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Minooka approves annual fee on gambling machines

MINOOKA — Village trustees have approved an annual fee of $25 per terminal for businesses who put video gambling machines in their establishments.

The fee is significantly lower than that imposed by other towns, specifically Channahon, that charge as much as $100, said Village Administrator Dan Duffy.

The difference, said Duffy, is that only home rule municipalities can set their own fee. Non-home-rule communities like Minooka are required to charge the $25 fee set by the Illinois Gaming Board.

“We’d like to charge more,” said Village President Pat Brennan.

The ordinance exempts charitable, not-for-profit and religious organizations from paying the fee, Duffy said.

Video gambling terminals are any electronic video games, including video poker, line-up and Black Jack, in which the player can receive free games or credits that can be redeemed for cash. They cannot directly dispense coins, cash or tokens and are designed for amusement purposes only, according to the village ordinance.

The video games are allowed in restaurants and establishments that hold a liquor licenses.

Minooka decided to allow video gambling after several local business owners approached the village about it, said Duffy. After several public meetings and publication of the intent to allow video gambling, nobody stepped forward to oppose it.

“If there were (oppositions), we would have taken that into consideration,” Duffy said. “If we experience any negative aspects, we will be able to reconsider (our decision).”

Trustee Terry Houchens voted against the fee ordinance.

Park Vandalism

Over the last month or so, vandals have been making a mess of two Minooka parks. Damage has been found at Lions and Summit parks.

Last month maintenance workers found soccer nets cut down. Since then, park bathrooms have been vandalized, with a broken window, a stall door ripped off the hinges and mud thrown all over the walls, said Houchens.

“We try to do these parks for the benefit of the community,” said Houchens. “It’s a little disappointing, very disappointing, actually.”

Anyone with information regarding the vandalism can contact either the Minooka Police Department at (815) 467-2298 or Grundy County Crime Stoppers at (815) 942-9667, said Police Chief Justin Meyer.

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