Bartlett doubling video gambling licensing fee

Bartlett is doubling its annual licensing fee for video gambling machines but making terminal operators pick up most of that cost.

Starting next May, the cost to license each device will jump from $500 a year to $1,000. However, terminal operators will have to pick up $750 of that fee.

Currently, business owners where the machines are located cover the entire cost, village officials said.

Joey Dienberg, a management analyst at the village, said during the budgeting process this year, the board asked to compared Bartlett's fees to those in neighboring communities.

Dienberg said the village board wanted make sure it was on par with other communities' but didn't want to add a hefty burden to local business owners. He told trustees at a recent meeting he didn't expect pushback from terminal operators because they are already paying similar fees in other communities.

A village survey of neighboring municipalities found fees varied widely. Prospect Heights and Antioch charge a fee of $25 annually, while others, like Rolling Meadows and Wheeling, charge $1,000. Lake Zurich charges $2,600 for a license on top of a $25 terminal fee.

Illinois Gaming Board officials said the agency does not track local terminal license fees.

"It is not within the scope of the Illinois Gaming Board's authority to involve ourselves in local government decisions," Joe Miller, director of policy, said.

The village currently has 17 establishments that offer video gambling, with a combined 91 terminals, Dienberg said. According to the village's 2020 fiscal year audit, video gambling generated a little more than $246,000 in revenue for Bartlett.

Revenue from video gambling is split four ways. The state receives 29% of profits, municipalities get 5% while business owners and terminal operators equally split the remainder.

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