Should video gambling be allowed at public golf club in Mundelein? Trustees divided on plan

Visitors to the Steeple Chase Golf Club in Mundelein could soon find video gambling offered in the clubhouse - a concept that divided village trustees Monday night.

Park district officials want to install three gambling machines in a lower-level area as part of a renovation. Two golf simulators are planned, too, and could be ready for play in January, Executive Director Ron Salski said.

During a presentation to the village board, Salski said adding the machines would be a proactive way to generate more revenue for the district. He estimated the district's haul could be between $40,000 and $60,000 annually.

The machines might also bring additional customers to Steeple Chase, which would especially be helpful during winter months, Salski said.

The revenue could keep golf prices relatively low, with only minimal increases as costs rise, Salski said.

"We want to remain competitive," he said.

To prevent minors from gambling, the machines would be in a secure room. Gamblers would be required to scan photo IDs before entering, Salski said.

None of the park district's facilities offer video gambling now.

The village board approves or denies requests for video game licenses anywhere in Mundelein. Monday's presentation was informal and no action was taken.

Of the village board's six trustees, four - Tim Wilson, Jenny Ross, Daniel Juarez and Robin Meier - said they were OK with the plan, although Meier noted she wasn't thrilled about it.

Trustees Erich Schwenk and Kara Lambert said they'd oppose awarding the district a license for gambling machines at Steeple Chase.

As of last month, a total of 89 licensed video gambling machines could be found at 16 bars and restaurants in Mundelein.

People put about $2 million into those machines in September and wagered nearly $5.8 million, according to the most recent Illinois Gaming Board data. The activity generated more than $147,232 in tax revenue for the state and nearly $25,385 for the village.

So far this year, people have put nearly $18 million into those same machines and wagered nearly $51.6 million, the data shows. That activity has generated nearly $1.3 million for the state and about $218,597 for the village.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.