Commission refuses permit
The Velva city commission met in regular session on Monday night, and once again tackled the gaming site permit at the Lariat Club.
Lariat owners Eric and Shannon Dove were once again on hand, as a representative of the Minot Hockey Boosters, who would like to make the local club one of their gaming sites. Representatives of the Velva American Legion were also in attendance, as the Legion currently has the gaming site at the Lariat.
The session opened with Mayor Cindy Shattuck, presiding at her last commission meeting, read the Century Code pertaining to the issue, and then asked for comments.
Commissioner Alden Hollenbeck said he had heard from many city residents, and they “felt very strongly” about the gaming remaining in local hands for “numerous reasons.”
The representative from the Minot Hockey Boosters noted that while the American Legion said the Lariat site produced 48 percent of their gaming income, if the hockey club gave 25 percent of the pull tab proceeds back to the community, that would result in a loss of only 23 percent, and he didn’t think they’d lose much money as a city.
Commissioner Tom Bodine asked what happened when the Doves and the American Legion tried to get together and work things out.
Eric Dove said things “just didn’t seem to work out.”
“I had hoped we’d get some kind of proposal about what they thought they could do to improve themselves and what we could do to improve ourselves as businesses working at the same location,” Dove said. “I guess we really didn’t agree on what we both had to offer. It’s a big deal, you know, and I guess we were both a little upset at the way it ended.”
Norm Sollid, head of the American Legion gaming, said they did offer a number of changes to the Doves.
“We’d have poker tournaments twice a year, and we’d extend the blackjack hours, which can be hard to do if nobody’s playing and you’re paying someone to be there,” Sollid said. “And we’d probably have an appreciation night in the fall.”
When asked how the Hockey Boosters would benefit the Lariat, Dove said they offered more modern equipment, bigger pull tab payouts, and higher payouts on the Bingo.
Bodine said he, too, had heard from a number of constituents who did not want the gaming to go to an out of town entity, but he was struggling with making a decision that effects a private business.