As you may know, on August 13th the Lake County Board voted on whether to allow video gambling in the unincorporated areas of our county. I requested your input on this, and the results were overwhelming: 78% against video gambling, 22% in favor.
I followed your lead and voted against the ordinance. Three of the four municipalities that I represent-Lake Bluff, Gurnee, and Libertyville- have ordinances against gaming, and I heard from several residents in the unincorporated areas about their concerns of introducing gambling in their neighborhoods.
Unfortunately, the ordinance passed, 11-9, allowing those businesses with liquor licenses in the unincorporated areas-including Knollwood, Gages Lake, and Wildwood-to host 435 additional terminals in Lake County, almost doubling the number that exists today.
These gambling terminals can exist wherever alcohol is served-golf courses, family restaurants, bowling alleys, and bars, creating mini-casinos near residential areas throughout our county.
Where does the revenue go from these machines?
Gamblers in Waukegan and North Chicago LOST $796,000 in video gaming machines in just June and July alone, taking $477,600 (60%) out of these two communities-dollars NOT spent on products and services that could have been provided by small, family-owned businesses here in Lake County. If the current trend continues, $2,865,600 will be removed from circulation in Waukegan and North Chicago alone after just one year.
- 35% to the business owner
- 35% to the manufacturer of the device
- 25% to the state
- 5% to Lake County
I will keep you posted on my efforts to limit the spread of video gambling in Lake County, specifically near those areas that currently do not allow it.
In the meantime, please don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns, and thank you for your feedback on this and other Lake County issues.