Video gaming still a possibility in Clarendon Hills
Updated: October 1, 2012 6:23AM
Clarendon Hills — The Clarendon Hills Village Board is schedule to make a decision at its Sept. 17 meeting on whether it wants to allow video gaming in the village.
The discussion was prompted by an application to the state to put two video gaming machines at Tracy’s Tavern, 401 55th St. The application was made by business owner, Jack Tracy.
The Illinois Video Gaming Act, adopted in 2009 by state lawmakers, allows up to five video gambling machines in facilities with valid liquor licenses. The law is written so that communities not wanting video gambling must take action to prohibit it. If no such action is taken, video gambling is allowed by default.
Trustees Ed Reid, Paul Pedersen, and Mary Williams have continued to be very outspoken against allowing video gambling in Clarendon Hills. However, trustees Steve Wallace and Paul Flood said Aug. 20 that they would be OK with giving video gaming a chance, noting that a decision to allow it could be changed by trustees at any time. Village President Tom Karaba, who only would vote on the issue if there is a deadlock among the six trustees, also said he would be in favor of allowing video gaming.
“Gambling is a social problem; our general assembly is trying to balance the budget on the backs of gamblers,” he said. “I think this is inconsequential; I would vote for it.”
Tracy said he was interested in adding video gambling as a way to increase revenue.
“If it becomes a problem, I wouldn’t want it,” he said.
Village Manager Randy Recklaus said nine businesses in the village have liquor licenses that would make them eligible to have video gambling machines if they are not prohibited by local ordinance.
When Clarendon Hills officials asked residents in a 2010 community survey if they favored video gaming bring allowed in the village the results were overwhelmingly against the measure: 72 percent voted no, about 14 percent voted yes, and about 14 percent stated they had no opinion.