Sweepstakes machines stirs debate among Streator’s council members

STREATOR – Non-licensed video gambling and the debate on whether to abolish them is an issue the city of Streator has been tackling. After a lengthy discussion at a city council meeting on Tuesday, members agreed to table acting on sweepstakes machines that are reportedly occupied in local taverns. Unlike regulated video gambling, these machines don’t pay state or local government taxes with no limit to how many you can house. Councilman Joe Scarbeary says local owners are willing to share profits with the city, however a fear is the lack of rules and regulations implemented by state legislators. While the city has the ability to regulate the machines, some council members believe it’s better to do away with them, than worrying about making their own rules. Mayor Lansford says, ” Springfield has the obligation to do things about this, but they won’t, so we’re stuck coming up with some kind of solution.” City Manager Scot Wrighton said since these machines are only accepted via loophole, the city should avoid ruling on it. Council will take on the issue again at their next committee of a whole meeting, Tuesday April 9th.