Village Board reviewing ‘Unlawful Advertising’ code

Current code prohibits businesses from advertising gambling

by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (February 14, 2018) – At the February 6 Committee of the Whole meeting, Village Attorney Matt Welch listed a number of amendments that he is proposing be conglomerated into one ordinance. One area of concern is found in Chapter 6 (Advertising) of the Village Code of Ordinances > Article II (Prohibited actions) > Section 6-23 (Unlawful Advertising). The second paragraph of that section prohibits the advertisement of gaming. In full, the paragraph reads:

“In addition, it shall be unlawful for a licensed establishment, licensed fraternal establishment or licensed veterans establishment which has video gaming terminals to display any advertisement which is visible to the public that advertises gaming terminals are located on the premises. This prohibition extends to both print and electronic advertisement.”

PAID MESSAGE FROM AN ADVERTISING MEMBER —

Ron’s Reels requests repeal

Ron’s Reels and Cafe, a new business that requested a liquor license last July in order to offer video gaming and slot machines, has asked that the Village repeal this section.

Attorney Welch explained that Ron’s Reels or others might try to make a case that the code places “content-based prohibitions on speech.” That is, it’s prohibiting speech that relates to gaming. Welch is continuing to review the matter.

PAID MESSAGE FROM AN ADVERTISING MEMBER —

If the code is repealed, any restaurant or bar in Lansing that offers gaming would be allowed to begin advertising such.

Maintaining the character of the community

There has been some discussion about amending the code, rather than outright repealing it. For example, perhaps the code could be amended to allow print advertising but not signage, in an effort to maintain the family-friendly character of the community.

Attorney Welch will continue to research the matter before bringing it back to the Board for final action.

Contacting your reps

Lansing residents may express opinions about gaming, advertising, or any other municipal issues by clicking to contact their representatives directly:

Village Board meetings and Committee of the Whole meetings take place at the Municipal Court Complex (the police station) at 2710 170th Street on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 20, at 7:00pm.

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1 thought on “Village Board reviewing ‘Unlawful Advertising’ code”

  1. There has been some discussion about amending the code, rather than outright repealing it. For example, perhaps the code could be amended to allow print advertising but not signage, in an effort to maintain the family-friendly character of the community.

    Since when is gambling a family-friendly event? Unless your children are of legal age they cannot participate in such a ‘family-friendly’ event. I am offended such a spin is placed on an activity that has more often than not destroyed the family. I am disappointed that the Village would want to encourage this as a positive character trait for our community. But guess what folks, that door has already been opened when gaming was allowed in town, and it will be hard to shut it now. However, it doesn’t mean the Village has to put up directionals for a speedier end to what could have been a family-friendly community. What if not advertising was the difference between a family member finding a gambling establishment or going home to the family because one couldn’t be found in the heat of the moment. Does Lansing want to help or hinder? Calling this family-friendly is enabling and that would not be in the best interest of a community who wants to be a friend of the family.

    Make your decision as if you have a gambling problem and then call Gamblers Anonymous before you do anything to allow advertising for gambling.

    Thank you.

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