County commissioners will consider regulating Internet sweepstakes gaming operations during tonight’s board meeting.
Zoning Administrator Randy Hawkins will present a suggested amendment to the county’s Unified Development Ordinance, defining electronic gaming centers as “as any business enterprise where persons utilize electronic machines to conduct sweepstakes, lotteries and/or games of chance and where cash or merchandise or other items of value are redeemed or otherwise distributed.”
“This proposal would create a separate classification and regulations for electronic gaming operations, such as Internet sweepstakes centers,” Hawkins wrote in a memo to county officials.
Under the current UDO, they are classified as “amusement centers,” which are not subject to any special standards.
“Electronic gaming operations are different in nature from a typical amusement center or video-game arcade in that the clientele is adult-only and cash payouts are common,” Hawkins additionally noted.
The proposed standards would call for separation requirements from residential zoning districts, churches and schools, certain access and visibility requirements, limits on hours of operation and parking specifications.
At past meetings of the board, some Lincoln County residents have spoken against Internet sweepstakes centers cropping up around the area during public comments. Those interested will have a chance to do so again tonight, as a public hearing will be conducted on the proposed regulations.
Other items on tonight’s agenda include:
The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Citizens Center and is open to the public.