Warrenville lifts citywide ban on video gambling
Nearly 12 years after Warrenville banned video gambling, the city council has lifted the prohibition.
The Warrenville City Council voted 5-3 on Tuesday to approve an ordinance that allows video gambling by creating terminal licenses and a new liquor license classification with local restrictions.
Aldermen Jay Anderson, Stuart Aschauer, Clare Barry, Jeff Krischel and Robert Wilson and voted in favor of the repeal. Aldermen Kathryn Davolos, Leah Goodman and Bill Weidner voted against it.
As part of the new ordinance, select licensed establishments can have up to six video gambling machines. But the businesses must meet several requirements.
For example, establishments with video gambling machines must serve meals from a commercial kitchen on their premises or have a written agreement with another establishment with a commercial kitchen. Food sales also must constitute at least 20% of an establishment's annual revenue.
An exemption was made for Class C liquor license holders, of which there is currently only one in the city: the Warrenville VFW Post 8081. Movie theaters also were made ineligible for video gambling liquor licenses.
The application fee for a video gambling liquor license is $1,000. Renewing it will cost $2,000. Establishments must do business in Warrenville for one year before applying for the new license.
Illinois legalized video gambling in 2009, but towns like Warrenville were able to opt out.
In a previous interview, Warrenville Mayor David Brummel said several city business owners sought the repeal of the video gambling ban to help generate more revenue during difficult times. Warrenville's staff estimated video gambling could generate $47,900 to $61,600 a year in revenue for the city.
"This has been a lot of work," Barry said ahead of the vote. "I appreciate all the staff time, and I am definitely in favor of this."
Davolos, Goodman and Weidner expressed their opposition before the vote. They cited concerns about addiction, extra city staff time for enforcement and how video gambling would affect the image of Warrenville.
"All the towns that are actually contiguous to us are not doing this," Davalos said. "I never wanted Warrenville to be the town where you go gambling."
The new ordinance goes into effect later this month.