Two years ago I was one of several residents who worked against allowing video gaming machines in Forest Park establishments. I opposed gaming because I was concerned about the loud and abundant signage that gambling could bring and I thought that the village wasn’t getting enough in return. Two years later, I can say that the legitimate concerns brought by opponents of gaming have been properly addressed by the local business owners. Businesses now pay $5,0000 a piece for the right to have gaming and estimated earnings for 2018/2019 are over $200,000 in tax revenue. That is a significant revenue boost for the village to put towards other projects. Gaming has not resulted in any unattractive advertising signs on the exterior of local businesses. At most establishments, gaming machines themselves are usually in a separate location from the main dining areas and are hardly even noticeable to customers or staff. Another concern from two years ago was that residents might start spending their money on gambling instead of in local shops and restaurants. Both from what I have seen and heard and what local business owners have told me, this fear has not materialized. I say live and let live. Vote No on prohibiting gaming in Forest Park.
Oak Park resident