After debating the option for many years, Mount Prospect has now decided to approve video gambling. Trustees of the village have agreed to allow the gaming option to help restaurant owners who state they are losing business to establishments in other communities that allow the terminals.
Voiding A Video Gambling Ordinance:
Back in the summer of 2012, the trustees of the Illinois village decided to adopt an ordinance that would prohibit video gambling from taking place in the region. However, this year, discussions began involving adopting a rule change based on establishments in the village facing growing competition from businesses in other towns that would allow the gaming option. Such towns including Wheeling and Elk Grove Village, areas that border Mount Prospect.
Now that video gambling has been approved, venues will be able to apply for licensing. The state’s Video Gaming Act dictates the establishments with liquor licensing, truck stops as well as veterans or fraternal establishments can apply. Video gambling terminals that are accepted include video poker, blackjack and line up.
As with any change involving gambling in a town or city, there is going to be opposition. In Mount Prospect, those opposed were on hand to discuss why they feel the gambling ordinance goes against what the community strives for.
According to Journal-topics.com…
Nancy Duel, a representative of the Northern Illinois Conference associated with the United Methodist Church of Arlington Heights, stated that the new gambling ordinance goes against the family community feel of the village.
Ms. Duel stated that businesses that wish to have video gambling could expand via social media or find other ways to increase their revenues instead of using the gaming option. Trustee, Paul Hoefert, also is opposed to video gambling, having stated that Mount Prospect is a ‘family-oriented, family-friendly community’ and that gambling counters their values and ‘cheapens Mount Prospect.’
In the end, the final vote was four to two, allowing the gambling option to be added. According to Mayor Arlene Juracek, in one year, the ordinance will be reviewed along with feedback from the public as well as business owners.
The new ordinance includes several stipulations, such as the site plan for an establishment seeking to add the games must be available at the time the application is presented to the village board. An establishment must also be in good standing in the village for a minimum of one year from the time their application is presented to be considered.
Funds generated from the terminals will be allocated to the village to be used for property tax relief as well as reducing debt. The establishments that are eligible will need to be issued a video gambling license via the Illinois Gaming Board. The terminals cannot be operated during the hours when alcohol is served and the gaming option will not be allowed in establishments located within 100 feet of a school or place of worship. The number of terminals within a business cannot be more than five.