Alsip approves video gambling
June 19, 2012 12:02PM
Updated: June 19, 2012 8:20PM
The Alsip village board on Monday night voted unanimously to allow video gambling in the village.
The new law passed by a 5-to-0 vote. Trustee Sheila McGreal was absent.
Alsip Mayor Patrick Kitching said decisions by neighboring towns to allow video gambling factored into the decision. Chicago Ridge, Crestwood, Evergreen Park, Hickory Hills, Midlothian, Oak Forest, Posen and Worth all have approved it as well.
“We don’t project (new revenue) to be all that much, but every little bit helps,” Kitching said. “We were more concerned with our local businesses. All the towns around us passed it and we didn’t want our businesses to suffer.”
Kitching said two Alsip locations already have submitted applications for gambling machines to the Illinois Gaming Board, and VFW Post 450 representatives were staunch supporters.
The Video Gaming Act, which became state law in July 2009, allows establishments where alcohol is served for consumption (as opposed to carry-out), plus licensed fraternal and veterans establishments, and truck stops, to conduct video gambling. It also allows municipalities to opt out and ban it.
The law calls for the gaming vendor and the host establishment to each get 35 percent of profits, with the state getting 25 percent and the local municipality 5 percent.
Kitching also gave a “state of the village” address, highlighting Alsip’s finances. He said in a news release that village businesses have added 1,000-plus jobs in the past decade and industrial vacancy is down to 8.4 percent from 9.8 a decade ago.
The village has a Double-A bond rating and has established a $1 million line of credit for emergencies that it has not had to use, the release said.
“We were able to manage the crisis without cutting core services to residents and businesses,” Kitching said in the release.