Vernon Hills gambling ban continues, for now
Mavericks Country Bar & Grill in Mundelein will have five video gaming machines. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 7, 2013 1:44AM
VERNON HILLS — The recent decision by a neighboring community to permit video gaming within its borders will have little effect on Vernon Hills, officials predict.
The Vernon Hills Village Board discussed the issue in May but found no reason to lift a decades-old ban on gambling.
In October, Mundelein passed a video gaming ordinance for businesses there. Mundelein officials anticipate receiving between $45,000 and $60,000 a year in gambling proceeds from as many as 10 establishments.
Village Manager Mike Allison said a study on video gaming projections in Vernon Hills was not as precise. The projected revenue for Vernon Hills was anticipated to be $330,000 per year if all 29 eligible establishments installed five machines each. Allison, however, said he did not expect all venues would install games.
Allison said trustees would listen if any business owners want to talk about lifting the gambling ban in Vernon Hills.
Trustee James Shultz said the potential revenue gain would be too small for the board to reconsider its earlier decision, unless prompted to do so by the business community.
“Until there is that specific request, I doubt whether our board will take any substantive action on this issue, as we have many other issues before us now and into the foreseeable future that need to be addressed,” Schultz said.
McCarthy’s Restaurant & Irish Pub was the lone pro-gaming business advocate in Vernon Hills when the board considered lifting the ban in May. Owners had designated space for where machines might have gone and referred to that area as The Pot of Gold. The restaurant, which was located in Hawthorn Mall, left Vernon Hills in August after its lease expired.
Co-owner Steve Crane said then video gaming would significantly raise food and beverage sales.
The reason for McCarthy’s departure from the village is unknown, as attempts to contact Crane were unsuccessful.