In Illinois, a bill that was overwhelmingly approved by state senators and has now been referred to the House Rules Committee would allow licensed veterans establishments, per the state Gaming Board, to install video gaming machines in communities that currently prohibit gambling.
According to a report from The Daily Herald newspaper published by the State Journal-Register, Senate Bill 3166, would aid Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion organizations that are feeling the crunch as their memberships gradually diminish, said the bill’s sponsor, Democratic Sen. Terry Link.
“This could help solve their problems,” Link said.
Arlington Heights American Legion Post 208 Finance Officer, David Roberts, stated that their group would see benefits if the bill is successful, as their facility would be the only one in the region to offer the gambling option. According to Roberts, “You get fewer and fewer veterans coming into places like the American Legion, and we need draws to get people in to spend money and support what we do.”
Huntley American Legion Post 673 is located in an area where they can offer video gambling. Records from the Gaming Board show that the facility earned over $116,000 from the gaming option, which the organization reportedly used to renovate its property.
However, several years ago a request for video gambling by an American Legion post was denied by Gurnee officials, who reportedly have not changed their minds.
Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik, said, “A community should have the right to decide what uses belong in their municipal boundaries, especially something like gambling that has such a negative impact on neighborhoods and the local economy, according to the news outlet.
Last week, SB3166 was approved in a 41 to 5 and now awaits further consideration by the House Rules Committee.