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More towns willing to play the video gambling game

ShaunBittle | Staff Photographer Editorial columnist LindMcDaniel-Hale photographed house ElgIL Friday Nov. 28 2008.

Shauna Bittle | Staff Photographer Editorial columnist Linda McDaniel-Hale photographed in house in Elgin, IL on Friday, Nov. 28, 2008.

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Updated: March 11, 2013 6:26AM

There is more than the flu going around the Fox Valley. The latest new fad has now become video gambling.

West Dundee has joined the Fox Valley villages that have voted to lift the ban on gambling machines. With a vote of 5-1 last Monday evening, West Dundee delighted business owners who feel that they will be put out of business if they cannot provide patrons with video gambling in their establishments.

According to reports, about 22 businesses in West Dundee are eligible for the devices. Each business will be able to have up to five terminals in their establishment and hope to make $2,250 a year per machine.

Municipalities already allowing this type of gambling include Carpentersville and East Dundee, both being close neighbors to West Dundee. The East Dundee Village Board went ahead and gave the green light to video gambling even after its citizens voted against it in 2010.

The Elgin City Council is expected to vote Feb. 27 on the issue. Other area villages including Bartlett, Gilberts, Hampshire, Hoffman Estates, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Pingree Grove, South Elgin and sections of unincorporated Kane County already have the machines up and running.

The village of Algonquin is taking a let’s-see-what-happens approach to the issue for at least six months.

The village of Sleepy Hollow also voted Monday night to allow video gaming; but with only about 3,500 residents and a handful of businesses in the community, the results have not made front page news or even last page for that matter.

What businesses in Sleepy Hollow would benefit from video gambling is hard to imagine. Would you participate in video gambling at the auto parts store, mattress outlet or farm stand (although those businesses are not eligible to have video gambling anyway)? I cannot envision Fox Valley residents getting into their cars to drive to Sleepy Hollow to participate in video gambling, especially since it is readily available in every other municipality down and around the Fox River.

With so many corners already being graced by at least a bank, a gas station, and a pharmacy chain store, is it going to become necessary for the fourth corner to have a business with video gambling? There is going to be a point when enough is enough.

It would be a shame if the Fox Valley, which is rich in history, became known for its wealth of video gaming outlets. Do we really needing video gambling machines in every town and city in the Fox Valley?

The answer to this question, of course, is NO.

Linda McDaniel-Hale is a Sleepy Hollow resident.

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