Mount Prospect board approves expansion of video gambling
Mount Prospect will allow more video gambling terminals at village restaurants, bars and other licensed establishments, under a measure approved Tuesday by village trustees.
The measure increases the maximum from five to six machines, mirroring an increase signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker in July. Trustees chose not to pass a measure that would always link the village's maximum to the state's, saying it would give local officials less control over the issue.
Also Tuesday, the village board granted permission for two more restaurants to offer video gambling -- the Red Barn, 303 E. Kensington Road, and Salsa Street Fiesta Grill, 211 Randhurst Village Drive.
"We have seen a decrease in traffic at the mall, but we refuse to go away. It's a town where we definitely want to stay 15, 20 years," said Beto Huerta, owner of Salsa Street Fiesta Grill. "So that's what we want to do with the revenue. We don't know what it's going to bring. But we hope that it can help us, just make our business better and better."
Mayor Arlene Juracek alluded to the board's recent one-year review of video gambling, which found that the 10 licensed establishments in Mount Prospect have earned more than $200,000 from a combined 45 machines.
"You can see it's not a massive windfall to restaurants, but by and large, you and your fellow restaurateurs are using it to upgrade, remodel and just enhance the ambience really of the business," Juracek said. "This is not an action that we encourage you doing in lieu of food and beverage sales, but as a supplement to just make it a more inclusive experience."