Limitations discussed for video gambling

By Madison Kacer

DeKALB | In light of discussion about regulations for video gaming businesses, city council passed a resolution approving a bar liquor license with supplemental licensure for video gaming terminals for Charley’s Video Gaming, 1792 Sycamore Road.

The resolution passed after aldermen and community members expressed concern about approving more terminals in the city, as it gives more gambling opportunities to citizens. The city currently has 20 video gaming businesses; two are pending.

“Businesses such as [Charley’s Video Gaming] are being created for the primary purpose of gambling, and they are proliferating throughout the city of DeKalb,” 3rd ward resident Steve Capitan said. “In my view, they have reached a saturation point.”

Most of the concerns expressed were about businesses that offer video gaming as a principal use, meaning the video games are primary to business operations. Of the 20 businesses, five offer video gaming as a principal use. The remaining 15 offer video gaming as an accessory use, meaning the video games are secondary to the business operations.

Fourth Ward Alderman John Snow proposed limiting the approval of gaming licenses to establishments that have already been in business for 12 to 18 months.

“That kind of allows the marketplace to expand, but if somebody really wants to come in and just do a gaming parlor, it’s going to be hard for them to sustain themselves for 12 months or 18 months,” Snow said. “If they want to create a true restaurant or bar and be in operation for that length of time, then I think they should be able to allow gaming.”

Also discussed was the possibility of restricting the amount of video gaming businesses within a certain distance from eachother that is yet to be determined.

Despite concern about the influence video gaming has on community quality of life, there is no direct correlation between the amount of video gaming terminals and crime rates, DeKalb Police Chief Gene Lowery said. However, Lowery said this is something that would be hard to determine.

Other concerns relating to community quality of life include “lost work time, bankruptcies and other financial hardships on families,” according to a report created by City Manager Anne Marie Gaura; Community Development Director Ellen Divita; and Principal Planner Jo Ellen Charlton.

Go to to view the report discussed during Monday’s meeting.