Dixon council removes license for video gambling parlor

DIXON – The Dixon City Council recently decreased its number of available liquor licenses for video gambling parlors in an effort to tighten the cap of them in town.

The city previously had allocated four category-I licenses for video gambling businesses to serve beer and wine, and the council decided to remove one of the licenses Monday.

A business with an I license wanted to upgrade to full-bar service and a different category of liquor license, a Class D, leaving the I license vacant. The council also added a Class D license for the business, totaling 14 Class D and three Class I licenses.

Mayor Li Arellano Jr. said at Monday’s meeting that he’s heard growing interest from people wanting to open video gambling parlors. However, he said, removing the license prevents any more from popping up.

“There’s at least a dozen, if not more, places that want to open a gambling parlor in town,” he said. “So it would get snapped up really fast.”

Businesses must have a liquor license to be able to have video gambling machines, as well as a license from the Illinois Gaming Board. Video gambling has been expanding its presence across the state in past years, becoming commonplace at bars, restaurants and even some grocery stores.

Unless a community is a home-rule municipality, local government can’t do much to limit video gambling – except for limiting the number of liquor licenses available.

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers joined Sauk Valley Media in 2016 covering local government in Dixon and Lee County.