City puts Internet cafes on hold

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By Alice Du Pont

 The Quincy City Commission unanimously passed a resolution during the March 8 meeting barring the issuing of permits, licenses and/or occupational licenses for Internet cafes and bingo gaming within the city limits of Quincy for the next six months. The measure was taken because several commissioners had concerns about operations and which local charities were recipients of donations from the games.
    Commissioner Andy Gay said he wanted to wait until the end of the 2011 legislation session to and that see what, if anything, they will do. There are currently four Internet cafes and a bingo establishments in Quincy.
    The six months, commissioners agreed, would give them time to study, find out, which charities benefit, and hear public dialogue.
    The resolution states that some citizens have raised the question as to whether these are illegal gambling establishments and bring into the city unsavory conduct and illegal activities. "Even if crime is not prevalent, some believe there is a personal toll that must be taken into account," the resolution stated.
    Mariam Wilkinson, representing Allied Veterans of the World, one of the charities that benefits from Internet cafes said the money raised helps fund homeless shelters, food banks and gives ROTC scholarships to high school students. She said she has spent the last four years educating law enforcement and public officials of Internet cafes and sweepstakes making sure they deliver what they promise.
    Henry Chairs, who said he spent the 40 years in law enforcement, also spoke on behalf on the cafes and bingo, offered to assist the city in any way to help them answer their questions.
    But some people in the city don't see a need for a moratorium.
    "They (commissioners) should have done their research and gotten their questions answered before they started giving out licenses. This is wrong. Some people have made a big investment with the idea that they could open up another Internet cafe. Who's hurting by the cafe?" asked Earlean Taylor