Convenience Store Owner Trying To Offer Video Lottery, Neighbors Resisting

 

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – In every direction you look in Sioux Falls, you will likely see a restaurant, bar or business offering video lottery. But one business owner looking to expand and offer these services, is receiving some resistance. Neighbors fear the new games will bring more criminal activity to the area.

A sign outside of the Hilltop BP on the corner of 18th and Cleveland marks a potential change to the business. When neighbor Judith Kock first saw this sign she says, “I was really mad.”

The sign indicates that owner Gary Cone has applied, and been approved for an on-sale beverage license. Something that’s required for offering video lottery.

“There isn’t a week that doesn’t go by, that our neighbors always say ‘do you have video lottery’,” says Cone. “We say we would like to have video lottery but we don’t have it at this time.”

This is Cone’s second attempt to get the services in his convenience store. He even has a separate room behind his business ready to install the games.

“They’ll be more security, I mean we already have 16 cameras here now,” says Cone. “The video lottery will be open during the same hours as the convenient store, so 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.”

Living in the area nearly her whole life, Kock fears the expansion will bring more traffic.

“It’s a busy street anyway,” she says.

Add in the ability to consume alcohol while playing the video lottery, Kock is concerned the result will be dangerous.

“I can see someone coming out of there and going into their car, be it whether they’re drunk or mad that they lost their money, getting out and getting in their car and there goes a child right there,” says Kock.

“We’re not going to have an issue where we have people coming and sitting in there drinking, we’re not going to do that,” counters Cone. “I wish that we didn’t even have to serve alcohol.”

Cone says he will likely only be selling wine in the establishment.

“We would never do anything to hurt the neighborhood,” says Cone. “We have a lot of supporters, they say it will be wonderful, we can walk down there just for a little entertainment.”

“This is a neighborhood, a residential neighborhood, and we don’t need that here,” says Kock.

The Planning and Zoning board already gave Cone the go-ahead to provide video lottery services. However, multiple neighbors appealed this decision. The Sioux Falls City Council will take a look at the special permit during their November 7th meeting. If approved, Cone says the video lottery machines will likely be in place in spring 2018.

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