As Casper liquor licenses renewed, Horse Palace owner complains of illegal skilled gaming - Casper, WY Oil City News
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As Casper liquor licenses renewed, Horse Palace owner complains of illegal skilled gaming


CASPER, Wyo. — The Casper City Council voted to renew a number of liquor licenses held by businesses throughout the city during their Tuesday, Feb. 18 meeting.

“This is your opportunity to review the gamut of liquor license retailers that you have authority over,” City Manager Carter Napier said ahead of the vote. “There are a few that do have restrictions, but not many. There are two that have address restrictions.”

“We also have a license holder that is behind on their sales tax payment.”

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That establishment is Don Juan’s Mexican Restaurant. The city council decided to make Don Juan’s restaurant liquor license renewal contingent upon the delinquent sales taxes being paid.

A number of business applied late to have their licenses renewed. Those include the following businesses:

These businesses had their licenses renewed on Tuesday. However, Mayor Steve Freel said that the council would dedicate time in a work session to consider ways to discourage businesses from applying for renewal’s late.

That could include imposing fines, suspensions or denials of the license renewals.

Councilman Ray Pacheco said that he thought council should distinguish between businesses which “chronically” miss application deadlines and those which have extenuating circumstances.

One of the owners of a business which applied late attended the meeting and assured the council it wouldn’t happen again.

But Eugene Joyce, owner of “The Horse Palace,” also claimed that there are several establishments in Casper which have illegal gambling machines in them.

“This is getting out of control in your city,” he said.

Joyce said he notified City Manager Carter Napier of the establishments he claims have the illegal gaming machines.

“It is something that we believe is clearly illegal,” he said. “It really comes down to enforcement, but these things are not being enforced.”

Councilman Charlie Powell said that the police department is aware of the issue, but said that enforcing the rules is complex. When the department becomes aware of a business that potentially has illegal skilled games in the establishment, they notify them they can’t host such games.

But establishments are sometimes able to skirt the rules by switching the software on the machines to a game which has not been clearly listed under state rules, according to Powell.

The following establishments failed police department liquor law compliance checks:

Nevertheless, council renewed these licenses. A full list of businesses which had their licenses renewed is available in the council’s work packet.

If you would like to contact members of the Casper City Council regarding this or any other issue, here is their contact information:

Mayor Steve Freel (Ward III, Term expires 1/3/23):

Vice Mayor Khrystyn Lutz (Ward I, Term expires 1/3/23):

Councilman Charlie Powell (Ward II, Term Expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Shawn Johnson (Ward II, Term expires 1/3/23):

Councilman Ken Bates (Ward II, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Steve Cathey (Ward III, Term Expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Bob Hopkins (Ward I, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Mike Huber (Ward I, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Ray Pacheco (Ward III, Term expires 1/3/23):

Council members can also be reached by mail at: 200 N. David Street, 82601

If you would like to contact members in your specific ward, but don’t know which ward you are in, a map is available at the City of Casper’s website.