Village Board bans video gaming in Clarendon Hills
Jack Tracy, owner of Tracy's Tavern in Clarendon Hills, talks about the village board's decision Monday night to not allow video gaming in the community. Tracy had applied to the state for a permit to allow the activity. | Chuck Fieldman—Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 21, 2012 2:13PM
CLARENDON HILLS — The Clarendon Hills Village Board voted Monday to ban the activity. The move was in response to an application to the state by Jack Tracy to install two video gaming machines at Tracy’s Tavern, 401 55th St.
The Illinois Video Gaming Act, adopted in 2009, allows up to five video gambling machines in facilities with valid liquor licenses. The law is written so communities not wanting video gambling must take action prohibit it.
Trustees Ed Reid, Paul Pedersen, Mary Williams and Allan Alongi voted in favor of the ban; trustees Steve Wallace and Paul Flood voted it.
However, Alongi said he is hopeful the state will rewrite the video gaming legislation so local municipalities have more control over the activity.
“I’m frustrated with the state legislature putting the Village Board in a position to be a bad guy to you,” Alongi told Tracy.
Williams said she would be more than happy to revisit the issue if the legislature makes changes in policy.
Reid said the board would have allowed video gaming if it was limited to Tracy’s Tavern.
Several trustees, including Reid, expressed concern businesses in the downtown area might install video gaming. They have said businesses on 55th Street and Ogden Avenue are a better fit.
Reid, Pedersen and Williams cited a 2010 community survey in which 72 percent of responding residents replied they were against allowing video gaming.
“To vote against 72 percent of what the community wants, it would have to be a really pressing issue,” Reid said.
Tracy and his wife, Lucy, asked why the board wouldn’t allow video gaming and then revoke that verdict if any problems arose.
“They talk about not wanting this downtown, but the restaurants in downtown are not suited to what this is,” Jack Tracy said. “This is something we wanted to try in an attempt to bring in more revenue for our business. We’d be the first ones to not want it if there were any problems.”
Village Manager Randy Recklaus said nine businesses have liquor licenses that would make them eligible for the machines if they were not prohibited.~.