The Village Board met Monday night for its regular meeting, where trustees voted to approve an ordinance that allows the activity in Plainfield.

PLAINFIELD, IL — After years of back and forth, trustees voted to approve video gaming in Plainfield.

The Village Board met Monday night for its regular meeting, where trustees voted to approve an ordinance that allows the activity in Plainfield, with an amendment that requires businesses to have a half-wall or other solid barrier to separate the gaming area from the dining room, rather than just a rope.

Mayor John Argoudelis and trustees Richard Kiefer, Tom Ruane and Margie Bonuchi voted in favor of allowing gaming, with trustees Patricia Kalkanis and Cally Larson voting in opposition.

“The number one reason to have video gaming in Plainfield is to support small business,” Argoudelis said. “We’re not allowing it in gas stations; we’re not allowing free-standing betting parlors. The purpose of this is to help the Big Sammy’s [Italian Eatery] of this world, the Backroads pubs and everybody who’s eligible under state law to get it.”

A zoning text amendment that would have restricted video gaming in the historic downtown area was also on the agenda. The Board did not support it and chose to take action on the item Monday.

Instead, staff will revise the amendment and bring it back before the Board. That means that as of Monday night’s meeting, anyone eligible per state law will be allowed to obtain a gaming license in Plainfield.

Past trustees have taken hard stances against video gaming. In 2013, all but one trustee on the Village Board decided video gaming wouldn’t be welcome in Plainfield. Five years later, the topic made it back before the Board, and after a long discussion and several proposed amendments, trustees still voted 4-2 against video gaming.

The matter was brought before a new set of trustees in 2022, and they again teetered on the idea.

Now that it’s legal in Plainfield, video gaming will be treated like a liquor license: the Village will add and remove licenses as they become available. Terminals will be permitted effective May 1, 2024, at certain establishments licensed by the village for the sale and consumption of alcohol, according to documents.

A previous draft of the ordinance required a business to have been open for 18 months prior to receiving a gaming license. Its removal from the approved ordinance caused friction between the Board prior to the vote.

Trustee Cally Larson spoke in favor of the 18-month rule because it would prove a business could be successful without the profits from gaming.

Argoudelis, on the other hand, said the requirement would put some businesses, especially new ones, at a disadvantage.

“Why should you be punished when you’re new here, at a time when you probably need a little extra help to establish yourself. … If we want our businesses to be successful, then they should be able to get a gaming license the day they get a liquor license,” he said.

Trustee Margie Bonuchi concurred with the mayor, saying, “[We should do] anything we can do at this point to help these businesses in these tough times, in any economic time.”


via Plainfield Patch

February 7, 2024 at 04:46PM

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