Lake in the Hills blocks video gambling at Speedway gas station

 
 
Updated 4/30/2018 6:39 PM

Lake in the Hills officials have denied a liquor license request that would allow a Speedway gas station to have video gambling and sell beer and wine for on-site consumption.

State lawmakers passed legislation in 2012 permitting video gambling at bars, restaurants, truck stops and fraternal organizations. Gas stations must either serve alcohol on-site or qualify as a truck stop to satisfy Illinois Gaming Board requirements for a gambling license.

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Currently, Butcher on the Block is the only Lake in the Hills business with a Class E-1 liquor license allowing a video gambling license.

Village officials said Speedway does not qualify as a truck stop, though other suburban Speedway locations, including in Batavia, Hampshire, and South Elgin, have received truck-stop video gambling licenses.

Speedway's intention was to remodel its store at 2700 W. Algonquin Road to include an age-restricted video gambling room.

"That was turned down unanimously," Village President Russ Ruzanski said. "Speedway is not qualified because the piece of property is too small. It would be groundbreaking territory."

State law defines a truck stop as a business that owns or leases at least three acres and sells at least 10,000 gallons of diesel or biodiesel monthly. The only Lake in the Hills gas station with permission to have video gambling machines is Grove Mart, which the gambling board determined is a truck stop.

While Speedway sells packaged alcohol, it does not sell that much diesel fuel, Ruzanski said.

Ruzanski said the bigger concern was safety with the station's proximity to Lincoln Prairie Elementary School. Officials and some parents were concerned about drivers pulling out of the gas station after drinking there, he said.

"The problem is the school buses are going past that station all the time ... that put it over the top," he said. "We are trying to be a business partner. You have to draw the line somewhere. Drinking on-site should be limited to correct establishments."

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