Lake County reconsiders 4-year-old ban on video gambling

August 7, 2013

Aimee Chen

(Flickr/Travis Roberts)
A customer plays in front of a video slot machine. Lake County officials today are re-considering 4-year-old ban on video gambling.

Lake County officials today reconsidered a four-year-old ban on video gambling.

The ban has drawn criticism because many bars abut Waukegan, North Chicago and Lake Villa, where video gambling is allowed.

In 2009, County Board Member Diane Hewitt was on the majority side of the 18-4 vote that banned video gambling in unincorporated areas.

But Hewitt said she will vote for it this time because she thinks all businesses should have a fair shot at the possible revenue generated by video gambling.

“There is no reason why some establishments are allowed to have video gaming, and use that as an added draw or income for their businesses, and others maybe just across the streets cannot,” she said.

She said the board needs to fix the situation because local businesses are suffering from a decision that might now be outdated.


If approved, businesses with liquor licenses could have up to five machines, and would be subject to a 30% tax on revenue.

The board will make a final decision on Tuesday, Aug. 13.

Aimee Chen is a WBEZ business reporting intern. Follow her at @AimeeYuyiChen.