Maywood Bans Giving New Liquor Licenses to Video Gambling Businesses

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Friday, January 6, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

The Maywood Board of Trustees unanimously approved an ordinance amending a section of the village code to prohibit the issuance of any new Class M liquor licenses, which are specifically issued to video gaming cafe/bistro owners looking to sell alcohol in their establishments.

The measure, which was approved during a Dec. 20 regular meeting as part of an omnibus agenda containing around two dozen other items, comes in the wake of the Nov. 8, 2016 election, when residents voted 56 percent to 44 percent in favor of banning the Class M licenses.

The referendum was non-binding, which meant that village officials weren’t required by law to follow the public’s lead on the issue. But after the election, numerous trustees argued that the board should still follow the will of the voters and pass an ordinance prohibiting the issuance of the licenses.

In March, the board voted 5-2 in favor of issuing a Class M liquor license to Lacey’s Place, a video gaming establishment seeking to move to 611 W. Roosevelt Rd., on condition that the establishment meets minimum requirements, such as securing a lease, pulling a permit and building out the space. 

The decision prompted outrage among some residents, who don’t want the video gaming establishments in Maywood because of numerous public safety and quality of life concerns.

In June, a group of residents created an online petition expressing their opposition to video gaming that garnered more than 100 signatures. In July, the board voted 4-2 to put the issue on the ballot as an advisory referendum.

So far, Lacey’s Place, which hasn’t opened yet, is the only establishment in the village that’s been granted a Class M license. The ordinance prohibiting the liquor license, however, means that Lacey’s Place may likely be the last video gaming establishment allowed to set-up in Maywood. 

Although video gaming establishments don’t necessarily need to sell liquor in order operate, the sale of alcohol is a critical component of the business model, the owners of Lacey’s Place noted.

The board could theoretically reverse the ban if it decides to do so in the future. Until that happens, however, at least one Maywood establishment– the American Legion, located at 1219 Madison St. — that board members said was considering adding video gaming to its facility, which already sells alcohol, will not be able to apply for the license. VFP

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