Video Gaming in Tinley Park Might Be Good Bet for Veterans' Halls

The village approved a measure Tuesday to lift its ban on video gaming machines. This might help the return of members to places like the American Legion, which lost business when other nearby communities allowed the terminals.

Tinley Park lifts its ban on video gaming Tuesday, Jan. 7. | Credit: File Photo
Tinley Park lifts its ban on video gaming Tuesday, Jan. 7. | Credit: File Photo
The Tinley Park Village Board lifted its ban on video gaming machines in bars and other businesses with liquor licenses Tuesday as a way for these establishments to stay competitive in a market where surrounding communities allow such games.

The move also is expected to generate additional revenue for the village, which will charge a $1,000 yearly licensing fee for each machine and receive 5 percent of the revenue generated from them.

READ: Trustees Rule on Video Gaming Amidst Debating Residents

“The new revenue generated from the implementation of video gaming will help support marketing endeavors such as special events, websites, email newsletters, social media, marketing and branding, and Downtown Tinley initiatives,” Trustee Dave Seaman, chairman of the village’s Finance and Economic Development
Committee, stated in a press release.

One of the most appreciative beneficiaries of this change, however, might be the veteran and military halls in Tinley Park, such as the American Legion Post 615 and VFW Post 2791.

"We've been talking to [the Village Board] about allowing it. We've been begging is probably the best word," said Ron Seiner, commander of American Legion Post 615, late last month before the vote.

Since other nearby communities such as Oak Forest started allowing video gaming after the state opened the door in 2009, the American Legion post has seen membership dwindle, Seiner said.

"They went where they could enjoy themselves," he said. "Just speaking for the American Legion, we'd like to get some of our members to come back to our events and have a couple cocktails."

Seiner said the post could generate $18,000 to $20,000 in additional revenue from video gaming. All of that money, he added, would go toward the American Legion post's efforts to help local veterans.

Tinley Park had banned video gaming since the 1960s, but the Village Board revised the ordinance in 2012 because of the "opt out" measure in the state's 2009 Video Gaming Act.

At that time, the village wanted to take a wait-and-see approach to video gaming, Mayor Ed Zabrocki said in an interview last month.

"We wanted to see how things were shaking out in those places that allowed," he said.

Zabrocki added that he would have considered giving an exemption to establishments like the American Legion and VFW, but that option is not allowed under the state act.

Other details about the legalization in Tinley Park include:
  • When it comes to the revenue generated, the business owner and machine vendor receive 35 percent each, the state gets 25 percent, and the village receives the remaining 5 percent.
  • The Illinois Gaming Board regulates video gaming vendors, not the village.
  • Gaming machines are not allowed within 100 feet of a school or place of worship.
  • A business can have no more than five machines on site, and they must be
  • in view of at least one employee.
  • The machines must be in a place that is restricted for anyone younger than 21 years old.

The village also has set up an FAQ website for residents with questions about video gaming.
Harry Callahan January 09, 2014 at 09:40 AM
Hey these places AL and VFW do they still have a ban on VIET NAM VETS I know a couple of us guys wanted to join years ago and they told us NO and we ask Why? We were told we were bad people.Nice Hah.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »