LOMBARD - Lombard may be on its way to lifting its four year old video poker ban and joining the ranks of Illinois cities and villages that allow each of its liquor-serving restaurants to host five gambling machines. Lombard's Board of Trustees will be voting June 19th to decide whether it will open the way for video gaming, despite their neighboring cities rejecting the effort.
"This is not the way to bring more businesses to Lombard," said Trustee Peter Breen, voicing his opposition to repealing the ban. "Bringing video gaming to Lombard pits the board against residents. We benefit only if our residents lose."
Breen pointed Lombard's DuPage County neighbors, including Downers Grove, Glen Ellyn, Lisle, West Chicago, Warrenville, Naperville, St. Charles, Wheaton, Winfield and Geneva, that all have held video poker bans in their localities, forsaking the five percent take local municipalities receive from gaming venues.
"We need to remember that we're changing the city's culture," said Trustee Laura Fitzpatrick during the board's discussion last week. She also voiced concern about video gambling parlors geared towards attracting women, who handle a substantial part of family budgets.
Public comments included opposiiton from a musician who at one time promoted video gambling, and now regrets his previous opinion. Others included ladies concerned about the funds families would lose to poker gaming and crime that would increase as the business climate changed in the area.
Business owners insisted video gambling was necessary to remain competitive in the restaurant business.