Our View: Gaming not safe bet

Published: Saturday, March 23, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Less than three months ago, the Sugar Grove Village Board voted to legalize video gambling within the village, overturning a previous decision.

We consider any expansion of gambling in the area to be undesirable, but the good news is village residents who opposed the measure do not have to wait long to express their disapproval.

On April 9, an advisory referendum will be on the ballot that asks Sugar Grove voters whether they want to allow video gambling. Some village trustees and both candidates for village president – incumbent Sean Michels and current Trustee Kevin Geary – have said they will take the public’s wishes into account when revisiting the ordinance.

Bars, truck stops, social clubs and veterans organizations in communities with video gaming can have up to five machines each.

While it is true that there are nearby communities that offer video gambling options – an understandable source of frustration for Sugar Grove businesses that want a piece of the action – any venue that requires the typically modest payoff from video gaming machines to remain viable likely is not on healthy footing in the first place.

Gambling often preys on those who can least afford it and is highly addictive.

We hope video gambling turns out to be a short-lived experiment in Sugar Grove. A decisive vote April 9 would put pressure on village leaders to ensure that is the case.

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