Huntley bans video gambling cafes, adopts new fees
Huntley village officials have banned video gambling cafes in town, adopted new fees and changed other regulations for video gambling establishments.
A video gambling cafe is a business whose primary focus is operating terminals and where food and alcohol sales are incidental, according to the definition in Huntley's ordinance.
The village board recently amended the village code to increase video gambling terminal fees, set a new terminal operator fee, and require a physical barrier to either partially or completely screen the area where terminals are located, documents show.
Last September, the village imposed a moratorium on new video gambling establishments so officials could prepare new regulations and limit the proliferation of such businesses.
Now that the village has home rule powers, Huntley can set more stringent standards for video gambling than the state. The village has 11 active video gambling sites with 50 terminals operating, documents show.
Terminal fees will increase from $25 -- as set by the Illinois Gaming Board -- to $500 per terminal, and terminal operators will have to pay a $1,000 fee per location.
Officials expect to generate $11,000 with the new terminal operator fee and $25,000 from terminal fees.
In 2016, the village received $1,250 in terminal fees and collected about $97,000 in video gambling revenues, Huntley Village Manager Dave Johnson said.
Officials wanted to make sure any new video gambling establishments had another focus to the business, Johnson said.
"They just didn't want to see gaming establishments for the sake of gaming alone," he said. "We were getting significant amount of interest and wanted to get the input from the board."
Johnson said while there aren't any current applications for video gambling establishments, only time will tell whether the new restrictions might have a chilling effect on businesses interested in having video gambling.
"The ordinance is clear in terms of the expectations toward gambling establishments," Johnson said. "We will see the reaction from those interested in opening new businesses once they see the new ordinance."