Municipalities, establishments talk video gambling
A sign advertising video gaming sits outside of Blackberry Bar and Grill on Route 47, south of Elburn. The establishment’s three machines sit inside the bar area, in a space marked off by yellow tape, warning that no one under the age of 21 may enter.
The machines are among a handful in the area that have been installed in the months since video gaming went live in the state in October 2012. The machines allow patrons to make bets of $2, and each machine offers a variety of contests. Many municipalities across the state have banned the machines, but they are allowed in unincorporated areas across Kane County. And, because of a recent vote by the Village Board, they now are legal in Sugar Grove.
Hearings are scheduled for this week, and – if its license is approved by the Illinois Gaming Board – machines may be in the Sugar Grove American Legion by the end of the month. It’s the subject of debate in the village, it’s emerged as a campaign issue in the race for village president and there will be an advisory referendum about it on the ballot for the April 9 election. Trustee Kevin Geary, who is challenging incumbent Village President Sean Michels, pushed to table the ordinance until after the April referendum, which resulted in a 3-3 vote. Michels broke the tie against tabling the ordinance.
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