Crime Commission Wants Less Gambling

By Roger Greer

Illinois lawmakers have legalized 66,000 video-gambling machines, but none of them will be placed in DuPage County.

When the Legislature started looking at the expansion, the Chicago Crime Commission warned the DuPage County Board that the long-term, negative societal costs of video gambling would far outweigh any financial benefits.

Anita Bedell, executive director of Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems, said the board took the commission at its word.

“Video gambling sends a wrong message,” she said. “We’re encouraged that DuPage County was the first, and we hope other counties and communities will follow suit.”

Other counties have taken notice. A similar proposal is expected next month by a coalition of Cook County board members. The Will County Board will soon consider similar action. And Kane County officials just decided to form a task force to investigate the impacts of video-gambling machines.

“People are considering the effects of gambling, the impact on their communities,” Bedell said. “And they can say ‘No’.”

Read >United Methodists Battle Gambling in Ohio to learn about some of the problems caused by gambling Ohio.

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