Up until Monday night, West Dundee was the odd man out when it came to its ban on video gambling.
But by a vote of 5-1, West Dundee leaders decided to let it into town, much to the delight of several business owners who feared they would lose customers to neighboring towns if the vote didn't go their way.
"I'm glad they did it," Randy Errington, owner of Bikini Bottom Bar and Grill, said after the vote. "We need it. If they don't, I'm closed."
West Dundee is surrounded by communities that allow video gambling, including Carpentersville and East Dundee. Elgin and Sleepy Hollow have taken preliminary votes to reverse their bans on video gambling -- Sleepy Hollow was scheduled to take its official vote Monday night, while the Elgin City Council will take another vote Feb. 27.
Meanwhile, Hoffman Estates, Huntley, Gilberts, Lake in the Hills, Pingree Grove and unincorporated parts of Kane County already allow it.
Algonquin leaders are waiting six months to see how it goes in other communities before making a decision.
There are 15 West Dundee businesses that would be eligible for video gambling and six of them want it in their establishment, Trustee Patrick Hanley said.
Each outlet is allowed up to five terminals and it is estimated that each one would generate $2,250 a year.
In 2010, the West Dundee village board chose not to allow video gambling in town because the state had not yet set up rules or regulations to govern it.The state has established guidelines since then, and several surrounding municipalities have jumped on the bandwagon.
"Not to be like sheep, but a lot of other communities in the surrounding areas are approving this," Hanley said.
When the board discussed the proposal last month, former Trustee Larry Wilbrandt said West Dundee didn't have to be like everyone else, should adopt the "wait and see" approach Algonquin has and should be very cautious about letting it into town.
But by waiting nearly three years and thinking it over, several trustees argued Monday that they were already being cautious.
"I'm convinced that this is the right way to go," Trustee Andrew Yuscka said before the vote. "If it helps your business and everybody else's business, then it's a good thing."
Even so, Trustee Norm Osth wasn't swayed by any of the arguments and voted no -- the same position he took in 2010.
"I'm against gambling, that's all," Osth said after the vote.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.