New Lenox says no to video gambling
By Erin Gallagher Correspondent June 13, 2012 11:12PM
Updated: July 15, 2012 3:30PM
Despite a room filled mostly with veterans who asked the village to allow video gambling, New Lenox trustees this week voted 3 to 2 to prohibit it.
Most of the board members said their opposition was not to the gambling itself but was based on doubt that the state can regulate the machines effectively.
Trustees David Butterfield and Keith Madsen believed the village should not opt out of a state law that legalizes video gambling in bars, restaurants and any business with a liquor license.
“Let the businessmen make the decision, and hopefully it’s the right one,” Butterfield said.
Trustees Annette Bowden and Nancy Dye and Mayor Tim Baldermann voted for the ban. Trustee Ray Tuminello had said he favored a ban but was absent for Monday night’s vote. Trustee David Smith abstained from voting, claiming the Legislature has not provided enough definitive information.
“That’s the biggest issue, we can’t get straight answers from Springfield (regarding enforcement of the law),” Baldermann said.
Edward Cadella, former commander of Harry Anderson VFW Post 9545 in the village, said business at the post has declined in recent years, with the post having to use savings to stay open. He said video gambling could be needed to save the post.
Jim Potter, owner of the White Horse Inn tavern, said he has lost 60 percent of his lunch business because of more restaurants opening, and he could use the revenue from the video machines. Potter said he’s a veteran and doesn’t think the village should stop veterans from gambling at their club and force them to travel to gamble at a post in another town.
“Isn’t that another restriction on their freedom, “That’s the biggest issue, we can’t get straight answers from Springfield (regarding enforcement of the law),” Baldermann said.