Minooka allows video gambling
By Kris Stadalsky Correspondent October 24, 2012 5:40PM
Video poker gambling machine. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 27, 2012 10:40AM
Minooka officials are allowing video gambling machines to operate in the village, under an ordinance approved this week.
Trustee Terry Houchens was the lone village trustee to oppose the measure, which sets an annual fee of $25 per gambling terminal.
Village Administrator Dan Duffy said that’s lower than the $100 yearly per-terminal fee that Channahon charges. The difference, Duffy said, is that home rule municipalities such as Channahon can set their own fees. Being a non-home rule community, Minooka is required to charge the $25 fee set by the Illinois Gaming Board.
“We’d like to charge more,” said Village President Pat Brennan.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed the Video Gaming Act in 2009, legalizing licensed video gambling machines in Illinois.
Businesses may seek a license from the state, unless the municipality where they’re located opts out, or prohibits such gambling.
It’s up to each municipality to determine who is eligible for a license, which could range from fraternal establishments and veteran organizations, to truck stops and those businesses that serve alcohol.
Minooka’s ordinance allows restaurants and establishments that hold a liquor licenses to also apply for a video gambling license, Duffy said. Religious and charitable organizations are exempt from the annual fee.
Video gambling terminals are any electronic video games, including video poker, Line-up and Black Jack, in which the player can receive free games or credits that can be redeemed for cash. They cannot directly dispense coins, cash or tokens and are designed for amusement purposes only, according to the village ordinance.
Joliet, Morris, Braidwood and Diamond are among towns that allow video gambling, according to the Gaming Board’s website. Shorewood opted out of the program and New Lenox has an ordinance prohibiting video gambling.