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CAMPTON HILLS – Campton Hills residents on Tuesday sent a message that they don't want video gambling in their community.
As part of an advisory referendum in Tuesday's election, 648 residents said they were against allowing video gambling in the village, compared to 545 residents who supported the idea, according to unofficial results.
The village banned video gambling in December 2009. In 2012, a majority of residents voting in an advisory referendum rejected lifting the village's ban on video gambling. Results showed that 69.85 percent of those who voted were against the idea, while 25.33 percent were in favor.
In Tuesday's election, 53.73 percent of those who voted were against the idea, while 45.19 percent were for the idea.
Campton Hills is one of three municipalities in Kane County where video gambling is illegal. Video gaming also is not allowed in the city of Geneva and the village of Kaneville.
In January, a majority of Campton Township Village Board members voted to put the advisory referendum on the ballot after restaurant owners in Campton Hills implored village officials to lift the ban on video gambling so they could be on a level playing field with establishments in communities where video gambling is allowed.
"We need to have fair play," Old Towne Pub and Eatery general manager Kim Weiss said, in addressing officials at the Jan. 2 Campton Hills Village Board meeting. "And I know that it will help the community financially. It will bring people in and I think it will also keep people that live here from going elsewhere."
Also speaking in favor of video gambling was Mark Bezik, part owner of Niko's Tavern in Campton Hills.
"First hand, I've seen how video gaming can help small businesses," he said.
Niko's also operates restaurants in several other communities where video gambling is allowed, such as Woodstock and Pingree Grove. Bezik said the additional revenues created by video gambling has been a help in maintaining their buildings.
"Video gaming is a revenue source that helps us to keep up with these buildings," Bezik said. "As you can see by those pictures, it would have been almost nearly impossible to be able to do that without the extra revenue source from the video gaming."