Resident Mike Gillford stated his concerns to the board about problems that could be created if video gaming were approved.
“I think the disadvantages outweigh the advantages; this type of thing can cause addictive behavior and cause financial burden, strained relationships and even lead to crimes,” said Gillford, who has been a Lake Zurich resident for 17 years.
The revenue created by video gaming would be divided amongst the establishment that houses the devices, the companies that sell and maintain them, the state of Illlinois and the village.
Seventy percent is split between establishments and operators, 25 percent would go to the state and 5 percent to the village.
“We may get 5 percent of the revenue, but we’ll get 100 percent of the problems…I am asking for the board to vote against it,” Gillford said.
Representatives from two gaming operators also attended the meeting to ask for support from the board on bringing video gaming to Lake Zurich.
“These machines are considered low volatility; it is a minimum of a 1 cent bet to a maximum of $2--the maximum payout is $500,” said Stephanie
Drougas, of Lake in the Hills-based Triple Seven Illinois, whose company is a purveyor of the devices.
Two other individuals, who also are purveyors, stressed how the revenue generated would help to fund schools and roads, and how jobs are created and businesses are assisted by providing additional entertainment options for their patrons.
Though no final decision was made by the board, there were strong and differing opinions, with a couple of of ‘maybes.'
“I will clearly and strongly say I am in opposition to video gaming,” said Dana Rzeznik, trustee. “I have spoken with residents and all are against this; I just don’t want this for Lake Zurich.”
Another trustee took an entirely opposite stance.
“I’ve dropped a shackle in the machine from time to time; I don’t buy the hysterical arguments about it,” said Tom Poynton, trustee.
Trustee Terry Mastandrea said he was not ready to make a decision at the time, but that he could consider it. Trustee Jeff Halen said he would be interested in seeing an ordinance in front of board to make his decision.
Trustees Rich Sustich and Jonathan Sprawka were absent and excused from the meeting.
Halen suggested the item be revisited when more of the board was present to have more opinions on the matter.
The Lake Zurich Police Department would be charged with monitoring establishments that add video gaming, if it were to be approved by the village.
Police Chief Patrick Finlon said Lake Zurich is not the only village grappling with the issue.
“Other municipalities are struggling with this issue as well, and I see for now, it’s a maybe,” said Finlon.
The board will have to decide whether video gaming will be allowed at all, and if so, would it be permitted only at veterans and fraternal organizations, or at other establishments in the village that hold liquor
Previously, Commander John Barrington of the American Legion Hall #964 brought the idea of adding video gaming to the attention of the board, and the owner of the Score Board Bar and Grill also expressed interest in installing video gaming devices in her esatablishment.
The issue is tentatively scheduled to come before the board again at its next regular meeting.