Illinois town votes to ban video gambling

illinois video gambling

Video gambling machines used to transfer US$170k in taxes to state coffers. (Credits: Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)

Just over half the voters decided to forbid video gambling machines in the Chicago suburb of Forest Park.

US.- Tuesday’s vote decided the future of several segments in the US gambling industry and the Chicago suburb of Forest Park chose to ban video gambling machines. About 52% of the voters decided to prohibit machines despite the fact they were allowed in 2016 to increase tax revenue.

Some groups had pushed to delay the discussion on a ballot, but Forest Park officials rejected putting the question up to vote. However, an appeals court ruled the local electoral board was “clearly erroneous” in rejecting all of the petition signatures over a few pages of signatures that were found to be invalid.

“I feel really happy that we were able to get on the ballot and get a favourable result,” said Jordan Kuehn of the group Let Forest Park Vote on Video Gaming. “People really wanted to weigh in on this issue,” he highlighted as nearly 60% of the local electorate voted in Tuesday’s election and weighed in on the video gambling ban. “I find it reassuring that they weren’t able to buy our vote,” he added about out-of-town gambling interests.

Forest Park will now have to find a way to compensate a US$170k loss in annual tax revenue that used to be transferred from video poker revenue to state coffers. “It will be a big hit for a small town,” Village Administrator Tim Gillian said.

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