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Beaumont denies request for 40 machine game room on College Street

Beaumont City Council voted unanimously to reject the proposal after the Planning Commission made its recommendation two weeks ago.

BEAUMONT, Texas — The Beaumont City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to deny a request for a new game room.

On April 15, the Planning Commission recommended that city officials reject the proposal which would've allowed dozens of slot machines to be installed at 1425 College Street near Avenue A.  

Phong Truong wanted to open up a game room that would've included 40 games and been open from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.

"It essentially becomes a small casino and what we've seen in the past is there are issues associated with that use," explained Christopher Boone, Beaumont Director of Planning and Community Development. "What council is looking at is the proximity to residential uses...in this case Fletcher Park is not too far away."

Truong asked the city for a Specific Use Permit, due to the size of his proposed game room. He needed the city's approval before he could proceed with his plan.

For some who live near the location, Tuesday's decision was the right one.   

"At the end of the day, it just brings extra crime that we don't need," said Beaumont resident Luis Colon. "The number one reason I'm against game rooms is they don't bring anything good."

Others tell 12News a game room wouldn't have presented many problems.

"No, I don't have a problem with it," said Beaumont resident Jairo Espinoza. "There have never been any crimes here and it's a good place for them to open it."

Boone says the City of Beaumont is not 100 percent against the idea of game rooms this size, but new ones will have to be carefully considered.

"There have been issues in terms of police response for these uses," said Boone. "The ones with more machines, we're going to have more customers and the more potential for issues...So, obviously the bigger proposed game room, the closer we're going to take a look at it."

Boone also tells us that if anyone is looking to open up a game room with dozens of slot machines, he recommends developers aim for large commercial areas away from schools and neighborhoods.

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