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Mahomet Considering Lifting Video Gaming Ban

MAHOMET-- "It would be insignificant in terms of revenue for the village. It's much more significant revenue for the local bar owners." Mahomet Mayor Patrick Brown says the Village Board will consider lifting a ban on video gaming during a study session Tuesday.

Brown anticipates only about $10-20 thousand in annual revenue for the village if it's lifted, but the 2 bars in Mahomet that would offer gaming could see a significant impact. Rich Minick, owner of Main St. Wingery, says, "We do get quite a lot of people asking, 'Are you going to have it?' 'I'd come here more often if you did.' That kind of thing."

Minick says, says keeping up with rising, and seemingly ever-changing, food costs has been a challenge at his bar. He doesn't want to create a casino atmosphere, but allowing video gaming machines could help stabilize the week-to-week finances. "I just see it as another thing to a) Keep people here, and b) Give people what they want and give me a little bit extra."

Brad Keigher doesn't mind if gaming is allowed, but he won't be playing. "I think it's just another way, like anything, for people to make money. Just another money-making scheme."

More than 100 people have signed a petition asking the village board to uphold the ban. But Mayor Brown says it's difficult to know how much of an impact gaming could have. "The question we don't know is are people going in there because they're looking for something to do, watching the game in the sports bar down the street."

Adam Rife reporting