a local motor fuel tax enacted in February.

Contact Billy Tyus at 217-424-2727 for more information.