North Aurora trustees OK video gambling
NORTH AURORA – The village now will allow video gambling after trustees Monday reversed themselves.
Trustees voted 4-2 to allow video gambling within the village’s limits. In July 2009, Gov. Pat Quinn legalized video gaming to help pay for a $31 billion statewide construction program.
Trustee Mark Gaffino changed his mind after voting last month not to allow video gambling.
“We do have a choice,” Gaffino said. “If I’m against gambling, I won’t go to your restaurant.”
Trustees Vince Mancini and Laura Curtis voted “no.”
“I’m against gambling as a revenue source in general,” Mancini said.
Curtis said she was concerned about the possible negative effects of video gambling, including addiction.
“I am concerned for the welfare of the public,” she said.
Batavia and St. Charles – along with the villages of Elburn, Campton Hills and Kaneville – also have banned video gambling.
Parker Grabowski, owner of The Turf Room restaurant in North Aurora, implored trustees Monday to change their minds and allow video gambling. The upscale, casual restaurant also houses an off-track betting facility.
“I really don’t think it will be detrimental to anybody,” he said. “I think it will be easy to manage.”
Bars, truck stops, social clubs and veterans organizations in those communities and counties with video gaming can have up to five gaming machines each. The Illinois Supreme Court in 2011 upheld the constitutionality of the Illinois Video Gaming Act.
Video gambling terminals have to be in an area restricted to people older than 21, and those under 21 cannot play on a video gambling terminal. Village Administrator Wes Kornowske said an establishment’s liquor license could be taken away if it is caught breaking the rules.
The Little Red Schoolhouse in North Aurora also applied to the Illinois Gaming Board to be a licensed establishment for video gambling.
Several establishments in the area have applied for video gaming licenses, according to the Illinois Gaming Board’s website. They include Sergio’s Catina in Geneva, the Blackberry Inn near Elburn, Calamity Jane’s in Sugar Grove, and the Sugar Grove American Legion Post.
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