Ferriday bingo not yet approved

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ferriday — The Ferriday Board of Aldermen voted at a specially-called meeting Tuesday to introduce a video bingo ordinance.

The board did not adopt the ordinance but gave its approval for the publication of the proposed ordinance in the newspaper before a public hearing takes place at the board’s next meeting in January.

The ordinance included amendments that describe license terms, benefits to the city and other issues, which the mayor said should have been included in the original proposed ordinance.

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Mayor Glen McGlothin said amendments listed on the ordinance incorrectly included specific names of bingo machine operators and distributors.

Alderman Elijah “Stepper” Banks requested that the company, WhiteCo Gaming, LLC, which was specified in an amendment as the only lessor permitted to obtain a commercial license for video bingo, be approved as the gaming company at the meeting.

McGlothin said Tuesday’s meeting was too soon to introduce the names of operators or vendors as the ordinance has not yet passed.

“It seems like (Banks) is pushing somebody for a reason,” McGlothin said.

The mayor said he has suddenly been receiving calls referencing Ed White concerning video bingo. However, the board will not be ready to ask for proposals until the ordinance is passed, he said.

“You’ve talked to these people for I don’t know how long without the board, and I don’t know who they are,” the mayor said to Banks.

“There must be some money in it,” he said.

McGlothin said he has heard word “around town” suggesting that Banks is promoting a particular vendor.

Banks said he has also heard word in town about McGlothin’s intentions, but he did not offer details.

The mayor used a pen to scratch out two sentences in an amendment titled “licensed location/licensed permitted,” that specified WhiteCo Gaming, LLC as the town’s only commercial lessor and Hohn, LLC as the only machine distributor.

The board unanimously passed a motion to introduce the ordinance with the exception of the scratched-out sentences that listed company names in question.

McGlothin said the published advertisement of the proposed ordinance will only include the title of the ordinance, without the proposed amendments.

The list of amendments included the following:

4 An amendment about net proceeds indicated 10 percent of the net win from each video bingo machine would be paid monthly “as an assessment or tax owed to the town.”

The amendment defines “net win” as the dollar amount obtained by subtracting the total amount paid out from total coins in.

4 An amendment about licensing locations and permits indicates video bingo operations must be 150 feet from a church or school property line; approved locations are prohibited from selling alcohol; and only one location will be entitled to a commercial lessor license.

4 An amendment about license process fees indicates lessors and distributors/suppliers will pay a $250 license application to the town each year.

4 An amendment about machine permit fees indicates a $20 annual fee will be paid to the town for each machine.

4 An amendment about the maximum number of machines permitted indicates no more than 35 machines can operate in each licensed location.