Seeing the above editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times yesterday was the first I knew that there was a movement to ban video slot machines in unincorporated Cook County.
The editorial pointed out,
“The Chicago Outfit is on record as embracing the idea. It isn’t every day you hear what the head of the Chicago mob thinks about a public policy change…in 2003, Outfit leader James Marcello was secretly recorded by the FBI as saying he was all for legalizing video poker. The Outfit, long tied into video gaming, can’t wait for the windfall.
That is precisely the issue that is being considered by the McHenry County Board next Wednesday night at the Administrative Center north of the county jail. (The meeting starts at 6, but, if you come later, you still be able to testify.) Besides banning the machines, the county board could put an advisory question on the subject on the ballot, as was suggested by McHenry County Board member Bob Bless.
Watching the news, I saw the Rev. and State Senator James Meeks (D-Chicago) leading the fight against this expansion of gambling in Illinois. I wonder if any righteous preachers will show up in Woodstock.
Opponents to what is euphemistically called “video poker” won 11-1 in committee yesterday.
Besides Meeks, the Better Government Association’s Executive Director, Andy Shaw, appeared, describing video gambling as “the crack cocaine of gaming.” Police spokesman were in opposition as well.
How many bars and restaurants would be affected if the Cook County Board goes along with its committee’s recommendation?
That’s about the same number that would be banned, if the McHenry County Board followed in Cook County’s footsteps.