Some notes from a friend of McHenry County Blog about the Spring Grove’s Village Board’s approval of what supporters call “Video Poker,” but what will really put slot machines at any restaurant or tavern with a liquor license:
Tonight, Spring Grove Village Trustees Bob McMahon, Del Houghton, Mike Lee and Village President Mark Eisenberg all voted in favor of “approval of an ordinance amending certain sections of the Village Code to authorize video gaming” and “approval of an ordinance amending Chapter 26, Section 2606 of the Village Code to prohibit video gaming”.
Trustees Del Houghton, Bob McMahon, Mike Lee and Mark Eisenberg’s arguments were that
- they “didn’t think government should control what people did”
- “there were only a few games”
- “they could be taken out if things didn’t work out”.
Eisenberg said that “village residents were against the new Jewel food store going up too” but that it had turned out to be a good form of revenue.
Eisenberg also stated that we already have people gambling in the Spring Grove businesses on these machines.
Trustee Jim Anhalt stated that if they are, then it is illegal and we should be enforcing the law.
When pressed as to where these machines were, Eisenberg said that didn’t know.
Trustees Jim Anhalt, Pat Mazzanti and Ron Kopke voted against amending the ordinances.
10 of 12 village residents in attendance stood up and spoke adamantly against bringing video poker into the Village of Spring Grove, 2 had other business to discuss.
Trustee Jim Anhalt was very outspoken in his opposition and presented extensive research on the dangers and addiction of video poker and noted that several other towns that had chosen not to introduce it, specifically that Crystal Lake stood to make a lot more money than we did but still voted against it.
Other points Anhalt made were of the limited revenue it would bring the village while increasing a need for police. Anhalt ‘s logic was to “wait and see what happened in Fox Lake” after they installed the poker machines before rushing to make a decision for Spring Grove.
Mike Lee said that he was against government telling people what to do.
Anhalt ( a former police officer) stated that government protect people from themselves all the time (i.e. seat belts, speed limits, no more than 5 poker machines in one establishment, etc.).
There are only 3 establishments in Spring Grove that would be allowed to have video poker machines.
Anhalt told the board that they were “supposed to be representing the entire village, not just 3 businesses.”
Del Houghton verbally attacked Jim Anhalt for “rolling people out” to speak out against the issue.
Anhalt ‘s response was,
“Don’t you think the people have a right to know what’s going on and what we’re voting on here tonight?”
Resident Ron Erdmann asked why we were supporting the corrupt stat of Illinois.
“30%” off the top goes to state.
We get 1/6 of the 30%.
What’s left is divided 50/50 between the business and and the company that owns the machines.
“We stand to gain little.”