Park Board to consider video gaming machines Wednesday


QUINCY — The Quincy Park Board will decide Wednesday whether to allow two video gaming machines to be installed at Westview Golf Course.

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Commissioners held off a vote last month to provide more time for public input.

The machines would be installed in the pro shop and would be cordoned off for those under 21.

Quincy Park Board President Bob Gough said he has only received a few calls from both supporters and opponents. He is open to installing the gaming machines to increase revenue at the 27-hole golf course.

“Other courses that have done it have generated some revenue,” Gough said. “I think any revenue we get from that, if we can buy a lawn mower with it or another piece of equipment, I certainly think we should do that as opposed to any other means.”

The idea to install machines at Westview came up at the board’s annual retreat in August.

“This is very strictly regulated and legal, much like alcohol sales are,” Gough said. “I very much see it as a correlation with us selling alcohol out there.”

Commissioner Jeff Steinkamp plans to vote against the proposal saying that he doesn’t believe it would follow the Park District’s mission statement “to enhance the quality of life.”

“Installing gaming machines at Westview puts the District into an unfair financial advantage over small businesses that have gaming machines, as we would be using taxpayer money to support the use of these machines and taking gaming business unjustly away from the private sector,” Steinkamp said.

He also has seen gambling addicts through volunteer work with Addicts Victorious Ministries.

“I have seen the ravages of a gambling addiction, and I personally and morally do not want to be involved with anything to promote or encourage such unfortunate activities,” Steinkamp said.

Illinois Gaming Board records show 18 public golf courses — most of them in the Chicago area — have gaming licenses for the machines. Fifteen operate machines according to the most recent revenue reports from the board.

Two Quincy area private golf courses — Cedar Crest Country Club and Spring Lake Country Club — have video gaming machines.

Net terminal income is split three ways. The establishment and the machine owners, which install the machines, each receives 35 percent.

The state receives 30 percent of the winnings, with 5 percent shared with municipalities.

There are 51 establishments operating 102 machines in the city of Quincy, according to the Gaming Board.

Michael Kipley 1|  By  Herald-Whig  |  Posted: Oct. 7, 2017 4:10 pm
Original Article


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