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posted: 1/31/2014 5:00 AM

Tough to shield kids from video gambling

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For those communities considering overturning their local ordinance prohibiting video gambling, I suggest their local elected officials first go to several towns that offer it, visiting each establishment that is up and running. If they have children living at home, I suggest they bring them along for the ride so they, as parents, can fully appreciate the full effect of what they see.

Earlier today, I drove to the Stardust Bowl in Addison to watch my daughter at her high school bowling tournament. Before I left, I looked them up on the Internet to get directions, but had to navigate past their promotion of "video gaming," which seemed to be secondary to bowling. Later, I had no problem finding their building, which had huge signs outside promoting the fact that they "now had video gaming." Inside was no exception, as they had signs everywhere, including placards on every table behind their lanes promoting "video gaming."

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We have all heard the arguments concerning gambling, such as that gambling is already present with the lottery or riverboats. Then there are the arguments about "legislating morality." But, the question about permitting video gambling or not in your community should not be simply a black and white, "if it is anywhere already, then it must be everywhere" decision.

From what I have seen so far with the "video gaming" rollout is an explosion of "in your face" advertisements promoting it. In Addison, you cannot now even go bowling with your family without being inundated with such signs. For those families trying to raise your children with good values, is this what you want them to be constantly exposed to in your community and to this degree? Does the greed of a few business owners come before your rights as a family?

Mark Evenson

Palatine

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