I remember reading in this paper some time ago that the Arlington Heights village leaders promised vigorous, open discussion and debate about the proposal to put slots at Arlington Park. However, I do not recall hearing that such a meeting was ever offered. So, as an Arlington Heights resident living a few blocks from the track, and with a vote on a bill about slots at the track coming, let me start the debate. The proposed bill is about more than just putting slots at the track.
1. Slot machines. I don't like them. I don't want them in my backyard. However, if it comes down to the loss of the track (and its revenue for the village), I'll swallow hard and go along with them.
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2. Video gaming. They are addictive machines that attract a clientele that I would not rather have in my backyard. I oppose them absolutely.
3. Extended drinking hours. The slots and video gambling machines come with a proposal to extend drinking hours, perhaps 24/7. I am unalterably opposed to that for obvious reasons.
4. Sharing revenue with Des Plaines. The whole reason for slots at Arlington Park is to help the park remain viable, and, thus, to continue to provide a revenue stream to Arlington Heights. Why, therefore, would we want to give 1/3 of the additional revenue to Des Plaines? Of course, I oppose that idea.
What about you? Residents of Arlington Heights, Palatine, and Rolling Meadows are affected by whatever happens at the track. Do you really want a mini casino at the track? Let this column be your sounding board. And an immediate call or email to your state representatives is necessary.
Wayne H. Wagner