Going Back on Banning Gaming Elgin Businesses Back It, Council Set to Reverse Course

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Byline: Elena Ferrarin eferrarin@dailyherald.com By Elena Ferrarin eferrarin@dailyherald.com

The city of Elgin is poised to reverse its stance on video gambling after a group of establishments and organizations pleaded with the city council at Wednesday night's meeting to allow the practice.

Video gambling went live across Illinois in October. The council last took up the subject in July, when the consensus was to maintain the ban.

On Wednesday night, council members said they changed their minds, mostly after talking with owners of establishments and fraternal organizations who banded together under the name Elgin Video Gaming Committee.

Elgin is surrounded by municipalities that allow video gambling, which means local businesses are losing customers who want to gamble.

"We're an island of noncompetitiveness. We didn't know that in July," councilman John Prigge said.

Council members Anna Moeller and Richard Dunne said they were initially leery of the notion that the state would pay for capital improvements with its portion of video gambling monies. However, both said they now believe it would benefit Elgin businesses to allow video gambling.

Mike Flannagan, chairman of the Elgin Video Gaming Committee, said 30 of the 54 establishments with a liquor license that would be eligible for video gaming support it. Another 10 are waiting for management approval, he said. …