Officials in the Mundelein village recently hiked the fee for video gambling. They also increased the registration fees for business owners amidst an ongoing debate that the number of licenses to be held out in the village should be limited.
The rise in the registration fee is significant, as businesses will now have to pay $1000 instead of $150. The hike has been in the works since a committee meeting in October after the officials calculated the revenue these new businesses could be making. The formal vote on the measure was held on November 12, where the committee unanimously voted in favor. The new registration price is effective immediately.
During the meeting, Luigi’s Ristorante Italiano also commented on limiting the number of licenses issued. The Village Board, which also acts as the Liquor Commission for Mundelein denied the request.
Mayor Steve Lentz was more concerned with Mundelein’s image, saying that that the village is already close to the maximum number of gaming machines that are appropriate for the community. He said that if the board does not work aggressively to manage the image of the village for its neighbor and new home buyers, then the liquor and gaming industry will manage it.
Lentz was one of the three trustees who voted against video gambling in the village in 2012. At the time, he said that leaving these forced unchecked will mean a bar and gambling activity in every commercial corner. Lentz also said that home values get impacted due to these industries, and that is why he would not favor more machines outside of the Route 45 corridor.
Neighboring towns have also adopted a conservative approach to video gambling. Libertyville upheld its ban in 2014 and had not budged since. Vernon Hills also reaffirmed its commitment to a ban in 2017. A Mundelein report also indicates that Highland Park, Grayslake, Lincolnshire, and Gurnee have also prohibited video gambling in their region. However, Long Grove and Buffalo grove shifted their positions and approved video gaming in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Lentz noted that he is “unapologetic about driving our reputation.” He noted that the village intends for the local restaurants get to provide a supplemental offering which could further restaurant growth in the downtown area. According to the Illinois Video Gaming Act, businesses must get a license from the local municipality before they start serving liquor. However, the village officials believe that the state laws will not interfere with their decision to limit liquor licenses in the region.