Videogaming In Rockford

By: WIFR Newsroom
By: WIFR Newsroom
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UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A proposal to turn a property on Charles Street into a coffee shop/video gaming parlor was shot down by Rockford city council members.
"I feel like this applicant was willing to invest quite a lot of money to improve that property," said alderman Joe Chiarelli. "I wish that the outcome would have been different."

Alderman who voted against the plan want to consider new guidelines for gaming parlors before approving another license.

Some current bar and parlor owners say that's necessary.

"I think they [should] lean on the side of business rather than keeping people out," said bar owner Jay Gesner.

One of the guidelines being considered is an overall cap on the number of city parlor licenses.

STATELINE (WIFR) – Millions of dollars are being poured into video gaming machines in some cities every month, so we decided to look into just how many machines there are per person.

In Rockford, there’s approximately one machine for every 400 people. According to the latest state figures, comparing that to others in the Stateline, Belvidere has one for every 658 people and Freeport has the highest ratio in the area, with one for every 298 people. Statewide, there’s one for every 254 people in Springfield.

Peoria is a bit further out and about one for every 634. Rockford is considering putting a cap on the number of places with video gaming machines in the city.

"A year ago, the gaming parlors were relatively new. So now that we have another year under our belts here, I think a review of the process is warranted because a lot of concerns are coming up about the concentration of gaming parlors,” said 14th Ward Alderman Joseph Chiarelli.

Just in July, over $23 million was put into gaming machines in Rockford.

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