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Our View: Thumbs-down to potential video gambling expansion

Published: Friday, July 18, 2014 8:59 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 18, 2014 10:46 p.m. CDT

Thumbs-down to the potential expansion of video gambling in Kane County. Batavia aldermen have taken a step toward lifting the city’s ban after a request from the Batavia VFW.

While video gambling would mean a little more money for local organizations or businesses that install gaming machines, there is a potential price for others. Gambling can be highly addictive, and it can hurt those who might be going through difficult times.

Batavia would be the first in the Tri-Cities to allow video gambling. Nearby communities in Kane County have lifted their bans, and video gambling now is allowed in Elburn, Maple Park, North Aurora, Sugar Grove and unincorporated areas of the county.

Establishments that are allowed to offer video gambling may have as many as five machines. And while Batavia’s city attorney Kevin Drendel did say the city could put limits on video gambling, such as allowing only licensed veterans organizations to offer it, 7th Ward Alderman Dave Brown said bar owners likely would request the machines, as well. Aldermen have directed staff to draft a resolution to allow video gambling in the city.

Dale Richard, a representative of the Batavia VFW, pointed to nearby organizations that have video gambling, and other businesses could do the same. But it’s unfortunate that the answer seems to be more municipalities allowing more machines to be installed in more businesses.

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