Village Unwilling to Gamble on Video Gaming in Plainfield
Trustees oppose bringing video terminals to Plainfield bars, restaurants.
Starting Aug. 1, state law will make it legal for Illinois businesses to install video gaming machines — but don’t expect to see them in Plainfield.
Village Administrator Brian Murphy said existing village ordinance prohibits video gambling, and that’s unlikely to change.
Unless trustees vote to change the village’s policy, the ordinance will overrule the new state law, according to Murphy.
“At this point, I don’t think the village board is going to take any action to change that ordinance,” he said.
At a July 9 Committee of the Whole meeting, several trustees spoke up during a discussion of the new law to voice their opposition to bringing gaming terminals to Plainfield establishments.
Trustee Bill Lamb called the practice an “unfair form of taxation.”
“People who can afford the least will spend their money … it’s not a moral issue so much as it is unfair,” he said.
Under the state law, 70 percent of the revenue from video gaming machines would go to the business owner. The remaining 30 percent would be divided, with 1/6 going to the municipality and the rest going to the state.
Trustee Margie Bonuchi was also opposed to allowing video gambling, adding she spoke with business owners who don’t believe the practice will benefit local merchants. They fear customers would spend their money on gaming machines as opposed to buying food and drink, she said.
“This is a bad deal all the way around,” Bonuchi said. “I don’t want it here at all.”
Trustees Jim Racich, Garrett Peck and Dan Rippy also said they opposed video gaming in Plainfield.
According to Murphy, only one Plainfield business, Front Street Cantina, put in an application to install gaming terminals.
What do you think of the board's position? Should Plainfield allow video gambling?