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Updated Aug. 14, 2:30 p.m.

Several local bars whose owners hope to receive video poker licenses from the state – if Forest Park ever changes its ordinance prohibiting gambling – have omitted campaign contributions made within the last five years on applications with the Illinois Gaming Board.

The Gaming Board requires all applicants to list campaign contributions on their applications, but Hideway, R Place, Kevil’s, and Oak Leaf Lounge all failed to list campaign contributions to Forest Park Mayor Anthony Calderone, who is also village Liquor Commissioner, on their video gaming applications.

The application for Healy’s West Side – which omitted the relationship between the tavern and Forest Park Commissioner Mark Hosty – was the only Forest Park business that provided campaign contributions as required by the Gaming Board.

According to the Cook County Board of Elections, Kevil’s Restaurant, 7228 Circle Ave., donated $689.06 in food to Calderone’s 2011 campaign in November 2010 while Hideaway, 7301 Roosevelt Road, donated $500 in March 2011. Also in April, Oak Leaf Lounge, 7412 W. Harrison, donated $500. R Place, 1527 S. Harlem, donated $250 in November of 2010 and $1,500 in March of 2011.

“The Gaming Board does a thorough investigation of any establishment that applies for a video gaming license,” said Gaming Board spokesman Gene O’Shea.

But he pointed out no investigations of Forest Park taverns have been started because Forest Park still has an ordinance prohibiting gambling.

“Video gaming hasn’t even started in Illinois and we’ve already taken away the license of some establishments,” O’Shea said. Three establishments are listed by the board as having been denied video gaming licenses, including Family Liquors in Berwyn and taverns in Alton and Mossville.

Jean Lotus

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...