Forest Park is not overrun by denizens of the Underworld

Opinion: Letters to the editor

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I have been observing the ongoing saga surrounding video gaming in Forest Park for the past several months and this is what I have found: Since allowing gaming machines, I have seen no discernable difference in our Village. Despite some people's claims that allowing a few machines in restaurants and bars would lead to Forest Park being overrun by denizens of the Underworld, no such thing has happened. 

Unlike some of our surrounding villages, Forest Park doesn't allow outside gaming signage so there is no risk of turning into a "mini-Vegas." The local business owners have also pledged that they wouldn't put up such signs even if there was no ordinance against them. 

Gaming brings in much-needed revenue to the Village, which is a big benefit for allowing a few machines that I barely even notice. Despite the fact that allowing gaming has been a net-positive thing for the Village, there are a small but very vocal group of people who are dead set against it. Their reason often boils down to "I just don't like it." 

I don't believe it is right for anyone to foist their personal moral code on others. If you don't like gaming then don't play. Many responsible adults who can make their own decisions do enjoy gaming and they don't need a self-righteous lecture. Let it Be. Vote No on Prohibition. 

Randy Nicholson,

Forest Park resident 

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Jan Stephens  

Posted: October 16th, 2018 5:28 PM

Really, Pam Fontana? You used the phrase "the sky is falling"? How original. Do you also design the slick yet confusing flyers that are delivered to my mailbox? Such a waste of someone's donation. Here's a tip: Vote YES, do NOT allow VG!!

Robert C. Cox  

Posted: October 16th, 2018 3:07 PM

A Wisconsin elected official cited in Capitol Fax.com about a decade ago but still a valid concern regarding Bar Tavern Video gambling problemsThese machines aren't as harmless as they seem. We too had families urging us to crackdown because a spouse kept gambling away his paycheck. It's hard to feed your children and pay your mortgage when you do this. How are you going to regulate all the machines to insure that they're not ripping people off? Remember this isn't the Boy Scouts running this racket. Comment by Former Metro East Councilman Thursday, Dec 6, 07 @ 11:38 am

Pam Fontana  

Posted: October 16th, 2018 10:21 AM

So you are convinced (I guess I should understand as so much of your logic is beyond logical) that the person that had crack on him with intention to sell, was in town to sell it to video gamers then? And now you are talking about drunks on Madison. So what's your argument now; that bars should be banned as well? I have been going to places that offer video gaming since Illinois allowed it (and in Wisconsin it has been around even longer) and have never ever seen a fight or a disruption to anything. When I play at my Legion Hall in Lake County, I am usually sitting beside some of my older veteran acquaintances and we have fun conversations and cheer each other on to a win (most of us play just a few bucks). Your perception is far from reality I gotta say. It's laughable, in fact. My husband (who doesn't game much at all) always comes over by us and mentions all the trouble we are causing in the restaurant/bar.

Robert C. Cox  

Posted: October 15th, 2018 5:33 PM

Tavern activities are private for the most part. Outside the bars in the residential areas known as the public commons i activities that spill over from bars. That is what I have always talked about.Understand the Dram Act and the liability that liquor businesses have. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to assume people leaving an establishment after closing are drunk( employees are not in that group) I witnessed a white guy on the ground in front of my home with FP Police, they mentioned he was an Indiana resident with procession of crack, which was intended for sale. If VG is so clean why not put them in Churches or convenient stores?This is an quality of life issue and avoidance of a nuisance ordinance. Many case studies on file through public administration and criminal justice litertature in case you won't take my word for it.

Pam Fontana  

Posted: October 15th, 2018 11:37 AM

Robert, once again you have written a comment that has absolutely nothing based in reality. How do drunks, drugs and overspill have to do with video gaming? Talk about a sky is falling person, here he is in the form of Robert Cox. Keep in mind Robert is also the same person that has always defended Welch and the Proviso shenagins that occurred for years. Hardly someone who's opinion I would take as based in reality. And who are all these 'former police chiefs' you've spoken to about this issue? How would they know what's happening today as they aren't in those roles any more.

Robert C. Cox from Forest Park  

Posted: October 14th, 2018 10:57 AM

Not so sure about a small group opposed to VG.. Bars/ taverns have specific public safety issues that arise . I have asked former Police Chiefs about disruptive overspill issues at bar closing times and the same response was that if incidents simultaneously occurred at all locations there would be difficulties in police coverage and response. Drug dealing never went away, drunk driving never went away. Noise and public littering never went away. How many DUIs get cited ? How many go undetected ? These are are all examples of criminal activity, you don't have to be in the Mob to conduct. It is ordinances that create unintended negative behavior and outputs that VG adds to the mix of. The outside patrons and late evening crowd don't live here , but that residents like me have to put up with. Do the community of Forest Park need their money that bad? Does it address the "common good ?" Bob Cox, Lifer FP resident Carneyville , USA

Geoff Binns-Calvey  

Posted: October 9th, 2018 8:43 PM

Randy, you realize that once we're down the road a little, and Berwyn is STILL taking their customers, a "pledge" from a bar owner is just as legally binding as a double dare pinky promise, right?

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: October 9th, 2018 8:30 PM

I am literally laughing out loud. Say what you will about the pros and cons of video gambling, the fact is that, between the mid 50s and mid- 60s, Forest Park was the HEADQUARTERS for the "underworld," and its denizens. Of course, the leaders of all those "denizens" lived in Oak Park and River Forest and Elmwood Park.

Kate Nolan  

Posted: October 9th, 2018 8:23 PM

Another false claim by gambling proponents. Can you cite a source for your claim that any of us in Let Forest Park Vote ever said anything like "Forest Park (will be) overrun by denizens of the Unnderworld"? Our concerns have always focused on the following points: video gambling is a bad bet for village revenue, yielding a mere 5c on every dollar lost by our friends and neighbors through regressive taxation on a predatory practice; the gambling lobby made false promises of lower taxes and fees, but taxes and fees have gone up precipitously since the advent of gambling; and tacky signs and strip mall cafes are not prohibited (ask our own village attorney). Let's vote on the actual claims each side has made, not the caricatures and name-calling. Come November 6, I will vote "YES" to prohibit video gambling in Forest Park.

Pam Fontana  

Posted: October 9th, 2018 8:06 PM

Amen!

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