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posted: 5/23/2012 12:32 PM

Lake Zurich stands pat on video gaming

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By Mitchell Armentrout
marmentrout@dailyherald.com

Lake Zurich trustees have opted not to make any decisions about legalizing video gambling in the village, buying more time to mull the issue.

Mayor Suzanne Branding said officials want more time to gather legal advice on how gaming would be handled, and to see how other towns and villages address the issue.

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"We want to let the situation ripen before moving forward," Branding said Wednesday.

After Illinois legalized video gaming in 2009, the village banned the practice until regulations were put in place by the Illinois Gaming Board.

With many of those regulations now in place, Police Chief Patrick Finlon asked the board for direction at the village meeting Monday, as his department has received two inquiries about issuing video gaming permits since April.

Three video game terminal operators addressed the board at the meeting in favor of an ordinance change. One resident spoke against gaming.

Though the board tabled video gaming for now, several trustees have already tipped their hand on the issue.

"I will very clearly and strongly say that I am against it," Trustee Dana Rzeznik said. "I wouldn't move here now if I knew that video gambling was allowed."

Trustee Rich Sustich also said he was against it, saying the benefits weren't worth the costs.

"The village would get barely any return on its investment," Sustich said.

Video gaming revenue will be split four ways in Illinois: 35 percent each to the video game provider and the owner of the establishment housing it, 25 percent to the state and 5 percent to the village.

The mayor and two trustees each said they would need more time to decide.

"It's really going to take more time to gather details and take a stance," Trustee Jeff Halen said.

State law allows video gaming at fraternal or veterans' organizations, bars and truck stops. License holders must have a separate gambling space supervised by someone 21 or older.

If Lake Zurich amends its ordinance to allow video gaming, the earliest licenses could be issued is September, according to the IGB.

Branding said the topic would likely be on the agenda for discussion as old business at the village board meeting June 4.

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