Peru will vote to set gambling machine fee at $500

New fees would generate more than $80,000 revenue for the city

Video gaming machines are seen at Lucky Penny's on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021 in Cary.  Gambling machines such as these are back up and running again after being shut down due to COVID-19 mitigations.

The Peru Finance Committee will be seeking a $500 fee per video gambling machine.

Mayor Ken Kolowski told the finance committee Monday $250 will be paid by the operator and $250 by the proprietor of a gambling establishment. The council is expected to vote on the increase at its next meeting, in time for May 1, when establishments renew licenses.

At this time, the city charges $35 per machine. Some communities, such as Streator, have raised the fees to $250 per video gambling machine, which is the maximum a non-home rule community can charge. Peru, however, is a home rule community.

So far in 2022, there were 179 machines operating in 32 establishments, netting $1.3 million in total income. The previous year, there were 194 machines operating in 35 establishments in Peru, netting $7.5 million in income — even with machines being shut down the first 16 days of the year. As its share, the city collected $375,618 and the state $2.1 million.

If passed, the new fees would generate nearly $83,000 new revenue for the city.

Kolowski told the finance committee the income numbers are high and the city can generate revenue through the increased fees to help pay for the city’s parks and maintenance.