Harrisburg Changes Gambling and Liquor Ordinances

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By Matthew Searcy

HARRISBURG -- The city of Harrisburg has revised both their video gaming and liquor ordinances. On Tuesday, the council approved the moves after inquiries from several new businesses.  

Only a few businesses within the city currently have gaming machines, but with that number now set to expand, the council felt some amendments were needed. 
 
"We had all these people coming to us to bring the gaming in and that's when we started discussing that we didn't want them to put the games where minors could enter," said councilman John McPeek. 
 
A new Mach 1 gas station, set to open later this year, will add the machines but will now have to keep them in a separate room. 
 
"We didn't want them to go in and see people sitting there gambling next to the coffee machines," explained McPeek.  
 
The city also revised their liquor ordinance.  
 
"This morning we voted to add a new class to the liquor license. It's called a Class I liquor license," said McPeek. 
 
The Class I license will allow a new Speakeasy Liquor store to have the machines and be able to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises.
 
"I don't think it's going to bring more people to town to gamble because other towns have them also," said Co-Owner of Morello's Pizza and Grill, David Dennison. 
 
Dennison owns three machines at his restaurant and says he's against revising ordinances to increase gambling in the city.  
 
"I just think they get too many in a town," explained Dennison. "I think it ought to be restricted the same way liquor licenses. I just think there should be a certain amount per capita." 
 
The new liquor store and gas station are set to open, with the gambling machines, later this year. 
 
"The gaming is taking off, it's doing really well," said McPeek. "The city of Harrisburg is profiting very well from it." 
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