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Video gaming faces opposition in Plainfield

Madhu Mayer | 12/6/2017, 1:03 p.m.
The Plainfield Board tabled a proposed ordinance that would allow video gaming at certain licensed establishments.

The Plainfield Board tabled a proposed ordinance that would allow video gaming at certain licensed establishments.

Trustee Bill Lamb said he wants to make the proposed changes fair for Plainfield restaurant owners who may not want video gaming inside their establishments.

According to Lamb his concern is he doesn't want those businesses to suffer from a decline in sales.

Asking the board to table the request, trustee Cally Larson said she would like the full board to be in attendance when the issue is voted. Trustee Brian Wojowski did not attend Monday's meeting.

Prior to the table vote, Richard Peterson, treasurer of Plainfield Moose Lodge, asked the board to support video gaming.

"We would appreciate it if you passed this so we can compete against other benevolent organizations," he said. Peterson also added, the Moose lodge undertakes many charitable endeavors to benefit Plainfield-area residents, ranging from toy to food drives.

But resident Vicky Polito was against the idea disputing a figure presented at a recent meeting that video gaming could lead to a 35 percent financial gain for local business owners. Also, she argues there is no guarantee that money would stay in Plainfield, and consumers would pay the ultimate price as they chase toward the chance of winning a jackpot.

"No matter what, more dollars are lost than won," she said. "It doesn't create jobs in Plainfield.

If approved, businesses must pay the village a non-refundable application fee of $500 each year for a video gaming establishment license. Additionally, an annual non-refundable fee of $300 for each video gaming terminal permit sticker will be assessed.

No more than five video gaming terminals at licensed establishment's premises will be allowed at any time, according to the proposal. These terminals must be located in an area restricted to people 21 years of age or older, and the entrance to this section must be at all times within view of at least one employee who is 21 or older, if the village board approves video gaming.

The village board will revisit the proposed ordinance at a meeting in January.