On Tuesday night, the St. Joseph Village Board will discuss and vote on whether to create a new liquor license.
The license would be a package and pour license, which would allow video gambling in businesses that already have a package license.
Mayor Tami Fruhling-Voges said that Jack Flash, located at 303 E. Warren St., and the St. Joseph IGA, located at 205 N Main St., have shown interest in the new license.
The license classification would strictly be for the purpose of allowing that business to have the ability to offer video gaming.
Illinois State statute says that in order to have video gaming, an establishment must have a liquor license that allows drinks to be available for consumption on the premises.
Fruhling-Voges said the license would have restrictions and guidelines that would have to be met, including the amount of alcohol served and how much of the business’s income was derived from video gaming.
“We are looking into other communities that have these types of classifications and considering all the pros and cons of adding additional video gaming in the community,” she said.
Fruhling-Voges said there is currently one business in town, Roch’s, that has video gaming. Roch’s, located at 101 N. Main St., has four machines. The village made $13,000 in 2019 from those machines.
“There are many things to consider,” Fruhling-Voges said, “but because we currently allow video gaming at our restaurants that serve alcohol, we also need to consider whether or not to open that opportunity to other businesses that sell alcohol as well.”
Income from the machines is placed in the village’s storm water fund and used strictly for that purpose.
Fruhling-Voges said there is no way to know how much more money the village could make by allowing more businesses to house gaming machines, but it is safe to assume the village is losing revenue to neighboring villages that have more machines.
“Ogden, which is only five miles to the east, has 27 machines in their community,” she said.
Ogden Village Clerk Jennifer Bowman said the village’s total income from video gaming varies month to month, but in 2019 they earned almost $40,000 from video gaming.
Fruhling-Voges said that if the board tries to create the new license, the classification restrictions and guidelines will be given to the village attorney to create the new license. The license will only be available to the number of package liquor licenses currently in the village.
Any new business would have to apply for a license.
The mayor currently is the liquor commissioner and is the person who oversees and enforces the liquor license requirements.
The village board meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. at village hall, located at 207 E. Lincoln Street.
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