Someone applied for a “Class B”
alcohol license and claims he needs it so he can have video gambling
machines in his establishment. Does a “Class B” liquor license authorize
video gambling machines?
No. Video gambling machines
are unlawful. See Wis. Stat. ch. 945. A “Class B” liquor license does
not authorize or legitimize video gambling machines.
Nonetheless, some people claim they have
been told (by whom it’s unclear) that a “Class B” liquor license will
allow them to lawfully have video gambling machines on the licensed
premises. This clearly erroneous notion may come from the fact that
although all video gambling machines are prohibited by state
law, the state legislature has created lesser penalties for “Class B”
premises with five or fewer video gambling machines (see Wis.
Stat. secs. 945.03(2m) and 945.04(2m)). The notion may also come from
the legislature’s changes to enforcement of the prohibition in 2003 when
it amended the laws to limit local and Department of Justice (DOJ)
enforcement authority by restricting or removing their investigation of
or enforcement action against video gambling violations on premises with
a “Class B” liquor license.