Orland Park to Consider Greenlighting Video Gambling

The first public meeting of Orland Park on video gambling took place, bringing into light various issues related to the question whether or not video gambling should be permitted in the village. Other major theme which has been discussed over the meeting was the competitiveness of small businesses in the region as well as the social costs and effects of gambling.

Reportedly, about 200 people attended Orland Park’s public meeting on video gambling, which took place at the Civic Center of the village. Both proponents and opponents of gambling were present there, with restaurant and bar owners claiming to local officials that they have been put at a competitive disadvantage due to the fact that they are not permitted to offer video gambling.

The village, situated in Cook County, has decided to re-consider the issue nearly eight years after it decided to ban video gambling following the approval given by the state of Illinois to video game terminals. At the time when the state officially permitted the devices, it also gave local municipalities the chance to decide whether they want to accept the state law or ban the machines on their own.

Two other public forums aimed to discuss possible video gambling permission in Orland Park are planned for December 11th and January 8th.

Orland Park to Consider Several VGT-Related Issues

Now, eight years after the Orland Park village has made the decision to ban video gambling, local business owners backed the idea, saying that the permission of the machines was not a social, but a business issue. According to the owner of Paddy B’s Pub, Tim McCarthy, the ban on video gambling terminals made local residents spend money outside the village, which hurt the revenue stream in the village.

His opinion was also backed by Michale Halleran, Orland Bowl’s owner, who also supported video gambling and reminded that competing bowling alleys in nearby suburbs which have not banned video gambling do not face such issues.

Of course, video gambling had opponents as well. People who were skeptical about the permission of video gambling shared their concerns that the machines could turn out to be very tempting to local residents suffering from gambling addictions. Some of them also offered a referendum to be made in order for a decision to be made.

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, Orland Park could get annual tax revenue of over $460,000 every year in case it gives the green light to video game terminals. The expected revenue is based on a total of 150 terminals operating in the village as well as on a $5,000 yearly license fee.

A proposal was made for an authoritative order under which businesses that offer video game terminals would be required to pay annual fee estimated to $1,000 per a machine. At present times, a maximum of five terminals per establishment is permitted under state laws. A $2,500 initial application fee is also to be applied to businesses who would like to be granted with a video game terminals operating license. Under the proposed ordinance, an annual license renewal fee of $1,000 is to be imposed on VGT operators, too.

Also, under the proposed measures, video gambling would be restricted to businesses that own a Class A liquor license and have been operating in Orland Park for at least 18 straight months. According to the results of a recent survey, currently there are 67 Class A liquor license holders in the village, with 23 of them saying they were interested in offering VGT to their customers.

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