Arcades under fire in Livingston

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 12, 2004

The City of Livingston has finally jumped on the bandwagon with the rest of West Alabama in an attempt to rid itself of video gaming machines with in its city limits. During the Livingston City Council meeting on Monday night, Chief Ashley Wellborn of the Livingston Police Department told the council “Every other city around us has either banned these video gaming machines or else they have raised the license fees in an attempt to get rid of them.”

Mayor Tom Tartt asked Wellborn about progress on the machines being illegal. Wellborn said that the case is tied up in court about whether or not they are illegal.

“When the Attorney General deemed the machines illegal, the people who owned the businesses started fighting that ruling. It is now left up to each jurisdiction whether to allow them or not,” Tartt said.

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Wellborn said that some kid of action needed to be taken because they are starting to bring more machines in.

“We need to take action because we are getting some of the machines from Greene County here now,” Wellborn said.

Tartt asked Wellborn what the current licensing fee for a gaming machine is and he said $150.

Councilmember Gary Busby made a motion to raise the fee for the gaming machine license from $150 to $1,500.

“We might as well be making some money if we’re going to allow them,” Busby said.

Tartt also said that the change in the price for a license would go into effect next year when the businesses that currently have them want to buy a new license.

In other business, the council voted on putting new lights on the road towards the new bridge. Tartt said that this is a definite need because it is so dark driving towards that bridge.