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11/2/2012 12:57:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
County board adopts video gaming ordinance; toughens liquor ordinance
LAWRENCEVILLE  - In a special meeting Thursday afternoon, the Lawrence County Board adopted a video gaming ordinance and toughened the penalties section of its existing liquor ordinance.

The Illinois General Assembly passed the Illinois Video Gaming Act in the fall, which, through a gaming board, includes regulations over the placement and usage of video games devises and the use and activity of the machines.

A final step is that each county much adopt an ordinance regarding gaming, paving the way for businesses to use the machines and for the county to receive additional revenue.

Board Chairman Bill Gray explained the process.

"We were informed the other day we had to pass an ordinance regulating it and giving them (businesses) permission to operate the machines in our county. We could have opted out, but the finance and legislative committee discussed it, came to me and said we need to do this so we can get these guys set up in business. The county will get 5 percent of the proceeds and with our financial situation that's a big thing," Gray said.

Gray noted that per state law businesses could not set up until getting the go-ahead by the county board. 

"We had to have an ordinance in place, which we never found out about until Thursday of last week," Gray said. "Talking to our state reps they were supposed to send us a copy, they didn't send us a copy, it went to the city, so that's where we're at on that."

The board also toughened up the penalties section of the county's liquor ordinance.

"We raised the minimum fine for the first offense from $200 to $500. And the second offense was 10 percent above, it's now $1,000 with a three day suspension," Gray explained.

The amendment to the liquor ordinance also reads that "the third offense shall be $1,500 plus 14 days suspension and/or 30 days suspension. The fourth offense shall be revocation."

The next scheduled Lawrence County Board meeting is 5:30 p.m. Nov. 21 in the board room on the main floor of the Lawrence County Courthouse.





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