SYCAMORE – Sycamore will be the next county municipality to consider gambling at bars and fraternal lodges.
Sycamore has a prohibition on video gaming that it could decide to overturn to fall in line with a state program designed to generate 30 percent of a $31 billion capital construction program.
The City Council will begin discussions at its meeting tonight at 7 in the Council Chambers of the Sycamore Center.
Sycamore joins Sandwich and DeKalb in considering reversing ordinances that could yield hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional revenue in coming years.
Under the plan, revenues from the machines would be taxed at a rate of 30 percent – 25 percent going to the state and 5 percent going to the local municipality.
With five terminals allowed at each eligible establishment, and licensing fees for each machine, the city could see about $2,500 per device.
Sycamore Mayor Ken Mundy said he is surprised he has not heard feedback either positive or negative about the issue, but he expects the public will weigh in after discussions start.
“We’re going to take our time with this,” Mundy said. “[Video gaming] won’t start until late summer or even as late as December, so we are not in a rush.”
Hink’s Bar & Grill has submitted an application with the state gaming board, but it needs the city to overturn the prohibition before receiving a terminal. Each machine would allow players to wager between 10 cents and $2, with a chance to win a maximum of $500.
The City Council also will hear an annual report from Sarah Tobias, executive director of the Sycamore Public Library, and an update on how the renovations at the library are progressing.
The major remodeling project will move the circulation desk to the first floor by the front entrance, expand the youth area, and create more space and outlets for wireless Internet users.
“Most of what they’re doing is directed to improve services,” Mundy said. “So you can’t argue with that.”