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TREASURE ISLAND Hearing set for gaming arcade



Published: Fri, April 8, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The township police chief said he'll ask for restrictions for the business.

By DENISE DICK

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

BOARDMAN -- A video arcade that rewards skilled players with cash and prizes wants to open in the township.

Under Ohio law, video games with cash payouts based on luck are illegal, but those with payoffs based on skill are legal.

The prospective operators say, in information given to the township, that the games would be skill-based.

Game rooms in a commercial district of the township are allowed if granted a conditional use permit, said Darren Crivelli, township zoning inspector.

A hearing is set for 7 p.m. April 19 at the township government center before the board of zoning appeals for the conditional use permit request.

Business plan

Tony Bruno and Don Fleck want to open Treasure Island in a plaza at 5310 Youngstown-Poland Road. The business would be next to Miller Rod and Gun.

If approved, the business will feature video games distributed by Playtronics Games Inc., which is owned by Armand Nannicola and Kevin McHenry.

Bruno declined to comment before the hearing but said they hope to open in mid-May.

In a letter given to township officials, Bruno and Fleck describe Treasure Island's premise as similar to Jillian's and Chuck E. Cheese.

"It is an electronic gaming arcade that provides entertainment in the form of various formats of skill-based machines and offers prizes and merchandise as rewards for skilled play by adults 18 and over," the letter says.

Police Chief Jeffrey Patterson said he'll ask the board to make some restrictions for the business.

"Right now, they have the windows of the building blacked out, I'd like them opened up so that we can view from the outside in," the chief said.

He also wants the hours of operation, which the owners have indicated will be from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, to not be lengthened after the business opens.

The owners also told the chief that no alcoholic beverages will be served. Patterson said he'll ask the board not to consider the business for a liquor permit if it's requested later.

The owners also told township officials that they plan to add a buffer of pine trees along the rear of the building and some landscaping in the front of the parking lot.




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