Now that Lake Zurich officials are on board with video gambling, Mayor Thomas Poynton says he and other officials want to ensure the village doesn't develop a "mini Las Vegas" appearance.
Lake Zurich trustees Monday night voted 6-0 in favor of having administration employees perform a comprehensive review on what businesses are allowed to promote in windows. While officials said the video gambling promotion is a concern, the examination applies to all businesses.
Building and zoning division manager Daniel Peterson said when it comes to permanent signs, the village might want to consider prohibiting promotion of a product, service or operation that's not the primary purpose of a business.
Of 14 suburbs that responded to a Lake Zurich inquiry, just two -- Wheeling and Cary -- specifically address video gambling in sign ordinances.
Poynton said video gambling signs are a concern in Lake Zurich.
"This is a real simple process," Poynton told the Daily Herald. "When we passed video gaming, the board unanimously told the staff and told the people who were going to get video gaming that we didn't want to turn this into a mini Las Vegas Strip with garish signs extolling, "We pay more' and 'Slots here.'"
But Trustee Jeffrey Halen voiced concerns about potentially violating the First Amendment rights of businesses that install the gambling devices.
Video gambling is permitted in bars, restaurants, truck stops and fraternal orders in communities where it has been approved. Each establishment is limited to five machines, and they must be in areas accessible only to people at least 21 years old.
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.
Lake Zurich Trustee Jim Beaudoin said he became concerned about the appearance of gambling signs after a temporary one recently popped up at a business he declined to identify. He said it's in Lake Zurich's best interest to ensure the signs do not detract from the village's appearance.
"This is something that has become a battle cry," he said.