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updated: 4/8/2014 12:31 PM

Lake Zurich reverses decision, allows gambling

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  • Lake Zurich changed course and overturned its ban on video gambling in the village.

      Lake Zurich changed course and overturned its ban on video gambling in the village.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer


Lake Zurich has decided to allow video gambling in bars, restaurants and other places.

By a 4-1 vote Monday night, the village board reversed an ordinance that had prohibited video slot machines and poker.

Trustee Jim Beaudoin, who voted with the majority, said residents -- not government -- should decide if they want to participate in video gambling in the village.

"For me, it's that we exist in a free-market system," Beaudoin said.

Video gambling is permitted in bars, restaurants, truck stops and fraternal orders in communities where it has been approved.

Five percent of net revenue goes to a municipality and 25 percent to the state, with the terminal operator and licensed establishment splitting the remainder.

American Legion Post 964 and some Lake Zurich restaurants were in favor of the devices.

Peter Tschurtz of Fritzl's restaurant spoke during public comment time during Monday's meeting to ask the board to support the machines on behalf of a coalition of village establishments.

"There is a heavy demand of this recreational entertainment of video gaming," Tschurtz said.

Lake Zurich residents Blair Holbrook and Elise Bouc said they were opposed to video gambling in town, in part citing addiction and other social ills.

"The people putting money into the machines are expecting something for nothing," Holbrook said.

Trustee Jonathan Sprawka was the lone village board vote against the gambling devices. He said he was sympathetic to the need for organizations and businesses to bring in additional revenue, but that there are other ways beside video gambling.

Wauconda, Mundelein, Lakemoor and Fox Lake are towns not far from Lake Zurich that allow the machines. Kildeer, Hawthorn Woods, Long Grove and Barrington are among the area villages prohibiting the devices.

Lake Zurich Mayor Thomas Poynton said there was no reason to keep video poker and slots out of town.

"I have absolutely no qualms supporting video gaming," he said.

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