Palatine puts video gambling on April ballot

Village will ask voters their opinion in April

  • Palatine Councilman Scott Lamerand, second from right, discusses placing an advisory referendum on video gambling on the April 7 ballot.

      Palatine Councilman Scott Lamerand, second from right, discusses placing an advisory referendum on video gambling on the April 7 ballot. DOUG T. GRAHAM | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 1/13/2015 5:12 AM

Palatine residents will have an opportunity to let village officials know how they feel about video gambling after the village council voted Monday to place an advisory referendum question on the April 7 ballot.

The question will read: "Should the Village of Palatine consider video gaming (as defined by the Illinois Video Gaming Act) at restaurants and bars that hold a liquor license?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The result of the vote will not be binding. Video gambling is now banned in Palatine.

Councilman Brad Helms said the referendum results will give the village an idea of how residents feel about the issue before the council or staff members invest a lot of time delving into the subject.

"I would hate to have staff have all this effort into it have the residents get all emotional about it and the establishments get all excited about it and then come find out that no one wants it," Helms said.

Councilman Scott Lamerand said he was concerned voters won't have enough information to make an informed choice. He said it was the job of the council do all of the necessary research for voters.

Lamerand also said the referendum won't reach a wide swath of Palatine residents because only 10 percent to 15 percent of voters will come out to vote in the April election.

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Councilman Tim Milar said he didn't have a problem with that because the same percentage will decide who gets a seat on the village council.

Joel Schnell, an owner of The Donkey Inn on Plum Grove Road in Palatine, said he supports video gambling.

"(Video gambling could) double our income, possibly triple our income, and although it goes mostly to the owners, it does bring a little back to the community," Schnell said.

Under state law, counties and towns that allow video gambling receive 5 percent of each machine's revenue above what's paid out. The state receives 25 percent, with the rest to be evenly split between establishment owners and the terminal operators.

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