Video gambling not suited to family-friendly town

The West Chicago community has a long history. I moved to West Chicago because I was attracted to the people and amenities of West Chicago. With two major railroads crossing in town, the rails are part of our history and systemic advantages. Our people and our schools are diverse and strong. We have two major bike trails through town, walkable forest preserves and parks. I believe West Chicago is in the beginning of a revitalization stemming from our recently developed strategic plan.

On March 20, the residents of West Chicago have an opportunity to help define that future via a referendum. We will each cast a vote whether we would like video gambling in West Chicago or not. I do not want video gambling in my town, and here is why:

First, the referendum wording is whether to allow video gaming in West Chicago. Video gaming is a state of Illinois term to denote gambling via a video screen. So let's call it what it is, video gambling.

West Chicago is a family-friendly town. We are friendly, help each other, and even spend time exercising together through Healthy West Chicago. Video gambling is not family friendly. It is a person sitting alone with a video screen, gambling.

Video gambling is not part of the image I want for West Chicago. When I visit a restaurant with my kids, video gambling is not what I want to see. I will go somewhere else to dine.

Video gambling is highly addictive. It's been called the most addictive form of gambling, especially for veterans and youth. Even if it's just one addict who destroys their finances, marriage, or home as a result … I couldn't look them in the eye and say I voted for gambling that destroyed your life. Could you?

Matt Garling

West Chicago

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