Hanover Park extends video gambling to golf establishments
The Hanover Park village board approved a measure this week that expands video gambling to golf establishments.
The village's original ordinance intended to use video gambling primarily as a means of attracting business to restaurants, but after a recent visit to a golf business seeking a permit, village board members decided the expansion could help make Hanover Park businesses more competitive with those in neighboring towns.
The new law permits a golf course, range or miniature golfing business to request a supplemental liquor license permitting the use of video gambling terminals on their premises.
Village officials said this reflects the board's goal of promoting economic growth, but some leaders expressed concern the move contradicts efforts to make the village a family-centered community.
Trustee Sharmin Shahjahan was the lone opponent to ordinance, which passed 5-1. But Trustee Herb Porter also expressed concern.
"We don't want to turn into a community with lots of mini casinos," Shahjahan said.
The topic was discussed at a previous board meeting and tabled so trustees could visit Green Valley Golf Range, the Hanover Park business leading the effort to get gambling terminals in golfing establishments.
Green Valley Golf Range owner Cindy Scardina told the board Thursday she wants gambling terminals to add another component to her business.
"The golf industry isn't necessarily booming," she said.
Village Clerk Eira Corral Sepúlveda said the village adopted video gambling to attract customers to restaurants, although machines were also permitted at alcohol retailers, clubs and food service establishments that sell beer and wine.
"Video gaming was proposed as an incentive tool," Mayor Rodney Craig said. "What can we control as a village to attract restaurants?"
Scardina said a restaurant would be the long-range plan of her business.
As it stands, the state requires a tax to be paid for each video gambling establishment. A percentage of the tax collected by the Illinois Gaming Board is shared with the municipality.
Hanover Park's cut from seven establishments reached $91,721.24 from January to this June, according to the Illinois Gaming Board. The village also receives an annual tax per machine.
Currently, these revenues go toward additional development of the village's recently renovated youth sports complex on Barrington Road.
According to Sepúlveda, money received from the newly adopted ordinance would further supplement these developments.
"With our established business community, the board wanted to be on an even playing field with business owners in other municipalities where gaming is allowed," Sepúlveda said.