Deer Park to allow video gambling -- but only at one business

For the first time since they were legalized in Illinois, video gambling machines will be allowed in Deer Park -- but only at a local bowling alley.

The village board on Thursday night approved an ordinance that creates a licensing program for the potentially lucrative machines. One active license will be allowed at a time, and only businesses that occupy at least 30,000 square feet of space and serve alcohol are eligible.

One business in town qualifies: Bowlero, 21080 N Rand Road.

That wasn’t an accident, Village Administrator Beth McAndrews said.

“The board was OK with the request as long as it’s limited to Bowlero,” McAndrews said. “The village appreciates and values our relationship and partnership with Bowlero and is pleased to help promote business while maintaining our top priority of safety.”

A Bowlero representative couldn’t be reached for comment.

Under Deer Park’s rules, up to six gambling machines are allowed in a qualifying business, which is the maximum under state law. The annual license fee is $250.

Video gambling was legalized in Illinois in 2009, but local government agencies decide if the machines should be allowed in their communities.

In the Deer Park area, licensed video gambling machines can be found in Palatine, Long Grove and Buffalo Grove. No machines operate in Kildeer, Hawthorn Woods, Barrington Hills or North Barrington.

Revenue from gambling machines is split between the municipality, state, terminal operator and business hosting the machines.

Revenue data can be found at the Illinois Gaming Board’s website,

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