Sunday gambling?

Published 8:52 am Thursday, May 24, 2012

MURFREESBORO – The moratorium on Internet sweepstakes cafes is still remains in effect as the town’s proposed amendments to its zoning ordinance have begun to solidify.

On Tuesday, Murfreesboro Council members agreed to leave the moratorium on Internet cafes in place and set a public hearing to hear from citizens regarding the proposed amendments.

The amendments provide for a definition of what a Internet Cafe is and also sets minimum standards for the businesses to abide by as a conditional use in only C-2 Commercial Zoning District.

The amendment states these types of businesses may operate seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 12 midnight.

Mayor Pro-tempore Sarah Wallace voiced concerns over the day/hours of operation set by the requirements.

Wallace said she thought 11 p.m. should be the latest the establishments could be open.

“I do not think it should be seven days a week,” she said. “I do not think it should be allowed on Sundays, the town should not promote gambling on Sundays.”

The amendment to the Zoning Ordinance also states that the establishment must be a minimum of 1,000 linear feet from any building used as a dwelling. The same distance is required for places of worship, daycare centers, non-profit clubs and any public or private school.

Internet cafes are also required to be a minimum of 1,000 linear feet from any other organization engaged in the electronic gaming business.

The establishment must also provide parking per Section 155.036-Off Street Parking.

The windows of the gaming establishment must be unobstructed, without any curtains or treatments (or window tints) for view from the outside as a security issue for the Murfreesboro Police Department.

The town will also require a minimum cost of $2,500 per year and $750 per machine, computer, and/or terminal from the business.

Town Attorney Buddy Jones noted the need for a public hearing on the ordinance and the town could set that up for their next meeting in June.

Councilman Randy Roberts moved to have the moratorium in place and schedule a public hearing for the ordinance. Councilwoman Gloria Odum offered a second and the motion passed without objection.