An estimated crowd of 75 people filled the Clinton City Council Chambers Monday evening for what was characterized by many as "an all important issue".
Over an hour of public comments were submitted in favor of lifting a gambling ban, but mostly those who spoke, spoke out for keeping the ban in place. The Council has put a trio of ordinances on file for their next meeting in September. Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters explains the decision requires multiple ordinances because of gaming devices that were for entertainment purposes only.
One ordinance the Council must put on file would allow for the coin operated devices, but exempting the machines allowed by the state.
The Mayor explains another ordinance they will decide on is lifting the ban. However, the City has worded the ordinance to restrict restaurants from having these machines in their places of business. Mayor Peters notes, they have never been allowed to have these devices in their businesses.
Another aspect to that same ordinance was, an establishment seeking to have these devices in their establishment, must have a liquor license, and must have that license for 12 months.
The final ordinance would address a current ordinance on gambling. The Mayor explains the current ban addresses gambling deemed legal by the state. Mayor Peters explains if the ban remains, the videogaming act would not be necessary, however, if it is lifted, the videogaming act would be enacted.
Communities all over the state have decided, or will be deciding to opt out of a state law to enforce regulated video gambling machines in their communities. The communities have the option of opting out and imposing a gambling ban. The city of Clinton currently has a ban in place, however, it is believed illegal payouts of gambling machines has been taking place for several years in the city.
Over the coming days, Regional Radio News will bring you many of those comments both in favor of the leaving the ban in place, and those who spoke opposed to it.