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posted: 9/5/2012 5:27 PM

Sugar Grove bans video gambling

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Sugar Grove has banned video gambling, despite pleas from an American Legion post to allow it so the post can raise more money.

The board voted 3-2 Tuesday to enact a ban. Trustees Kevin Geary, Rick Montalto and David Paluch voted in favor; Bob Bohler and Mari Johnson voted against it; and Tom Renk was absent, stuck in traffic coming home from Wisconsin. Renk said Wednesday that he would have voted for the ban.

Paluch and Montalto suggested that supporters of video gambling should petition to have an advisory referendum on the matter in the April election, and Renk agreed. Geary had proposed such a referendum two weeks ago, saying he was on the fence about the matter and wanted the public's input. Village President Sean Michels nixed the idea, in a tiebreaking vote in a straw poll. The discussion and poll were moot, however, because the deadline to get a referendum on the November ballot had passed.

"I'm pleased that the door is open if parties that want gambling want to do it," Renk said Wednesday. If voters want video gambling, then he would support it, he said.

"There were some very good points on both sides," Michels said Wednesday. He supported it especially because the state allowed video gambling to get money for capital spending. Michels thinks it is hypocritical for Sugar Grove to turn up its nose at gambling, yet ask the state to spend money on big road projects through town.

Neighbors Aurora and North Aurora allow video gambling, as does Kane County. Elburn has banned it, as has Batavia, Maple Park, Geneva and St. Charles.

The Sugar Grove American Legion post already has gambling, with pull-tab games.

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