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updated: 11/15/2013 5:41 AM

Elk Grove Village golf course closer to video gambling

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The publicly owned Fox Run Golf Links in Elk Grove Village is a step closer to getting video gambling machines.

The golf course, operated by the Elk Grove Park District, would be one of the first public courses in the state to have the machines if the district's application is approved by the Illinois Gaming Board.

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On Thursday night, the park board voted 5-0 to approve a three-year contract with Gold Rush Amusements to be the district's video gambling vendor. Gold Rush would install five machines within the Fox Den bar and grill, located in the golf course's clubhouse at 333 Plum Grove Road.

The machines would be located in a dedicated area that is off to the side -- a major reason some park board commissioners cited in voting to approve the contract.

"I'm happy where they're putting it," said Commissioner John Walz, who was originally opposed to the gambling machines when they were proposed a year ago. "I was adamant that we don't want minors walking directly past the machines. It's made me come around."

Commissioner Ralph Souder said the golf course bar/restaurant venue was a "more appropriate placement for this kind of recreational opportunity."

Park district officials have been looking into video gambling in an attempt to raise additional revenue for the golf course, which the district has run since 1983.

The previous park board voted 3-1 in November 2012 to go forward with video gambling. In February 2013, the park district put in an application with the state gaming board. The application has been pending ever since.

Officials estimate the park district stands to gain between $50,000 and $75,000 a year in revenue. Park board commissioners have said any proceeds would be dedicated to the golf course operations budget.

Gold Rush would train park district employees on customer service, since they would be the ones interacting with patrons. But if there are any problems with the machines, Gold Rush would be automatically notified and an employee sent to do repairs, according to Mike Brottman, the park district's executive director.

"We've taken every precaution that we have a qualified vendor and all our questions are answered," Brottman said.

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