Despite concerns over gambling parlors cutting into the bottom line of local bars and restaurants, the Springfield City Council last night approved zoning changes to allow more of the establishments to open shop. Aldermen Cory Jobe voted in favor, even though he's pushing an ordinance to require video gambling only at places that earn 60 percent or more of revenue from food and beverage sales.
Jobe says the city is skirting the spirit of the law. But he says there’s no conflict in his vote.
If proceeds from video gaming were a coconut cream pie, Illinois municipalities would only get a taste. But if you added up those nibbles every month, it may be enough to notice an increasing waistline.
In December alone, Illinois municipalities that offer video gaming shared $1.8 million.
Video gaming machines starting spewing out the green in the fall of 2012. Illinois started with a few hundred gaming terminals. By the end of last year, there were more than 13,000 terminals in the state.
The issue of video gaming machines has created a divide in the town of Auburn.
Mayor Barb Stamer cast a tie breaking vote against gambling earlier this year. Now, she's changed her mind. (UPDATE: 6:45 a.m. Tuesday) The matter came up at Monday's Auburn City Council meeting and Stamer cast the tie-breaking vote in favor.
Towns small and large have had to decide whether or not allowing the machines is worth the cut the communities will receive from gamblers.
Stamer spoke with WUIS' Sean Crawford on Illinois Edition: