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 liquor licensees assert that a “Class B” liquor license authorizes them to lawfully provide video gambling on their licensed premises. The assertion is not accurate.
The assertion may be based improperly based on the fact that although all video gambling machines are prohibited by state law, state law provides reduced penalties for “Class B” premises with five or fewer video gambling machines (see Wis. Stat. secs. 945.03(2m) and 945.04(2m)). It may also flow from changes to enforcement of video gambling laws in 2003 when the legislature limited local and Department of Justice (DOJ) enforcement authority by restricting or removing video gambling investigation or enforcement by those government units in premises with a “Class B” liquor license. In any event, the basis for the assertion is irrelevant because it is not accurate.