Aurora Discusses Rising Video Game Machine Fees
The Aurora City Council Finance Committee continues to discuss the possibility of increasing video game machine fees.
But for some, the question seems to be, why?
“Inflation?” Ald said. Sherman Jenkins, at large, a member of the finance committee. “It’s not like it’s killing us.”
The finance committee recently discussed the fees and any possible increases, but members agreed to bring the matter to the committee for further discussion.
Jenkins said city officials sought feedback from club owners and clubs and nonprofits, but officials “didn’t get as much as we would like.”
Joe Lusk, of the Luxemburger Club on the High Street in the East Side, gave some comments during the meeting, but it was similar to what he has pointed out in the past.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and inflation, any increase in gambling fees at this time would greatly hurt places like Luxies Club. The club is a non-profit organization, which uses much of the money it raises to donate to social service organizations across the city.
He has suggested in the past that the city adopt lower fees for nonprofits than for regular businesses.
At one point, officials said they would consider the idea.
But as it stands, there is a proposal to increase the annual license for each slot from $1,000 to $1,100, and the monthly operating fee from $125 per machine to $175 per machine.
The city’s intention is that the terminal operators – which in the city ordinance means those who supply the machines – bear the additional cost, not the establishment, i.e. the club, organization or business where the machine is located.
According to city figures, the cost of establishing the location of five Fox Example machines would remain the same – at $1,500 per year. But the cost to terminal operators would rise from $7,000 to $10,100 per year.
The new fees won’t go into effect until next year, in October 2023, as per the city’s proposal.
The situation was complicated by a change in state law, which attempted to make establishments and terminal operators share in the cost of the fees, rather than doing what Aurora does, which is to charge operators more. of terminals.
But this recently passed state law is still being evaluated by the Illinois Gaming Commission, which has not issued any guidance on how it should be implemented.
One of the reasons the city started discussing its fees was related to this new state law, but city officials backed down after hearing that the Gaming Commission was not yet ready to implement it.
But the aldermen have referred the question of whether or not to actually increase the contributions to the finance committee, which continues to discuss it.
City officials pointed out that gambling fees have not changed since 2009 and the costs of administering the city’s video game machines may have increased.
Aldus. Carl Franco, 5th Ward, chairman of the finance committee, said he didn’t want the costs of the game to be balanced “on the backs of the taxpayers”.
“If (costs) don’t go up, then I don’t care,” he said. “But if we, the city, are paying more, I don’t think taxpayers should be subsidizing gambling.”