Barrington to retain video gambling ban
Concerned by how video gambling is regulated by state law, Barrington village board members Monday said they'd be most comfortable standing by their ban of it for the time being.
Most trustees said they'd be willing to revisit the issue, at the request of several village businesses, if state officials looked into and closed perceived loopholes in the existing law.
"I'm not necessarily holding my breath," Trustee Robert Windon said.
Windon and fellow Trustee Jim Daluga said they'd begun their two months of considering the issue leaning toward allowing video gambling at businesses with liquor licenses, as per state law.
But recent news articles highlighting the law's loopholes changed their mind, especially that video gambling can be conducted by business owners "with very shaky backgrounds," Daluga said.
Once a municipality repeals an existing ban, any business with a liquor license can operate up to five video gambling terminals under certain conditions that allow for employee supervision.
"I'm exceedingly uncomfortable equating a liquor license with allowing gambling," Trustee Sue Padula said.
She suggested that in future two types of liquor licenses could be issued -- one which allows video gambling as well, and one which doesn't.
Village Attorney James Bateman said that's a suggestion safer to leave to the state rather than Barrington itself trying to implement it.
Trustees Tim Roberts and Paul Hunt were absent from Monday's committee of the whole meeting, but the remaining five board members were in agreement in putting video gambling back on the shelf for now.
Because so many members of the public weighed in on the issue, however, all expressed concern that their decision and its rationale be made known in the community.
Village President Karen Darch said public comments were split almost evenly on the question of allowing video gambling, with most of the support for it coming from nonresident business owners.
"It's definitely been a good experience, an eye-opening experience, to get community feedback," Darch said.