Many states had the chance to introduce some crucial changes to their gaming fields with the potential to reshape their operation in general, such as the widely-discussed video gambling issue in the Chicago region. Thanks to the referendum held this Tuesday, Forest Park voters had the chance to finally put their foot down and say that the area neither needs, nor wants video gaming devices to continue their operation.
The suburb is home of as many as 14,000 individuals who have been attempting to get rid of the said devices for quite some time now. With the help of the mid-term elections held this Tuesday, they had the opportunity to do so. Some six years ago the town became the first one within the borders of the state to launch operation of the said devices, but they turned out rather problematic in the long run.
Video Gambling Condemned by Many
This week’s elections drew some 6,000 individuals to cast their vote which amounts to about 60 percent of the overall population of the town. They expressed their disapproval of the said gaming devices and voted their nixing from Forest Park. Since the issue is pressing and referendum has been eyed by many residents, they were more than happy to put in the effort and eliminate video gambling.
Throughout the community, strong opposition united many people, as the negative impact of this form of gaming is becoming more and more evident. In response to this, supporters of the operation stated that it has been providing the community with a much-needed boost thanks to the tax revenue it is able to generate. According to their arguments in support of video gaming, this is a positive boost that further improves the development of the community.
A total of 52 percent of the residents checked the Yes box in support of scraping all video gambling across the region. In its core, this move is a revolutionary one, as no other community has come this far in its efforts to bring change to its gaming field. Upcoming weeks will see more development on the subject and the eventual removal of all devices from their assigned locations.
Projected Loss of $170,000 as a Result
The state of Illinois currently has about 1,000 towns providing their residents with video gambling devices, but Forest Park became the first one to actually make a step forward and say a resounding No to their further operation. A total of 16 venues ranging from bars to restaurants have obtained the mandatory license for operation which allows them to provide their customers with video gambling machines in a regular manner.
When it comes to regulations established in the state, 70 percent of the losses are divided between gaming venues and the operators overseeing the devices themselves. As much as 25 percent of the amount lost by players is obtained by the state of Illinois and further utilized for improvements, whereas the municipal government receives some 5 percent. Madison Street is currently the main location for the popular activity.
It could be recalled that this July brought the ultimate decision of introducing the question on November’s ballot. Projected losses for the region reach some $170,000 per year, depriving public worker pensions of the support received up until this point. Following this vote, the Village Board will have to work on the needed ordinance which will make it official that video gambling is no longer considered legal in Forest Park.