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Video gaming debate continues in Barrington

9/18/12         Barrington

Denny McGonigal and his son Bryan McGonigal at the grand opening of their Barrington restaruant, the Annex in Barrington on Tuesday, Sept. 18th. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
A video gaming machine at Booker's Bar & Grill in South Elgin. | Michael Smart/Sun-Times Media
General Manager Keith Puralewski demostrates use of a new legal video gaming machine installed at Moretti's Ristorante & Pizzeria in Lake in the Hills. | Michael Smart/Sun-Times Media
A patron plays one of the video gaming machines Wednesday at Booker's Bar & Grill in South Elgin.  | Michael Smart/Sun-Times Media

Although there were no public comments related to video gambling at Barrington’s Oct. 14 village board meeting, Village President Karen Darch said emails from residents continue to flow into village hall.

Barrington business leaders have attended recent meetings to lobby trustees to allow video gaming machines in local establishments. They maintain that the additional revenue steam would help spur downtown development and keep existing businesses competitive.

Opponents have said video gambling is addictive and can lead to a spike in crime.

The emails, Darch said, have detailed mixed opinions.

People are continuing to comment,” said Darch, reiterating that the village board has yet to make a decision.

If a video gaming ordinance is approved, a limited number of gambling terminals would be allowed in establishments that have liquor licenses. The law prohibits the use of the machines by anyone under 21 years old.

Nearby municipalities that allow video gambling include Wauconda, McHenry, Lake in the Hills and Fox River Grove. Video gambling is prohibited in Arlington Heights, Palatine, Lake Zurich and Crystal Lake.

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