Some bars that can have gambling machines don’t want them

By on June 4, 2010

by Keith Beebe
County—Now that Kane County reversed its video gambling ban, making it legal in unincorporated areas of the county, establishments in those areas need to decide whether or not it’s worth the time and effort to install the machines offering blackjack and other games.

Several local bar owners don’t like the long, confusing list of requirements involved with video gambling, and the state’s packet explaining guidelines for owning and operating video gambling machines is hardly a quick read.

Two bars, Blackberry Inn and the Winner’s Circle, have no plans to offer video gambling, even though they can.

“I won’t be installing (gambling machines), not until the state of Illinois straightens out all of the kinks involved, and that could take years,” Blackberry Inn owner Chuck Reese said. “Until then, I won’t touch the issue with a 10-foot pole.”

Summer Laws, owner of the Winner’s Circle Bar and Grill in Maple Park, also said she had no interest in bringing video gambling machines into her establishment.

Kane County Board member Drew Frasz (Dist. 26-Elburn) hopes that soon, the machines won’t be an option.

“I believe Senator (Bill) Brady, if successful in his bid for Governor, will veto video gambling and propose an alternate funding source, making this whole issue moot,” Frasz said.

Until then, Frasz said that the easy, impulsive access to gambling in local bars will result in residents spending money on video gambling that they would have spent at local businesses for needed purchases.