East Dundee to consider limiting video gambling licenses
East Dundee trustees are expected to vote next month on an ordinance placing a cap on the number of gaming licenses issued in town, Village Administrator Jennifer Johnsen said.
The move would give village officials the power to regulate which future businesses can have video gambling machines.
East Dundee has 13 businesses with active licenses, three of which are specifically gaming cafes, records show. The goal of the proposal, officials said, is to restrict the number of establishments that consider video gambling to be their primary functions.
"The only concern I have in the downtown area and certain other parts of the village is the image," Village President Lael Miller said. "We want to be able to look at each one on a case-by-case basis. It just gives us a little more control."
The Illinois Gaming Board has the authority to grant a video gambling license to any qualified establishment that has a liquor license for on-site consumption.
East Dundee trustees do not currently have the right to interject in that approval process, Johnsen said.
State law does allow municipalities to cap how many gaming licenses are issued at a given time. If passed in East Dundee, she said, such a measure would require village board input and approval before a new license holder is added.
"If you limit the number of licenses to the number of current license holders, that will give the board the ability to weigh in on the process," Johnsen said. "(Trustees) don't have that ability right now."
Video gambling tax revenues are distributed among the state, the gaming establishments and their respective municipalities. Illinois Gaming Board records show East Dundee received just less than $145,000 in gaming funds in fiscal year 2017, which ended April 30.
Video gambling machines are also beneficial for the businesses that use them, Trustee Scott Andresen said. He believes the village should have more of a say in which establishments are granted that privilege.
"I like the idea if it helps us craft the vision we have for the growth of the town," Andresen said. "There are areas where they don't make sense and areas where they do make sense, and at the end of the day, they do generate revenue for the village."