Oswego agrees to new video gambling regulations

Oswego trustees have agreed to impose a cap on video gambling cafes and also on video gambling at gas stations in the village.

The village board also decided not to grant new video gambling licenses to convenience stores as part of the newly approved ordinance intended to regulate future gambling sites in the city.

The board approved video gambling in Oswego in May 2013. The number of video gambling establishments in the village was an issue in the local elections last spring.

Oswego Village President Ryan Kauffman, who won a two-way race in the 2023 election, said the number of video gambling sites in the city has steadily increased during the campaign.

The board’s recently approved ordinance will limit video gambling cafe licenses to 15. The village currently has 11 active gaming cafe locations and one is awaiting approval from the Illinois Gaming Board, village officials said.

As part of the new regulation, restrictions on video gambling have also been introduced at gas stations and convenience stores. The trustees decided to limit video gambling licenses at gas stations to 11. The village currently has seven gas stations with video gambling on site. Two other gas stations have applied and two other gas stations under construction plan to apply for such a license, village officials said.

The village board also decided to no longer allow video gambling in convenience stores, with the exception of one website that currently has a gambling license. If DP’s Mart at 1240 Douglas Road ever closes, the number of convenience store gaming licenses will drop to zero.

No other current or future convenience stores are allowed to apply, officials said.

For video gaming licenses under a business, particularly restaurants and bars and non-profit organizations, the business must have been in business for at least a year before applying for a gaming license. The village currently has eight such locations. The Trustees have decided not to set a cap on this type of gaming license.

The trustees agreed to implement a one-mile distance between video gambling cafes, but not for video gambling licenses granted to restaurants and bars.

“We need a buffer in gaming cafes,” said trustee Karin McCarthy-Lange.

Linda Girardi is a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News.

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