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Stand up to video gaming

Published: Monday, Sept. 1, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

A prevention sticker for teens a few years ago said, “What part of no don’t you understand?”

The same could apply to the bar owners and terminal operators who keep asking the Crystal Lake City Council for video gambling.

There are 18,097 video gambling machines in 4,461 neighborhood casinos in Illinois. Many people who never gambled before began to do so when the gambling machines were put in restaurants, bowling alleys, golf courses, gas stations, bars, clubs and strip malls all over the state. Billboards, banners, flags and signs advertising video gambling and slots mar the landscape and environment in many communities.

New businesses are requesting liquor licenses so they can have video gambling machines in laundromats, flower shops, sweet shops, convenience stores, liquor/wine stores and gambling parlors that target women 50 years of age and older.

Video gambling is called the “crack cocaine” of gambling. No game is more addictive. Addiction, bankruptcy, crime, domestic violence, child neglect/abuse and suicide increase when local residents gamble and lose.

Barrington, Palos Heights, Schaumburg, Woodridge, Gurnee, Morton, Highwood, St. Charles, Lombard, Batavia and other municipalities have rejected attempts to overturn the ban on video gambling.

The Northwest Herald reported “Crystal Lake Councilmen have held fast and argued that video gambling is not a good fit for the city.”

What part of no don’t the bar owners and gambling interests understand?

Contact your City Council member and/or attend the City Council meeting Tuesday to support the ban on video gambling.

Anita Bedell

Executive director, Illinois Church Action on Alcohol & Addiction Problems

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