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Village will continue to ban video gaming

Trustees express concern over regulation

BARRINGTON – The Barrington Village Board decided Monday it would not be making any changes to its ban on video gaming.

Despite gathering months of public opinion and receiving several pro-video gaming requests from local business owners, the village board has chosen to retain its ordinance prohibiting video gaming terminals from being installed within village limits.

Village President Karen Darch said each trustee weighed in on the issue during Monday's committee of the whole meeting and the majority said they were uncomfortable taking action to pass a new ordinance approving video gaming within the village at this time.

Darch said the village board recently became familiar with a "loophole" in the Illinois Video Gaming Act that would allow certain businesses to be regulated less strictly by the Illinois Video Gaming Board.

"The loophole needs to be addressed by the state before we will consider changing our stance on the issue," Darch said. "We plan to follow up by sending a letter to our state representatives to express these concerns."

According to the Illinois Video Gaming Board website, more than 80 communities in the Chicago suburbs have chosen to allow video gaming. This includes nearby towns such as Port Barrington, Fox River Grove and East Dundee – and more establishments are looking to add terminals. As of Sept. 20, more than 1,800 places around the state have applications pending with the Illinois Gaming Board.

Darch said she has received mixed public opinion regarding video gaming in the village.

"It was about 50-50, for and against," Darch said. "Most that were for video gaming were business owners or non-residents."

Ever since the village passed an ordinance to ban video gaming in 2009 (when the Illinois Video Gaming Act was passed), Barrington business owners such as Bryan McGonigal of McGonigal's Pub in downtown Barrington have expressed concern that video gaming in area towns will take business away from Barrington.

Darch said that by not taking action on Monday, the village board will now have more time to observe how surrounding communities are affected by allowing video gaming.

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