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Article updated: 4/3/2013 10:53 PM

St. Charles mayoral candidates talk video gambling options

By James Fuller

Under the right circumstances, video gambling could become a new tax generator in St. Charles, according to the four mayoral candidates. But they don't all agree on just what those circumstance would be.

John Rabchuk is the candidate most staunchly opposed to video gambling. While he didn't say he would never support video gambling, he did say it would take "an awful lot" for him to change his mind.

"I just don't see how it fits in with the identity of St. Charles," Rabchuk said.

Ray Rogina said he would not support video gambling in any of the city's taverns, but he would consider it if a social organization, such a VFW or Moose lodge, wanted video gambling and would use part of the revenue to support local social service agencies.

Jotham Stein said he is philosophically opposed to video gambling.

"I think that gaming across the county, it tends to prey on the most unfortunate of us in our community," Stein said.

However, he said would be open to changing his stance if neighboring communities like Geneva, Batavia and South Elgin approved video gambling and a local ban threatened the vitality of St. Charles' business community.

"If it's going to end up closing our businesses because we don't have gaming, then I would rethink it," Stein said.

Jake Wyatt agreed any competitive disadvantage for St. Charles would be a valid reason to consider video gambling. However, he said he would leave the choice in the hands of residents. If video gambling became a pressing concern, Wyatt said, he would call for a local referendum to let citizens decide if they wanted to allow the practice.

"Too many times we have not heard the voice of the citizens, and we have ignored it," Wyatt said.

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