By Jennifer A. Bowen
The Collinsville City Council expects to vote later this month on whether to allow video gambling machines in the city.
During the monthly special meeting in Collinsville Tuesday night, City Council members discussed voters' approval earlier this month of video machine gambling.
Collinsville voters last week decided that the city should not prohibit video gaming, with 5,279 voting against prohibiting the machines and 4,181 voting to allow the city to prohibit video gaming machines.
Although the wording of the non-binding referendum was confusing, council members decided to follow the popular vote and bring an ordinance to the City Council.
Because the referendum was non-binding -- meaning that it was an opinion poll -- City Council members could have decided to go against popular vote and not allow the machines.
"The council members decided that people's opinion was clear with the vote," said city manager Scott Williams.
City staff members will draft an ordinance to present to the City Council for a vote at the next City Council meeting scheduled for Nov. 26. The ordinance will specify where the machines will be permitted and outline the fee structure for licensing.
Video gambling is overseen by a state gaming commission. The state has determined that 25 percent of money made on the machines goes to the state, 5 percent goes to the city, 35 percent to the bar owner and 35 percent to the owner of the gambling equipment.
In other business, the council approved spending $40,115 to install upgraded tornado/emergency warning sirens throughout the city. Federal law requires all cities to upgrade to narrow-band radio equipment on emergency warning sirens.