In the wake of a local restaurant asking for a break on gambling fees because of coronavirus-related hardships, Buffalo Grove is surveying fellow Northwest Municipal Conference communities about prorating license fees, Village Manager Dane Bragg said this week.
The issue emerged recently after Original Bagel & Bialy restaurant asked the village to reduce the $6,000 in fees it paid to operate six video gambling machines between late February and April. The machines were in use for just a matter of weeks before the Illinois Gaming Board shut down gambling operations on March 20 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One option proposed was applying some of the $6,000 Bagel & Bialy paid in February to the restaurant’s 2020-21 renewal fee. However, the restaurant last week paid its full fee for next year’s licenses.
Trustee Eric Smith said he would be willing to consider a proposal to change village ordinance to allow for prorated licenses. But others warned against making a special case for just one business.
“It’s important that we treat all businesses equally and fairly, because all of them were hit by the pandemic in the same way,” Trustee Joanne Johnson said.
Trustee David Weidenfeld agreed, saying the village can’t enact special legislation for one establishment.