If you want to open a video gaming business in the State of Illinois, you will need to apply for a variety of licenses before you open, including your video gaming license, your State liquor license, and your local liquor license. Unfortunately, there may not always be a local liquor license available in your town. So how can you find out if there is a liquor license available before you begin the process of opening your business?
Unfortunately, for prospective video gaming business owners, municipalities do not publish a list of available local liquor licenses, and each municipality has their own ordinances on how local liquor licenses are issued. Some Illinois municipalities put a cap on the number of liquor licenses they issue, while other municipalities issue liquor licenses on a case-by-case basis.
It is very important that a business owner ensures there are available liquor licenses before they settle on a physical location. The first thing any prospective business owner should do is contact the municipal government in the area they want to open their business. Be sure to be clear and open about what kind of business you are planning on opening and ask if there is an available liquor license that will cover this type of establishment. Be patient with any delays for an answer because many municipalities present each application for a liquor license to the liquor commissioner on a case-by-case basis. In many municipalities in the State of Illinois, the liquor commissioner in charge of approving liquor licenses is also the mayor of the community.
If you are experiencing roadblocks in obtaining your local liquor license, don’t panic — you have options. The first thing you should do is work with your municipality directly and convince them of the benefits your business will bring to the local community. If you have locations open in other municipalities, show evidence that they all have solid business structures and feed money back into the municipality.
Unfortunately, sometimes things are just not going to work out in a municipality. This is when all your pre-planning will come in handy. By holding off on settling on a physical location until you had a guaranteed local liquor license, you are not tied down to the location you originally picked. Now it is time to consider re-locating your prospective business to a different municipality with available liquor licenses for your business. Don’t look at this as a bad thing for your business. There are countless communities in the State of Illinois where a video gaming establishment can find success.
At Accel Entertainment, we work with video gaming establishment owners every day. With 10 years of operating experience, we are experts at working with municipalities and prospective business owners – and we want to help you find success, too. If you are a prospective video gaming business owner who doesn’t know where to start, reach out to our customer success team at 866-525-8504 and get started with Accel.
Want to learn more about getting your liquor license in Illinois? Check out our guide here.