Only a couple of weeks after the Strasburg Borough Zoning Hearing Board slashed the second request of Rutter’s Truck Stop regarding the addition of video gambling terminals (VGTs) to its convenience store offering, Upper Leacock Township a similar proposal of the brand.
At the end of January 2019, the Gaming Control Board’s spokesman Doug Harbach revealed that apart from the one in Strasburg Borough, Rutter’s have applied for VGT addition at three more convenience stores in Lancaster County, which were still pending at the time. The convenience store of the business in Upper Leacock Township was one of these locations, along with the ones in East Lampeter Township and in West Hempfield Township.
Now, Upper Leacock Township has turned down Rutter’s application for the addition of video gambling machines at the brand’s convenience store in Leola.
Video gambling and VGTs are currently legal under a piece of legislation which has been recently enacted by the state of Pennsylvania. Upper Leacock, however, opposed the law, saying that video gambling machines were inappropriate under the zoning rules applicable for convenience stores across the township.
In a letter sent at the end of February to a legal representative of the Rutter’s chain, the zoning officer of Upper Leacock, Mark Deimler, explained that the VGTs are not considered appropriate for a convenience store. Deimler stated that commercial zone-situated struck stops are not allowed under the Township’s zoning ordinance. The chain has appealed the zoning officer’s decision to the zoning hearing board of the township, but it rejected the appeal.
Strasburg Borough Council Also Denied Rutter’s VGT Application
The Rutter’s store in Upper Leacock Township is registered as a convenience store and automobile station. However, Ben McCue, an assistant zoning officer, said that no truck stop is mentioned in the zoning application of the company.
Richard McGarvey, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, explained in a telephone call yesterday, that the gambling law regarding the VGTs would not replace local zoning ordinance. Assistant zoning officer McCue revealed that the Rutter’s appeal is set to be reviewed by the Upper Leacock Zoning Hearing Board on April 3rd.
As previously reported by CasinoGamesPro, a similar reason was given by the Strasburg Borough Council for its denial of VGT installation at Rutter’s convenience store situated on Historic Drive. Then, in February, a second Rutter’s zoning proposal regarding the controversial machines was turned down by the Council.
Late in 2018, Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Wolf signed the so-called Act 42 into law – a gambling expansion piece of legislation under which video gaming terminals were made legal at qualifying truck stop establishments across the country.
For the time being, however, VGTs have not been given the nod by any truck stops, despite the fact that conditional state approval was granted to all five locations which have applied for the machines in Lancaster County. The conditional approvals given to the applicants basically mean that the businesses have been found in line with the qualification requirements in regards to taxes, criminal checks, etc.