Members of Springfield ICON on April 28, 2014 voted unanimously in support of an ordinance that would limit new video gambling “gaming” to businesses with 60% or more revenue from food or drink.
ICON Chair Carol Kneedler spoke to the Committee of the Whole on April 29 in support of the ordinance. ICON’s statement is below.
Springfield ICON – Statement in support of Ordinance 2014-159
To limit the proliferation of establishments for the sale of alcoholic liquor which are excessively reliant upon revenues derived from video gaming terminals
ICON supports local businesses that derive a significant majority of their revenue from non-gaming sources. ICON questions whether income derived from video gaming is worth the acknowledged social costs of gambling.
Problem and pathological gamblers make up a disproportionate percentage of those who use video gambling machines, and the impact to local neighborhoods includes increased addiction, loss of jobs, bankruptcy, and crime. (When the State of South Carolina recriminalized video gambling because of its social costs, the number of Gamblers Anonymous groups dropped by half within six months of video gambling’s removal, and it dropped by another twenty-five percent in the following six months.)
We also urge you to consider that desirable businesses, particularly those serving families and children, may be deterred from locating near video gaming businesses, limiting the flexibility and economic viability of commercial areas containing video gaming establishments.
ICON supports the restriction of video gaming in Springfield, and specifically this ordinance, and we strongly urge your vote in support.