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Article updated: 11/29/2012 4:17 PM

Addison approves video gambling at business owners' request

By Elisabeth Mistretta

Addison village officials have agreed to allow video gambling, joining a growing number of communities now embracing the machines for extra revenue.

Like Wood Dale earlier this year, Addison revisited the issue when a group of business owners approached officials and asked to install the machines.

"They asked that they be allowed this added revenue source at a time when things are so tough," Village Presidents Larry Hartwig said in a newsletter. "Many other communities in our area already allow this, or are moving to allow it. And by not allowing this amenity in Addison businesses, we may put them at a disadvantage in comparison to those in nearby towns."

Before the measure passed, members of a citizens advisory committee contacted residents in their neighborhoods to get feedback. Then the village hosted a public forum in October.

Early this month, Hartwig said most who spoke were in favor of video gambling.

Like many other communities that banned or ignored the option to add video gambling about three years ago when it was approved by the state, Addison initially declined to pursue it.

"The fact of the matter is, things have changed since 2009," Hartwig said in the newsletter.

The machines allow bets up to $2 per game. Businesses will be allowed no more than five machines each.

Hartwig said playing the games is similar to playing the lottery.

Counties and towns that allow video gambling receive 5 percent of each machine's profit. The state receives 25 percent, while establishment owners and terminal operators split the rest.

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