Palatine council split on whether to revisit video gambling ban
A group of Palatine bar owners and their supporters urged the village council Monday to reconsider the town's prohibition on video gambling, but the council was split on whether they should reopen those discussions.
In April 2015, about 60 percent of Palatine voters said "no" to an advisory referendum asking whether the village should lift its 2012 ban on video gambling machines in bars and restaurants.
But Barbra Letos, a bartender at JL's Pizza & Sports Bar, told council members enough time had passed since the vote that they should revisit the issue. She said Palatine is missing an opportunity to earn additional revenue.
"If we don't change with the world we're standing still," Letos said.
Other businesses represented Monday included Lamplighter Inn Tavern & Grille, Gators Wing Shack Grill & Pizzeria, The Donkey Inn, TJ O'Brien's Bar & Grill and American Legion Post 690.
Several of the bar owners and employees who advocated for video gambling pointed out that only about 11 percent of registered voters weighed in on the 2015 referendum.
Councilman Tim Millar said he was offended at the notion that the low turnout makes the result illegitimate.
"We aren't going to change the president of the United States or a U.S. senator if there wasn't a high enough turnout," Millar said.
He and two other council members said they were opposed to any further discussion of allowing video gambling in Palatine.
Councilman Greg Solberg and two others indicated they were in favor of taking up the issue again. Solberg said he didn't know where talks would lead, but doesn't want to shy away from the discussion.
Because the issue was not on the council's meeting agenda Monday there was no formal vote on the matter. Mayor Jim Schwantz said the council would decide whether to take up the issue again in the spring.