Just how level is this playing field?

Opinion: Letters to the editor

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As the issue of video gambling at Forest Park bars gained traction in 2013, bar owners started whining about having a "level playing field" to compete with our neighbors in Berwyn and North Riverside. Neighbors? Huh. This got me thinking who are the "actual" neighbors of these gambling bar/parlors?

Lets look at Madison St., there is a hardware store, clothing stores, hair salons, an ice cream parlor, antique stores and other great businesses. Don't these neighbors deserve a "level playing field" too? During 2017, O'Sullivan's took in about $64,000 just for having gambling. Duffy's got $60,000 during the same period. If I were the owner of a salon or ice cream parlor, I'd be thinking, 'Damn! That's a huge chunk of my payroll, why do the bars benefit from this government handout and not me!' No, the playing field isn't level for them at all.

Human nature being what it is, it will get worse. When the video gambling lights and signs and banners start to appear, the tidy storefronts like the hardware store and the paint store will be cloaked with the seedy bombast of their neighbors neon glare. This is classic real estate regression.

As you enter the voting booth, think about ALL of our Madison St. neighbors. Vote Yes to prohibit video gambling.

Steven Backman

Forest Park resident

Reader Comments

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Jerry Webster  

Posted: October 15th, 2018 12:50 PM

What revenue replacement are you talking about Pam, most VG machines are owned by a few owners. Are their employees better paid then before? The amount of money paid to the village doesn't amount to very much and it sure has not reduced my taxes or village fees. The only revenue being replaced is to the bar owners, they will be the only losers if VG goes away.

Pam Fontana  

Posted: October 15th, 2018 11:45 AM

OMG, get a grip Mr. Backman. All the other great businesses on Madison you mention contribute how much tax revenue to the village? Do the owners of these stores expect to have the same revenue stream as a restaurant or bar? Government handout? What are you smoking? And stop with all the neon glaring scare tactics so evident in everything the anti-gamers has pushed for way too long now. Scare tactics seem to be all you guys have. So far no one has mentioned any of their great ideas for revenue replacement if gaming goes away in town.

JJ Harrington  

Posted: October 14th, 2018 7:40 PM

WTF, it is not a goverment hand out you moron. Tax payers nor government funds anything related to VG. And what's with this obsession with signs?

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