In October 2016 when video gaming first became legal in Forest Park, it was uncertain how it would impact businesses. From the Chamber’s perspective, the effect on the appearance and character of the business communities was of prime concern. To address those concerns, the Chamber supported limiting the impact on appearance by encouraging the Village to ban all signs promoting video gaming, but did not support or oppose allowing video gaming.
Another concern was the possibility of gaming cafes. As enacted, the Village video gaming code includes language regulating this issue, specifically by limiting Class V (video gaming) licenses to existing establishments that have operated with a Class A liquor license for one year or more. Furthermore, the code denies operation of a Class V license for an establishment that is organized or existing for the primary purpose of promoting video gaming.
After nearly two years of observation and discussions, we have not seen or heard of any negative impact on area businesses that can be attributed to video gaming. We have seen increased revenue to local establishments, including many that have long been a part of Forest Park. The revenue to the Village from video gaming has helped prevent the potential loss of services to businesses and residents.
Based on this business climate, the Chamber is in favor of maintaining video gaming as it has been implemented in Forest Park. We continue to support banning any signage that advertises the presence of video gaming, and we continue to advocate against allowing any gaming cafes. Please note that events and consequences are ongoing, and that we reserve the right to make subsequent changes on our recommendations and policies.
Board of Directors
Forest Park Chamber of Commerce & Development