Monmouth allowed the use of video gaming for “amusement purposes” only. That did not include gambling although the ordinance was difficult to enforce.
The discussion was prompted by changes to state law that will allow video gaming this year. The proceeds will help pay for capital improvements.
City Administrator Eric Hanson says the city council discussed keeping the ban in place.
He says, “One of the council members indicated, 'You know, this has been going on for a long time. These machines have been in place. It makes sense to update our books to make sure that we're in compliance no only with state statute but also with local ordinance.'”
The city council reversed course and lifted the ban.
Hanson says a number of pubs and restaurants currently operate the machines. He says the VFW and American Legion also have them. Businesses and fraternal organizations will have to go through the state license process.
Hanson does not expect a windfall from the city's five percent share of the revenue. But, he says the city is not receiving any revenue from the machines now.