DuPage County Board members are set to reconsider the long-time ban on video gambling amid calls from a local veteran group insisting to see the ban lifted.
In the last few months, local officials have been addressed by various businesses and groups seeking from them to allow video gambling to be officially added to the County’s gambling sector. Proponents of the idea have been claiming that the community needed video gaming terminals (VGTs) which could generate larger revenue, so they have urged DuPage County Board to lift the moratorium on this form of gambling. Such a move could affect more than two dozen owners of liquor license which operate in so-called unincorporated areas.
The board members have responded to the calls, saying they would bring into consideration and discuss possible revocation of the video gambling ban during their finance committee meeting which is set to be held on October 8th. The vice chairman of the county board Jum Zay has share that he would like to have a discussion with the rest of the board members and see whether a consensus about overruling the ban could be reached.
Mr. Zay has reminded that board members were concerned about crime and other issues at the time when they voted in favor of the ban. A decade later, they seem not to be so sure about any major issues regarding video gaming. Also, with the state of Illinois expanding the available gambling options, DuPage County needs to be fair to businesses which operate in so-called unincorporated areas.
Some Municipalities in DuPage County Already Offer Video Gambling
Video gambling was officially legalized by the state of Illinois in 2009, but counties and cities across the state were then given the chance to decide on their own whether to keep the ban or opt out. DuPage County, in particular, enacted the moratorium on video gambling machines in August 2009, after claims that the new form of gambling could lead to certain social problems such as rising gambling addiction rates.
Earlier this week, some proponents of video gambling said that county’s officials have hindered DuPage’s chances to raise money for various community projects and initiatives, such as the repairs of a historical building situated near Wheaton. The campaigners claim that legalization of video gambling could provide enough additional revenue for the county to fund such projects.
Initially, only a number of municipalities across DuPage offered video gambling services. According to data provided by the Illinois Gaming Board, this form of gambling is currently available in Aurora, Addison, Bloomingdale, Bensenville, Itasca, Darien, Carol Stream, Lombard, Roselle, Westmont, Oakbrook terrace, Woodridge, Wood Dale and Willowbrook.
Two years ago, the idea of the ban’s annulment was discussed, but anti-gambling lobbyists urged county officials to keep the ban in place. Now, it still remains unclear how many DuPage County Board members would back the proposal, but two of them – Pete DiCianni and Tim Elliott – have already said they intended to vote against repeal. The outcome of the upcoming discussions is to determine whether a measure is unveiled to lift the current prohibition of video gaming. If repeal is recommended by the panel, the full county board’s final vote would be required.