During last week’s Moline City Council Committee-of-the-Whole meeting, aldermen discussed the city’s gaming regulations and whether they should be modified in order to allow more establishments to offer slots and other gaming machines — as well as increasing the number of gaming stations allowed in those establishments.
Before the discussion proceeds further or decisions are made, Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati and the rest of the Council members agreed they first need input from Moline residents, according to a city release Wednesday.
A public meeting on the issue has been scheduled for Monday, Nov. 29 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Moline Public Library Bronze Room, 3210 41st St.
“We need to hear from the people of Moline on this issue before we consider any changes to our gaming code,” Mayor Rayapati said in the release.
The meeting will include a presentation on Moline’s current video gaming regulations, how they differ from state of Illinois regulations, how peer communities handle the issue and potential changes to the rules. Resident input will then be solicited.
Currently, Moline has capped the number of establishments – both bars/restaurants and video gaming parlors – at 30. City rules also allow no more than five gaming stations in those non-casino establishments, whereas state law allows up to six.
Compared to other Illinois cities, Moline’s regulations are relatively stringent, the city release said. For example, Champaign has 62 establishments with 322 total gaming machines. Springfield has 144 establishments and 732 terminals, while Decatur has 91 and 490 respectively.
Currently, Moline’s establishments only have a total of 171 terminals. East Moline, by comparison, has 31 establishments and 164 terminals while Rock Island has 21 establishments and 101 terminals.
Moline brings in around $385,000 in annual revenue from video gaming establishments. Both Springfield and Decatur bring in more than $1.7 million annually.