Item No: 5I.
Meeting Date: August 26, 2013
From: Bill Wiley, AICP, Community Development Director
Subject: A resolution of the City Commission of the City of Leesburg, Florida, adopting a moratorium on the issuance of adult electronic game center type of businesses for a period of one hundred and twenty days or until amendments to address protection to the public and other criteria; and providing an effective date.
Staff recommends approval of the moratorium on adult electronic game center type businesses for a period of one hundred and twenty days.
On April 10, Gov. Rick Scott signed a law aimed at closing storefront online gambling operations known as Internet or sweepstakes cafés across Florida. The measure was a reaction to the federal and state investigation into Allied Veterans that led to 57 arrests for illegal gambling, money laundering and racketeering. The bill alters the language used to describe slot machines and other gaming devices that players can use to win money. By changing the definition of a slot, lawmakers sought to close a loophole that had allowed Internet cafés to prosper in Florida. The changed law requires that the operator can play only using dollar coins. In recent weeks about 40 cafes have reopened complying with the law by offering retrofitted, coin-operated gaming devices and prizes. The office of Florida Attorney General has indicated that it would be up to local governments and their law enforcement agencies to determine whether the adult internet game center breaking the law.
These type activities (borderline gambling) have adversely impacted our low income and senior citizens in the community, therefore staff recommends amending the code to address these type businesses to protect the public. Because staff will need time to research and prepare the necessary amendments to the code for adult electronic game center type businesses regulations, we are requesting the referenced moratorium.
1. Approve the Resolution for a moratorium on adult electronic game center type businesses for one hundred and twenty days.
2. Other such action as the Commission may deem appropriate.
There should be no fiscal impact to the City with these proposed changes.
Department: Community Development
Prepared by: Bill Wiley, AICP
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Attorney Review : Yes_X_ No ____
Reviewed by: Dept. Head __BW_____
Finance Dept. __________________
Deputy C.M. ___________________
City Manager ___________________
Account No. _________________
Project No. ___________________
WF No. ______________________
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA, ADOPTING A MORATORIUM ON THE ISSUANCE OF ANY LAND USE CHANGE, LICENSE OR OTHER AUTHORIZATION FOR ANY ADULT ELECTRONIC GAME CENTER TYPE OF BUSINESSES FOR A PERIOD OF ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY DAYS OR UNTIL AMENDMENTS TO ADDRESS PROTECTION TO THE PUBLIC AND OTHER CRITERIA; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
WHEREAS, the City of Leesburg desires to promote business activity within the City; and
WHEREAS, the City of Leesburg is aware of violent crimes associated with adult electronic game center type businesses and,
WHEREAS, the City of Leesburg is committed to promoting healthy family oriented business activity within the City; and
WHEREAS, the City of Leesburg is concerned that adult electronic game center type businesses have been documented by the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling to create gambling problems for the public that are losing control and losing significant amounts of money as demonstrated though statistics showing that patrons are 19% retired, 25% were either unemployed or disabled, 35% had committed illegal acts to finance their gambling, 92% were suffering from depression and 18% had serious suicidal indications, and 35% were older adults 55 years of age or older; and
WHEREAS, the City Commission desires to amend this type business regulations to protect the public from the problems associated with gambling and violent crimes and,
WHEREAS, the City Commission realizes that staff will need time to research and prepare the necessary amendments to the adult electronic game center type business regulations.,
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA:
THAT the City Commission hereby adopts a moratorium on any authorization or approval for new adult electronic game center type businesses for a period of one hundred and twenty days, or until amendments to address protection of the public and other criteria are developed by staff for consideration of the City Commission, whichever is greater. City staff is directed to formulate such new regulations as expeditiously as possible, and within the one hundred and twenty days provided herein if possible.
THAT this resolution shall become effective immediately.
PASSED AND ADOPTED by the City Commission of the City of Leesburg, Florida, at a regular meeting held the 26th day of August, 2013.
THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA
ATTEST: Mayor David Knowles
City Clerk Betty Richardson