Forest Parkers decisively rejected video gaming in the village in a non-binding referendum in 2013. But in 2016, the issue once again dominated public discourse, with forums, town halls, council meetings, letters-to-the-editor, editorials, and signature petition campaigns throughout the year. Signatures were challenged. Experts were consulted. Research was done. Discussions were had. Still, the fight over gaming is not over. Here is a year-end summary of the Review’s coverage of this ongoing debate. You can find the articles online at 

February 23 – Mayor Anthony Calderone says there is no “active conversation” to consider gaming again but suggests the issue could come up in the future.

March 22 – Local Madison Street business owner Noel Eberline authors letter-to-the-editor arguing against allowing gaming.,-not-video-gambling/

March 29 – Village council addresses rumors of renewed video gaming discussion at biweekly meeting. Commissioners confirm no immediate plans exist and request more information on gaming.

March 29 – Several small business owners put signs in store windows along Madison Street opposing gaming.

April 12 – An impromptu video gaming discussion develops at village council meeting. Residents, officials and business owners pack the basement meeting space.–for-video-gaming-comment/ 

April 12 – Review publishes editorial against gaming, calls for greater discussion on general economic development.

April 26 – Local Berwyn politician calls for tighter video gaming regulation.

April 26 – Village council commissioners announce plan to hold May gaming forum. 

June 7 – Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor proprietor Connie Brown comes out against video gaming in letter-to-the-editor, and announces anti-gaming November petition effort led by the newly formed Say Yes ballot committee.

June 14 – Former village commissioner and mayoral candidate Chris Harris organizes public forum to be held later in June.

June 21 – Say Yes committee asks attorney Adam Lasker to pen letter-to-the-editor clarifying some video gaming questions.

June 28 – Around 75 residents and business owner gather for video gaming town hall.

July 5 – Village Hall announces plans to host July forum. Mayor Anthony Calderone and village commissioners originally said the forum would be held in May.,-July-12/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS

July 18 – Around 70 Forest Parkers attend forum at village hall. Experts, officials and business owners were also in attendance.

July 26 – Anti-gaming residents continue signature campaign and announce goal to trigger a binding referendum, which requires more signatures.

August 2 – A group of local business owners write letter-to-the-editor in favor of gaming and some speak with the Review to make their case.

August 9 – Anti-gaming residents file nearly 3,000 ballot signatures at village hall.

August 22 – Forest Parker John Hosty, brother of business owners Mark and Ted Hosty, challenges petition signatures, hearing at Cook County Clerk’s Office planned. 

September 9 – Forest Park Electoral Board unanimously denies November petition, citing inadequate number of valid signatures.…-for-now/

September 13 – The Review publishes critical editorial of Electoral Board and village leadership.

October 24 – Video gaming issue suddenly appears on village council agenda; commissioners take vote. Video gaming is unanimously approved.

October 25 – The Review publishes another editorial criticizing process and village leadership.  

October 25 – Review publishes written excerpt from a University of Illinois professor and gambling expert calling for different tax model on gambling machines in the state. 

November 8 – Resident Kristin McCoy announces second petition effort to put issue to village-wide vote. 

November 8 – On Election Day, other petition questions circulate, allegedly to crowd out gaming issue on the April 2017 ballot.

November 8 – The Review publishes editorial criticizing anonymous petition effort. 

November 10 – Former commissioner Mark Hosty and resident involved in an altercation outside polling place. Resident is cited for battery. 

November 14 – Mark Hosty files three petitions with village hall, reaching maximum limit allowed by Illinois Board of Elections.

November 15 – The Review publishes editorial criticizing “bogus” Hosty petitions.  

December 20 – New ballot initiative committee formed by residents seeking April 2017 vote.

5 replies on “Story of the year: Video gaming”