Council votes in favor of cheaper video gambling fee

By Beau Ebenezer

January 22, 2013 Updated Jan 23, 2013 at 10:50 AM CDT

PEORIA Ill -- For the time being, business owners will be able to purchase video gambling machines with a cheaper licensing fee.

Peoria City Council brought a new motion to the table Tuesday night, which will allow gambling machine owners to test out the water before a possible fee increase.

The previously proposed motion required businesses to purchase a $500 license for having one to five machines in their establishment.

However, after hearing local business owners concerns at the meeting Tuesday, council voted in favor of a cheaper proposal, nine to one.

Businesses will have to pay $250 for their first machine and an extra $50 for each additional machine.

"If you go online and look at some of these early establishments, they are doing pretty well on their revenues. I don't think the $500 was out of line, but I also think that the decision to compromise in this first year and see what the revenues look like is fair for everybody," said Peoria Mayor, Jim Ardis.

The new licensing fee will go into effect in February.

At the end of the year, city officials said they will decide if they will increase the fee based on revenue from the machines.

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