Waukegan officials call for review of ‘arbitrary’ rules related to video gambling sites
Less than a year after approving regulations aimed at reining in the proximity of video gambling locations, the Waukegan City Council may need to take another look at its approach, the mayor and several aldermen said.
The city might have “rushed into it a little bit” when it came to the changes, Mayor Sam Cunningham said after the City Council rejected a waiver application for a Mexican restaurant seeking to add video gambling machines.
The restaurant needed a waiver because three other businesses with city video gambling licenses are located within 1,500 feet of its location, the minimum distance required between an applicant and existing video gambling license holders under an ordinance passed by the council in February 2018.
The ordinance was designed to give the council the ability to grant waivers in locations where it thought it made sense, like downtown districts and other entertainment-focused areas, said City Attorney Bob Long, who compared the setup to zoning ordinances where cities can grant variances based on a particular property’s situation.
“I’m not sure that one-rule-fits-all is going to always work in a city with an effective population of 90,000 to 100,000 people,” Long said.