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Village to Vote on Video Gaming

Lake Zurich board of trustees expected to vote on ordinance allowing video gaming at Sept. 17 meeting.

village trustees discussed whether or not to allow video gaming in the village, at Tuesday's village board meeting. The board is expected to vote on a final draft of an ordinance that would repeal the prohibition on video gaming in the village, at its Sept. 17 meeting. Video gaming machines are lottery-type terminals, such as poker games.

The only trustee who spoke against video gaming was Trustee Dana Rzeznik. Rzeznik pointed out that only a handful of suburbs have approved video gaming-- including nearby Wauconda. 

"I don't believe it goes well with the nature of Lake Zurich," Rzeznik said. 

Trustee Tom Poynton said he would like to see financial issues solved by another method, other than gambling, however he doesn't believe in legislating what people can and can't do.

"We have moms going to bunco nights, dads hosting poker parties . . . We have casino nights at local churches . . . There are only two states in the country that don't allow gambling," Poynton said. "I have no problem with a video gaming ordinance at this point."

The question of when two area businesses requested the village consider allowing it. Joe Schweda, owner of , and John Barrington, commander of the , spoke during public comment on Tuesday, urging the board to allow video gaming. 

Barrington explained that the state of Illinois gets most of the revenue from video gaming; the village would receive just 5 percent; and the business would get about 35 percent.

Poynton asked Village Attorney Carlos Arevalo to clarify some questions concerning video gaming. Arevalo explained that if the village approved video gaming, any eligible establishment could have video gaming. Eligible businesses include establishments that serve alcohol, veterans groups, fraternal groups and truck stops.

If the village approved video gaming, the board could change its mind at a later date and decide to prohibit it. Arevalo also explained that residents could gather signatures for a referendum prohibiting video gaming.

Trustee Terry Mastandrea said he believes the village should go ahead with video gambling and could repeal the ordinance if it became a problem. 

The state prohibited video gaming machines in 2009 to allow time for the Illinois Gaming Board to  create rules and guidelines for their use. The Lake Zurich board followed the state prohibition in 2009.

The IGB has recently made video gaming permissable again, and created Administrative Code Part 1800 that sets forth guidelines on how the devices will be regulated and monitored.

The new rules require that the devices be in a separate, devoted area, and that there be limited access to that area. Close supervision and management by a person 21 years of age or older who has the device constantly in sight also is mandated

RMBENDER September 05, 2012 at 02:17 PM
I am for video gaming in Lake Zurich.
Lead Follow or Get Out of the Way September 05, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Perfect, we can put one in every vacant store front and even more in the Lover's Lane and currency exchange. Maybe we could use a pawn shop while we're at it. We can repeal it if it becomes a problem???? Justifying video gambling by equating it a neighborhood Bunco is hilarious.
Sharon Anderson September 05, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Are you kidding me? Our trustees could come to an agreement in 5 months on video gambling but not revitalization in as many years and more? Ridiculous! Get your priorities straight. Do something to build up Lake Zurich not tear it down please!
Marlene Smetana September 05, 2012 at 11:34 PM
I personally know of someone who frittered away her life savings and destroyed her family in the process, because she got addicted to a "harmless" video poker machine. The truth is that legalized gambling in any form brings a sleazy atmosphere to a community. Is this really what an upstanding community like Lake Zurich wants? Is Lake Zurich really so desperate that they would compromise their family-friendly, upscale reputation for a few extra bucks?
Deborah Barry September 06, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Read the Video Gaming IL statute: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?DocName=&ActID=3095&ChapterID=25&SeqStart=&SeqEnd=&Print=True Because most of our villages are NON-Home Rule, we are bound by that statute. This looks like a matter of "who blinks first," but if all villages approve gaming, it's a zero sum game--that is, there's no competitive advantage. YES, a gaming license can be rescinded, as can the village approval for gaming in general. A bartender can--indeed must, by law--cut off a customer whom s/he considers to have had enough booze. There is no such option in the video gaming statute. Just because video gaming--let's be clear, this is GAMBLING--is legal, is it good for the community? http://www.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/understanding-gambling-addiction-0904.html This opportunity should be subject of a referendum, and the village boards should not wait for the residents to petition for that. Yes, you are the "deciders," but this decision requires time and resident input. There's a lot more at stake (no pun intended) than revenue; this fundamentally changes the perception and experience of a community. Deborah Barry, candidate, Lake County Board, District 19
Marlene Smetana September 07, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Yes, out of respect for the community, gambling should be the subject of a referendum.
Marlene Smetana September 07, 2012 at 12:24 AM
This article, Understanding Gambling Addiction, by Peter Dizikes of the Massachusettes Institute of Technology is well worth reading for anyone who believes video gambling is harmless. It explains how and why video machine gambling, in particular, "hooks" people. It's much different than a social game of poker or bingo. http://www.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/understanding-gambling-addiction-0904.html
Resident Observer September 07, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Take a good look around these affluent NW suburbs. We're gambling on Wall Street everyday, with far more stakes than anyone can bet on a video game.
Deborah Barry September 07, 2012 at 07:22 PM
@Resident Observer: Your point (intended?) is spot on. We know better. We will not sit by while others peddle the risk and pocket the rewards. I urge Lake Zurich residents to contact their officials and the applicants, and JUST SAY NO. HEAR THE PUBLIC COMMENTS: http://volz.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=225&meta_id=15670 CONTACT INFO: http://volz.org/Directory.aspx?DID=12 WATCH THE VIDEO OF BOARD DISCUSSION: http://volz.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=225&meta_id=15670 ATTEND THE OCTOBER MEETING AND KEEP LAKE ZURICH A FAMILY COMMUNITY Deborah Barry, candidate, Lake County Board, District 19
Deborah Barry September 07, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Don't just oppose, be part of the alternative. Contact Joe Schweda, owner, Scoreboard Bar and Grill, 847-815-1766 (per agenda document) and Jerry Scanlan, owner, JJ Twigs Pizza, 847-540-5800 (public record). These are good, solid family business who always support the community. Patronize these restaurants, reach out to the owners, be the customers and colleagues who help them thrive in our family-oriented region. Deborah Barry, candidate, Lake County Board, District 19
Marlene Smetana September 07, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Round Lake, Fox Lake, Round Lake Heights, and Waukegan have permitted video gambling, and these towns are notorious for drunks, poverty, crime, poor schools, and section 8 housing. Video gambling fits right in with them.
Deborah Barry September 12, 2012 at 11:12 PM
As my lovely daughter-in-law always says, "What are your facts." Here's one citizen's interesting calculations on video gaming, for your interest and feedback. http://www.roundlakeareanews.com/2012/08/28/round-lake-beach-passes-gambling-ordinance/#.UFEVDaTCjEU And why, oh, why, do applicants fail to make such calculations in advance of their applications? Why don't the villages and towns demand solid projections before adopting a law like this? What's more, the IL statue is a bad law. I would have little objection to video gaming at private clubs, fraternal organizations and VFWs. These are self-selected membership organizations, where the management knows the members well. That's quite different from a public accommodation; restaurants cannot turn away customers easily, for example. So where's the gain, when someone gambles, a buck a hand, for hours while nursing one or two beers? I urge the Villages of Deer Park, Kildeer, Barrington, Long Grove, Hawthorn Woods and--urgently--Lake Zurich, to put this ordinance on the next agenda, and VOTE NO! Let our family-friendly communities stay away from games--like "last village standing." Deborah Barry, candidate, Lake County Board, District 19
Marlene Smetana September 14, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Section 4-2-1-2 of Lake Zurich's own municipal code defines all "Gambling Devices" as "PUBLIC NUISANCES OFFENDING MORALS AND DECENCY." For good reason, it unequivocally equates gambling, gambling houses, gambling devices, and slot machines with "Disorderly Houses;" "Houses of Ill Fame;" lewd, obscene, and indecent "bawdy" houses of "promiscuous sexual intercourse," and "prostitution." It recognizes that gambling, like prostitution, offends the moral decency and very character of the village. I would like to know how the State of Illinois' "Video Gaming Act" changes this? Just because something's legal, doesn't make it moral or decent. I commend Trustee Rzeznik for recognizing this truth. I commend her for having the resolve and moral decency to publicly oppose it, for this is not her personal "opinion." She has the "opinion" of Lake Zurich's own municipal code behind her.

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