The Beaumont City council adopted a Gaming Site ordinance in June of this year. The new ordinance went into effect on August 1 of this year. Game site operators were given a grace period during which our agency worked to inform, educate, and assist them with coming into compliance. We also conducted investigations into several game sites that had been operating illegally.
The grace period for this new ordinance is now over. Officers from our department, as well as agents of other city departments such as Fire, Code Enforcement, and Planning and Zoning will begin to conduct periodic inspections of city game sites to insure compliance with the new ordinance.
The new ordinance legally defines gaming sites and gaming machines, requires registration of game sites and all game machines, and sets fees related to administrative costs of issuing permits. It was enacted to combat illegal gaming site that all too often exploit our senior population who live on fixed incomes. These illegal sites have also become a haven for other illegal activities including armed robberies, narcotics, and prostitution related offenses. Our department hopes to use this new ordinance to not only regulate and prevent illicit gaming operations, but also protect the attendants, customers, and public.
Violations of the provisions of the gaming ordinance by a gaming site are punishable by fines of $200 to $1,000 for the first offense and $500 to $1,000 for subsequent violations. All violations filed will be handled through the Beaumont Municipal Court.
Sgt. Rob Flores, Jr.