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updated: 6/4/2012 12:39 PM

Fears Palatine has inadvertently OK'd video gambling

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On March 19 Palatine updated local ordinance 3-14 "Gambling Prohibited. There shall be no card games or gambling allowed on any premises licensed to sell alcoholic liquor" to append the clause "unless otherwise exempted by law."

Justification presented for this change listed "pull tabs", ostensibly to allow them. However, I have repeatedly questioned how this clause -- while allowing pull tabs -- would also not have caused Palatine to also "opt in" to permitting video gambling devices in its liquor establishments.

It is noteworthy too that the definition of "gambling" in the Illinois Statutes is followed by a list of exemptions, including "pull tabs" and "video gaming" by their respective Acts authorizing them.

Village Manager Reid Ottesen adamantly claims that the revised ordinance still prohibits video gambling but never fully explains how that new clause could have opposite meanings between pull tabs and video gambling. To his credit he persuaded the Illinois Gaming Board to add Palatine to its list of communities banning video gaming. However, the IGB simply takes the word of village officials notifying them.

If Palatine is truly adamant in prohibiting video gambling as it claims, the prudent step would be to simply pass the standard "opt out" ordinance that over 150 other municipalities, including all its neighbors, have already done.

Not passing it exposes Palatine to potentially costly legal challenges from liquor serving establishments who may disagree with the village's stance.

I challenge Mr. Ottesen to identify the section of law pertaining to pull tabs which served as the basis for making this change to Palatine's ordinance. Was it the aforementioned section in the Illinois Statutes that exempted pull tabs along with video gambling? If not, then what? If so, then how could Palatine still ban video gambling while permitting pull tabs? Please just answer these questions.

Mark Evenson


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