Is Another Push for Slot Machines in Unincorporated Taverns Coming?

OK. You can say another effort to legalize slot machines and video poker is not likely.

But, before you or I come to that conclusion, let’s look at what happened to the Liquor & License Committee make-up for the next two years.

Although its Chairman for the last two years and John Hammerand listed it as his first committee choice, Chairman Tina Hill took him off the committee. He supporter Ersel Schuster on both the first and second votes for County Chairman to replace Ken Koehler.

And, who got made Chairman of the Committee?

It was Ken Koehler. It was his third choice for committee assignment.

When the issue was last in the Liquor & License Committee, Ken Koehler spoke strongly in favor of allowing the slots (he called them “video poker”) in that part of McHenry County controlled by the County Board.

So, the leadership of the Committee has gone from opposition to support on the issue.

The other suggested Committee members are

  • Sue Draffkorn
  • Diane Evertsen
  • Mary McClellan
  • Robert Nowak
Mary McClellan

Mary McClellan

Bob Nowak

Bob Nowak

Of those, Draffkorn and McCann voted in favor of banning slots in the rural area.

Nowak and McClellan have not cast a vote on the issue.

I asked McClellan her opinion on the issue and she told me,

“I guess I’ll have to ask my constituents what they want.”

The vote to ban the slots was 13-10-1.

Of those ten who voted on the losing side of the 2009 vote (that is, in favor of video poker), seven (Bob Bless, Scott Breeden, Mary Donner, Pete Merkel, Marc Munaretto, Lyn Orphal,  and Dan Ryan) are no longer on the Board.

Newly-installed Chairman Hill, however, did vote for the measure.

So, after having looked at the loss of so many video poker proponents from the Board membership and the make-up of the Liquor & License Committee, if both of the members who have not yet had to vote on the issue (McClellan and Nowak) were in favor when a vote came up, it could get out onto the Board floor for a vote.

But, most of the newly-elected members would have to be in favor of expanding gambling at the local level for the decision to be reversed.

Odds would be against that, I believe.

Especially since a Chicago Tribune poll in 2009 found about 60% of the people outside of Chicago opposed the idea.


Is Another Push for Slot Machines in Unincorporated Taverns Coming? — 7 Comments

  1. The State gets the largest portion of the video gaming revenue.

    Adding slots to racetracks makes more sense.

    The racetracks are already in the gambling business.

    And most states allow slots at racetracks because it results in larger purses.

    I guess the casino lobbyists are stronger than the horse racing lobbyists.

  2. You write “Of those, Draffkorn and McCann voted in favor of banning slots in the rural area.”
    after listing
    ” Sue Draffkorn
    Diane Evertsen
    Mary McClellan
    Robert Nowak


  3. Tina Hill will continue to embarass this county as long as she is in office.

  4. One can gamble illegally anywhere starting on ones computer at home, to ban the legalized video gaming or slots or whatever is sophmoric and puts otherwise hard working, family owned liquor pouring establishments at a competitive disadvantage. While I don’t and won’t play the one-armed bandits, I have no objection to those that do and enjoy that form of entertainment. The County Board should legalize the gaming asap.

  5. Interesting.

    Who should we contact with our opinions on this matter?

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