Belvidere Discusses Video Gambling Ban

By: Landon Cassman Email
By: Landon Cassman Email

BELVIDERE (WIFR) -- It's been a month since video poker machines went online at six Stateline bars and restaurants. None of them are in Belvidere.

Sandra Grant says the legalization of video gaming is hurting her business. It's not legal yet in Belvidere where she owns Buchanan Street Pub. She thinks owning machines would level the playing field.

"It would bring in revenue. We've lost customers over the last few months, and it would help me, it would also help the city in itself,” said Grant.

The Belvidere City Council is meeting tonight to discuss the possibility of repealing the ban on video gambling. One Belvidere Alderman says legalizing it could potentially bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars to the city.

“I think we've been waiting too long. It's not fair to the bar owners. They deserve that revenue out of the machines, and also the city gets five percent of the revenue,” Grant said.

Yet Mayor Fred Brereton says he doesn't think the community needs gambling. However Sandra Grant, feels the city should at least try it out for the sake of its business owners.

"I think they should opt into it, and then if they decide it doesn't work they can opt out of it again.”

Sandra says she's already filled out her gaming license application, and is anxiously waiting for the city's decision before she mails it in.

The city council meeting will take place tonight at six o'clock at the Belvidere City Council chambers. A vote isn't expected until sometime next month.

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