Whether and when to revisit Schaumburg’s ban on video gambling is an issue on which the village’s three mayoral candidates are taking distinct positions.
While attorney Matthew Steward said he’s philosophically opposed to allowing video gambling, both current village Trustee Tom Dailly and fellow candidate Nafees Rahman see the ban as a cause of lost revenue.
“I think we have to get creative and find other revenue streams,” Steward said. “The people I’m talking to — and I’m talking to a lot of people on these issues and others — they have all shared with me great pride in the fact that I’m alone in this area and that I will stay that way.”
Dailly said the village could permit video gambling in some parts of the village while maintaining a ban in the retail-oriented area around Woodfield Mall because of its different zoning.
“We have a potential of $1 million we could be absorbing from video gaming,” Dailly said. “Every community around us is doing it, so people that want it are going to other communities, and they’re sitting in their restaurants having their food and their beverages and paying their sales tax and supporting those communities when Schaumburg should be getting it.”
Rahman, the deputy director of accounting in Secretary of State Jesse White’s office, argues that the village already is late in addressing the issue, and he questions whether campaign contributions from video gambling companies are influencing Dailly.
“Actually we should have had this six years ago in a controlled environment,” he said. “We don’t want a specific company to lobby that. My opponent, Mr. Dailly, has taken some contributions from Gold Rush Amusements. I hope they’re not the lobbyist that can come in and put their machines in.”
Dailly said the Hoffman Estates-based company is one of two video gambling firms that have contributed to his campaign.
“I get campaign contributions from a lot of people,” he said. “Well, of course they’re going to look to see about coming into the village if it ever happens. Of course that is, but it doesn’t mean anything. I’ve accepted from so many of the restaurants in Schaumburg, too. Does that change anything? No.”
Steward argued the contributions demonstrated yet another way he differs on the issue.
“I do not have funding from any gaming sources and I would not take it if offered, despite how humble my campaign is,” he said.
Last week, all six candidates for the three available trustee seats on the village board expressed support for revisiting the ban.
The candidates for mayor are scheduled to meet again at 11:45 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, when the League of Women Voters of the Palatine Area hosts a forum at Spring Valley Nature Center, 1111 E. Schaumburg Road in Schaumburg. Trustee candidates will meet beforehand at 10:30 a.m., preceded by candidates for the Schaumburg Township Library District at 9:30 a.m.
Election Day is Tuesday, April 2.