New Lenox says no to video gambling
By Erin Gallagher For The Herald-News June 12, 2012 8:00AM
Updated: July 14, 2012 6:22AM
NEW LENOX — Despite a room filled with mostly veterans who asked the village to allow video gambling, the New Lenox Village Board said no.
In a narrow 3-2 vote, most of the board members said their opposition was not to gambling or against businesses, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Trustees repeatedly have said they do not trust how the state is regulating the machines.
Trustees David Butterfield and Keith Madsen favored allowing gambling machines.
“Let the businessmen make the decision, and hopefully it’s the right one,” Butterfield said.
Trustees Annette Bowden and Nancy Dye, along with Mayor Tim Baldermann, opposed the measure. Trustee Ray Tuminello also opposed the measure, although he was absent for the vote.
“That’s the biggest issue is that we can’t get straight answers from Springfield,” Baldermann said.
Trustee David Smith abstained from the vote, claiming the Legislature has not provided enough definitive information.
“The village of New Lenox should embrace this opportunity to put its residents back to work,” said Jim Turnbull, a spokesman for the American Legion. “Please do the right thing.”
VFW Past Commander Edward Cadella said that business at the post has not been great the past few years. It has been dipping into its savings. He asked the board to approve gambling to help bring its operation back to an even keel.
White Horse owner Jim Potter said that 60 percent of its lunch business has fallen off because of new restaurants opening in town.
Potter also pointed out that although he didn’t represent the Legion or the VFW, he is a veteran and a member. He said the village shouldn’t tell veterans they cannot gamble in their own club but have to go five to seven miles away to gamble in somebody else’s.
“Isn’t that another restriction of their freedom and haven’t they given enough?” Potter asked.