In response to numerous concerns voiced by business owners, local residents, and police officers, Montrose City Councilors held a special meeting Tuesday to unanimously approve a temporary moratorium on any new Adult Gaming Arcades or relocation of existing establishments within the city limits of Montrose.
The moratorium takes effect immediately for a period of 180 days. The moratorium, enacted under Emergency Ordinance 2560, is in response to concerns about four businesses located within the city limits that are engaged in providing access to and the use of various video gaming machines that accept money and/or tokens from customers and pay monetary prizes.
These activities may fit the legal definition of slot machine, gambling device, and/or simulated gambling device, which are prohibited under Colorado state law.
These businesses, which the city is referring to as Adult Gaming Arcades, have had secondary, negative impacts on neighboring businesses. Increased crime has also been reported in the areas surrounding these businesses, including illegal drug use, illegal drug distribution, public intoxication, violent crime, and increased calls for service from the Montrose Police Department.
On Monday, at a City Council Work Session, City Councilors heard testimony from police officers about complaints reported by nearby business owners and residents. Two of these businesses are located near a local elementary school. At all four of these business locations police officers reported serious criminal and illicit drug activity, which have increased the number of calls for service.
Upon hearing these testimonies, City Councilors decided to hold a special meeting Tuesday to consider an emergency ordinance to preserve the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Montrose.
Tuesday's action enacts a temporary, 180-day moratorium on all new establishments and the relocation of existing Adult Gaming Arcades that feature slot machines, gambling devices, simulated gambling devices, and similar electronic and video gaming devices such as “fish gaming tables”, as defined in the ordinance, from the effective date of the ordinance. If an existing establishment of this type closes, a new one will not be allowed to replace it during the moratorium.
This emergency action will allow the city time to conduct further research on the issue and formulate appropriate permanent actions to either prohibit or regulate Adult Gaming Arcades within the city limits.