Driscoll City Council members recently approved an ordinance setting requirements for amusement machines within the city limits, opening up the possibility for eight liners to set up within the community.
Driscoll Mayor John Aguilar said eight-liners were not specifically the reason for the ordinance, though they do fall within the parameters for laws in place regarding amusement redemption machines. Aguilar said he was first approached about the ordinance after concerns were raised over a coin operated machine that is in use at a local convenience store.
Previously, the city had no ordinance when it came to the permitting of such machines within the city limits. No one from the public came forward to voice an opinion one way or another during the June 28 meeting, Aguilar said, but in conversations he had before the meeting with members of the public, most people were in favor of a permit process for machines.
“The goal is to get more people into the city, which could later lead to other business development, such as a Dollar General or a new restaurant,” Aguilar said.
Aguilar said he has already received word that one individual is currently remodeling a building space on the west side of town, just within the city limits, for the purposes of bringing in several amusement machines. Aguilar said he was unaware if the machines were going to be eight liner machines.
Anyone coming in and setting up amusement machines would still have to follow state regulations, as well as the local ordinance, Aguilar said.
Due to the lack of available commercial properties, Aguilar said he doubts the community will see a large influx of gaming establishments.
Aguilar did say that businesses could find Driscoll to be an attractive setting, since the permit costs set by the ordinance are lower than those found in other communities in the area.
According to the ordinance, the owner or operator of the machines will have to pay an annual inspection and premise permit fee of $200 per machine. The permits themselves expire each year on Dec. 31. There is also a 20 percent late fee attached for those who continue operating their machines in the month following their permit’s expiration.
The city may revoke the issued permit if the owner is found guilty in a court of law of violating state law or the local ordinance.
The ordinance was approved by the Driscoll City Council on June 28.