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Elburn works to redefine video gaming ordinance

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 6:43 a.m. CDT

ELBURN – Elburn Village Trustees worked to refine a video gaming ordinance as the board continued its discussion Tuesday about legalizing video gambling in the village.

Jay Spoden, president of Sugar Grove-based Tiger Electronics, a company that installs video gaming machines, was present Tuesday to clear up questions from the board. He said the village would get 5 percent of the profits and noted the money from video gaming would go into the village’s general fund and isn’t earmarked.

Elburn officials banned video gaming in 2009, when the state allowed establishments with liquor licenses to apply for as many as five video gaming machines.

The Village Board is considering lifting the ban, and officials spent Tuesday refining its ordinance should they decide video gaming could be allowed.

Trustee Ken Anderson asked Elburn Police Chief Steven Smith if he knew whether video gaming would be an extra burden for the police force when it comes to regulating the people using the machines.

“I can’t see it impacting us very much,” Smith said.

Anderson asked if it would be possible to require people to wear wristbands so those working at an establishment can easily determine that people who are video gambling are 21 years old. He said it might be difficult to keep track of who is using the machines because sometimes there is little separation between the gaming terminals and the rest of an establishment.

“It’s just a yellow line on the floor,” he said. “… I’m just trying to make it as easy as possible for someone working there.”

Spoden said the machines are required to be under video surveillance.

Village attorney Bob Britz said it’s in the establishment’s best interest to make sure everyone who gambles is of age because a violation could mean that the establishment’s liquor license would be revoked.

Trustee Bill Grabarek asked whether the village could add a stipulation into the gaming ordinance that allows the village to have access to all of the information in an Illinois Gaming Board application. He asked that the village have access to an establishment’s stakeholders. Spoden said anyone who applies for a video gaming license is required to disclose any shareholders who have at least 5 percent invested in an establishment.

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