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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 .

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, , put in an application to install gaming terminals.

What do you think of the board's position? Should Plainfield allow video gambling?

Mike Check July 18, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Bring em in!
OTB July 18, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Let's bring in an OTB in Plainfield........
JeffK July 19, 2012 at 01:00 AM
The village and officals pride themselves on being liberterian. Until it comes to a vote. More lost revenue that WE ALL will have to make up. I find it interesting that the one business who put in for this is one of the most successful businesses downtown. Hey Lamb, you aren't God or father to the world. It's none of your business what people legally do with their money. It's not your job to protect people from themselves. Very elitist
Keep Them Open July 19, 2012 at 03:11 AM
Do some research. This is not a matter of legalizing poker machines like the one in the picture. The video gaming act requires a high level of control much like the Illinois lottery. The location does not get 70% of the proceeds as stated. There is a licensed operator that places the machines and is responsible for maintaining them and thier connection to a state run control system, computerized real time fully tracked, that company gets 35%. The location gets 35%, and the remainder goes to the state and local governing body. According to the Illinois Gaming Boards web site there are 7 applicants in Plainfield not only one. My opinion- This is a valid legal revenue producer for both the taxing bodies and the operators regulated and enforced by the state. In todays economy this may be the difference between some restaurants being able to stay open, employ local residents, and produce sales tax revenue. To disallow it would not be a moral issue, it would be unfair!
Shannon Antinori (Editor) July 19, 2012 at 03:21 AM
According to the gaming board website, you're right -- as of Monday, along with Front Street, the following businesses had applied with the state to have machines installed Moe Joe's, Kelly's Pub, Larry's Diner, Vito & Nick's II, The Penalty Box and the American Legion Marne Post.
Sitting, watching. July 19, 2012 at 06:20 AM
Why limit what the business' put in??? Stop trying to keep it a small town....
Lisa S. July 19, 2012 at 06:50 PM
What local business is afraid that patrons will spend more on gambling than food? Liquor and gambling go hand in hand...and everyone will profit.
Lost in Plainfield July 19, 2012 at 07:40 PM
What the nanny state gives the nanny town will take away! Good idea ban video poker. Will a restaurant or bar scouting for a new location not open in Plainfield because of a ban? You can bet on that! Are almost all strip centers in Plainfield anchored by Restaurants or bars? You bet they are look around! Will a ban further depress the value of commercial property in Town? You can bet they will! WOW you just won 3 hands in a row, but the business community just lost again!
Tinfoil Hat July 20, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Where does Trustee Paul Fay stand on this issue? He parades around town preaching that he is a conservative man...... Did too many of his drinking buddies lobby him differently? Does he have an opinion or wait and see what stance gets him the most votes? Trustee Fay, please stop leaving the board room, missing a meeting, or not commenting on major decisions. We elected you to represent us and you seem to dodge tough votes. Where do you stand on expanding legalized gambling in the Village of Plainfield? The Village you were elected to represent! Your silence on this major decision makes me wonder if you "blow with the wind" on decisions. Every other Trustee took a stance.. Where is yours? Did you leave it at home?
silentrippy July 20, 2012 at 06:06 PM
@ Tinfoil Hat - I'm not sure if Paul was at the meeting and I'd be curious to his decision. Besides Paul, you should mostly be concerned with the man that sits two seats to the right. I'm not sure Dan Rippy is even capable of saying anything. He rarely makes a comment on anything. If he does, it is usually a legal issue which he could potentially defend clients in court. He should abstain from creating ordinances he could defend in his private job. “I have a pretty good understanding of legislation, how to draft it, and the true effect it can have. And I think that’s going to help me,” Rippy said.
Tinfoil Hat July 20, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Paul, stop trying to deflect your silence on video gaming. I saw the meeting on TV and Trustee Rippy had several great comments on this topic. Where were you? You left the room and then didn't comment when you returned.. Didn't you go on a fishing trip out of state instead of attending interview meetings to hire the village administrator in 2009 as well? Didn't you also vote to raise your own Trustee salary? Who do you represent?
Cowboy July 21, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Someone should tell the bar owner who thinks the customers will put all of thier money in the machine instead of buying food and drinks that it is his choice to have the machines or not. The state law allows a liqour license holder to apply for a gaming license it does not require it. The Patron can decide if he or she wants to play the machine, the owner can decide if he or she wants the machines in thier place or the local government can decide if the owners and patrons are too stupid to make thier own decisions.
Plainfield Ind July 21, 2012 at 06:18 AM
Anytime you ban something like gambling, it will still go on - illegally. This should be allowed in Plainfield.
Carolyn August 09, 2012 at 10:26 PM
What you can bet on is that most people are not interested in wasting their time and money on video gambling. Many people will even refuse to eat in a restaurant that has video gambling. If you want to gamble, go to a casino and let the rest of us enjoy a meal in the local restaurants without being bothered by the gambling industry.

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