In an attempt to stop the perceived proliferation of video gambling machine parlors, officials in the Illinois village of Island Lake have reportedly passed a one-year moratorium on the issuing of any new operating licenses.
According to a report from the local Daily Herald newspaper, the small Chicago suburb voted to allow video gambling machines in May of 2014 as a way to help local businesses that were struggling financially. But, officials soon became concerned when an initial two enterprises offering the units were joined by three others.
In a move designed to rein in the growth of video gambling machine parlors, September reportedly saw village leaders institute a one-year ban on the issuing of liquor licenses to businesses that sold food but did not have full kitchens. This measure was due to stop the growth of video gambling machine businesses that offered the units along with snacks and beverages but little else.
However, the newspaper reported that this did not have the desired effect as some area gas stations soon began lobbying for the right to offer video gambling machines under an existing provision that allows the units at truck stops so long as they are of a certain size.
“We don’t want any more gaming machines in town,” Island Lake mayor Charles Amrich told the Daily Herald. “Enough is enough. We feel that’s enough to have in the community. You don’t want every store to have one.”
The moratorium on the issuing any new video gambling machines licenses, which was passed on Thursday evening and is due to run until June of 2018, was not popular with everyone in Island Lake as local trustees Debra Jenkins and Jennifer Villarreal voted against the measure.
“Although the village only sees a small portion of the proceeds, gaming machines produce revenues we desperately need,” Jenkins told the newspaper. “If a new bar were to open in town, it is my opinion [that] they should be afforded the same opportunity as our existing businesses.”