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St. Charles City Council won’t discuss limited video gambling

Published: Monday, July 21, 2014 10:50 p.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:48 p.m. CST

ST. CHARLES – Members of the St. Charles City Council on Monday were not interested in revisiting the topic of video gambling in St. Charles, even on a limited basis.

During the public comment portion of the council’s regular meeting, Donald Ramsell, attorney for the St. Charles Moose Lodge, asked the council to consider allowing video gaming that would be limited to veterans and service groups in St. Charles.

None of the aldermen at the council’s regular meeting wanted to make a motion directing city staff to bring research on limited video gaming to a City Council committee. St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina asked for the motion after Ward 2 Alderman Rita Payleitner and Ward 4 Alderman Jim Martin voiced their opposition to the discussion.

Ramsell said the organization was disappointed that the City Council was unwilling to support veterans and charitable organizations.

“The Moose has been here for 101 years providing services and to the extent that we can continue to do so, we [would] like their support,” Ramsell said after the meeting. “But apparently they’re already flush with enough cash that they don’t need us.”

Ramsell cited Evergreen Park and New Lenox as two Illinois municipalities that have enacted ordinances allowing limited video gaming. He also talked about other cities that have seen higher-­than-expected revenue generation with video gaming

Payleitner still disagreed and is opposed to government entities benefitting from what she said “is always a sucker’s game.”

St. Charles banned video gaming after a state law was passed in 2009 that allows each municipality to decide whether video gambling would be allowed.

Rogina disagreed with the council’s unwillingness to even discuss limited video gaming. He reminded the council that the only way to look for other sources of revenue was to raise the tax levy.

Ramsell said the St. Charles Moose Lodge would consider de-annexation from the city as a next step.

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