Industry Reports

Mount Prospect Village Slowly but Surely Approaches Video Gambling Terminals Approval

The trustees of Mount Prospect have taken the process of greenlighting video gambling in the area one step closer to success after the board members gave the nod to the first two readings of an ordinance under which video gaming machines would be allowed in alcohol-serving establishments. In 2017, business owners who have been willing to remain worthy rivals of similar establishments in neighboring towns called several times for the approval of video gambling.

As mentioned above, the proposed measure would allow establishments which serve alcohol also to be awarded with a video gaming license by the Illinois Gaming Board. If this happens, the venues would have to make sure they do not violate the provisions of the Gambling Act and the regulations imposed by the local regulatory body.

On the other hand, the proposed measure would not allow operation of video gaming terminals at the time when the establishments are not able to serve alcohol. In addition, establishments situated within 100 feet of schools or places of worship would not be allowed to offer video gaming terminals. Also, venues offering video gambling would be able to host no more than five machines.

Anti-Gambling Group Wants to Keep Problem Gambling away from Community

The Mount Prospect’s ordinance also includes some restrictions in terms of so-called video gaming cafés, in which video gambling is the major goal of business. Under the proposed measure, the operation of such establishments is not allowed. Also, a barrier would have to be required to separate the video gaming area, while any signs or advertising materials visible would not be permitted to be used. Alcohol-serving establishments which want to offer video gambling terminals would have to make sure they install a special surveillance system and would be required to be in good terms with the village for at least a year before its application for a video gaming license is filed.

The village Mayor Arlene Juracek commented on the issue, saying that local authorities had tried to balance people’s concerns, with the ordinance being aimed at meeting the expectations of video gambling proponents but also tackling any possible harm related to this type of gambling services.

Juracek further noted that if a new business is brough into town and it has been permitted to offer video gambling by other communities, after which it was in good standing before entering Mount Prospect’s market, the above-mentioned one-year period could be removed.

However, a representative of the Northern Illinois Conference with Arlington Heights’ United Methodist Church, Nancy Duel, shared her concerns with the possible addition of video gambling to the local market. Ms. Duel explained that video gambling could cause serious gambling addictions and shared that the group opposed to the measure because of the negative effects of that type of gambling. She insisted that the video gambling ban should remain in place in order to keep problem gambling harm away from local residents and the entire community.