The Crystal Lake City Council has ended its discussion on video gaming machines in local liquor establishments.
By majority vote, council members adopted an opt-out ordinance that removes the city from partaking in the gambling liberties awarded through the Illinois Video Gaming Act.
Councilwoman Ellen Brady Mueller voted against what amounts to a ban on gaming machines in Crystal Lake restaurants and bars. Councilwoman Cathy Ferguson was not presesnt.
The remaining council members didn't see the benefits of allowing the games, which would have been permitted at 55 establishments currently holding on-premise liquor licenses.
"If we have to eventually depend as a community on gambling then I think we're going to lose in the long run," Councilman Ralph Dawson said.
Chris Hesch, owner of Awesome Hand Gaming in Rolling Meadows, told the council banning the games would in the short term serve as a disadvantage to Crystal Lake businesses. Ultimately, he said the city would take a beating, too.
"You won't be attracting businesses to Crystal Lake," Hesch said. "A business owner will take a look and go elsewhere."
Although the state is only in the process of licensing the companies that will lease the machines, Hesch said he has already lined up customers in Harvard, Marengo, Lake in the Hills, Johnsburg and McHenry.
The state of Illinois adopted the Illinois Video Gaming Act in 2009 permitting video gaming terminals in liquor establishments. While using the games, players make cash wagers and play electronic casino-style games such as video poker.
Communities that choose to opt-out of the ordinance won't receive any tax or licensing revenues generated by them.