November 14, 2017 5:10 a.m.
The Roseburg City Council appears open to further exploring the idea of allowing social gaming in Roseburg.
Monday night councilors heard from Eli Hanna, owner of the Club House in Sutherlin. Hanna appeared in front councilors in March asking them to consider an ordinance that would allow social gaming. Councilors agreed to have staff research the topic. In May, after initial staff work had been completed, Hanna told city staff that changes under consideration by the Oregon State Legislature would likely eliminate his desire to open a social gaming business in Roseburg. That put the issue on hold. The legislation failed to pass in Salem so now the question is back on the table.
An analysis by city staff says that several cities in Oregon allow social gaming. Staff obtained copies of ordinances from Sutherlin, Reedsport, Medford and other cities to see how they are structured. Requirements for operating a social gaming business vary from city to city including when the business can be open, buy-in amounts, and the format for the games.
Eli Hanna said he has operated for several years in Sutherlin and has had no problems with police or other city authorities. Councilors asked a number of questions about how a social gaming business would work. Most councilors said they did not want social gaming businesses to be able to sell alcohol, something that Hanna said he agreed with. Hanna wanted to have no buy-in limit or a higher limit that some had suggested.
While no vote was taken, the consensus was to ask City Recorder Sheila Cox to craft an ordinance and bring it back for consideration. If approved, Hanna would like to open his business after the first of the year. Cox said she would work on an ordinance, but offered no guarantee it would be ready that fast.