Sandwich City Council set to vote on video gambling
by Pat Wallis For The Beacon-News June 7, 2012 5:22PM
Updated: July 9, 2012 6:06AM
SANDWICH — Some residents are concerned while some businesses are supporting the possible approval of bringing video gambling to Sandwich.
The Sandwich City Council is considering an ordinance that would allow state-controlled video gambling machines. Business with machines will be licensed to pay cash to winners of video poker and other games.
“What I’m worried about is having someone spend all of their paycheck and not being able to feed their family,” Alderman Dave Fraser said at a public discussion of the issue this week.
Mayor Tom Thomas indicated he had the same concerns, but felt those who want to gamble probably will. He said the video gaming ordinance will be on the agenda at Monday’s City Council meeting, at 7 p.m. in the city hall annex.
The machines would be placed in businesses that have liquor licenses. The state would get 30 percent of the net proceeds. Five percent of the state’s portion would go to the city.
A letter was read from resident Robert Dell, who opposed gambling but would rather have it licensed and in the open if it’s going to be in town. Dell asked the council consider to consider a non-binding petition on the issue.
A representative of a video terminal operator said establishments have to register for applications from the state. Thus far, 800 Illinois bars or restaurants have received applications.
Ron Sabalus, one of the owners of the Bull Moose Bar and Grill in Sandwich, said there are three advantages for the city: being able to charge a fee for the machines; receiving revenue from the machines; and collecting additional sales taxes on food and drinks served at places that have machines.
Representatives of the Sandwich Moose Lodge and Sandwich VFW both claimed it would be an advantage for them to have the video gaming in their establishments, and representatives from De-Railed, Knuckel Hedz, Club 34, and the Olde Time Inn also expressed interest.