McHenry City Council seeks to define gambling cafe, parlor guidelines

December 5, 2023
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The city recently gave a gaming license to Shelly's Corned Beef.

Though the McHenry City Council has voted in the past not to allow gambling cafes or parlors within city limits, the group is now taking steps to define what constitutes a gambling café, according to a recent Daily Herald news report.

The Chicago suburb has considered this question for the past seven years, City Administrator Derik Morefield told local news.

The topic of discussion resurfaced shortly after Shelly's Corned Beef was denied a gaming license last spring. The business applied for both a liquor and gambling license and was only approved for the former.

Shelly’s Corned Beef approached the city council for the second time last month.

The eatery’s concept is based on Chicago’s The Corned Beef Factory and would “pair sandwiches with beers from local breweries,” according to the local report. Shelly's recently remodeled the restaurant, which now can seat between 24 and 30 people, plus another six at its bar.

Because of a licensing agreement with The Corned Beef Factory, the restaurant chain said it would not allow Shelly’s to use its concept apart from a gaming license, the local report said.

Shelly’s owners discussed this condition with the city council during the November meeting. As a result, the council approved Shelly’s request for a gaming license by a 6 to 1 vote.

In other local news, complaints from unsuccessful bidders involved in gaining Chicago casino licensing have led to an alleged investigation into how Bally’s obtained the license, according to Crain’s Chicago and TheRealDeal local reports.

Both the US Attorney’s Office and the Chicago Inspector General Deborah Witzburg are said to be looking into the process Bally’s used to gain casino licensing.

Neither group has responded to local news requests for comment.


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