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Local

STERLING More video gaming terminals on Monday's agenda

No-knock registry also likely to be voted into place

STERLING – The City Council is expected to vote Monday to allow the expansion of video gaming, in keeping with new state law, and also to establish a no-knock registry for door-to-door commercial sales.

Senate Bill 690, signed into law in June as part of a massive capital funding package, allows a business to up its number of video terminals from five to six. It also increases the maximum wager from $2 to $4, raises the maximum cash award from $500 to $1,199, and allows an in-location progressive jackpot up to $10,000.

Licensed large truck stops – those on three acres, within 3 road miles from a freeway interchange, with a convenience store and a past sales average at least 10,000 gallons a month – can have up to 10 terminals.

The law took effect July 1.

According to the Illinois Gaming Board, from July 1, 2018 until this July 1, Sterling had 22 establishments with a total of 105 terminals – one with four only, two with three only – the net income from which was a little north of $4.953 million, of which Sterling received $247,700 and the state $1.249 million.

That came to an average of slightly more than $2,250 per terminal per year for the city, but figure that of course will change with the doubling of the maximum wager allowed.

As of the end of August, the number of terminals citywide dropped to 99 at 20 establishments, one but one of which – Manny’s Cantina – had five.

The new law also helps state and local municipalities raise revenue by upping the tax imposed on terminals, called the VGT tax, from 30 to 33 percent in the first year fiscal year, which began this July 1, and to 34 percent in the second year and beyond.

SB690 also allows sports betting, authorizes the establishment of six new casinos, collects sales tax from online retailers, and raises the tax on cigarettes, among other things, as part of Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s plan to raise money for infrastructure improvements and other projects statewide.

Under the terms of the new no-knock ordinance, solicitors will receive a list of addresses they can and can’t visit – names will not be provided – and those who violate the terms could be fined $75 to $750.

Solicitor applications accepted by the police department will take effect the first day of the following month; all will expire on April 30 each year.

Residents who want to be on the no-knock list must apply annually, either through the city’s website or by filling out a form available at City Hall, and must provide a name, address, contact information and “all such other information as is deemed necessary or required by the city,” according to city documents.

The ordinance would not apply to charitable organizations such as the American Legion or to residents going door-to-door as part of a school fundraising effort.

The names will apply only to solicitors – there is no legal mechanism to prohibit those who knock to spread information, Police Chief Tim Morgan has said.

To attend

Sterling City Council meets 6:30 p.m. on Monday in council chambers, 212 Third Ave. Go to ci.sterling.il.us or call 815-632-6621 for an agenda or more information.

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