MAPLE PARK – The village soon could allow bars and other establishments to offer video gambling to patrons.
The Maple Park Village Board is scheduled to discuss the matter with Maple Park police Chief Michael Acosta at its July 16 Committee of the Whole meeting, when it is anticipated that village trustees will consider a "sample ordinance" allowing certain businesses to operate video gambling machines.
Maple Park was one of several local communities that banned the machines at establishments within their limits when the state of Illinois first rolled out the video gambling program a few years ago.
However, in recent months, neighboring communities including Elburn and Sugar Grove, have reversed their bans.
Earlier this spring, representatives of the Maple Park American Legion Post 312 approached the Village Board to request that the village allow their Legion Hall to install and operate video gambling machines, like Legion halls elsewhere in the region.
Maple Park Village President Kathy Curtis did not return messages requesting comment on the matter Tuesday. But Acosta said he intends to tell the Village Board that he has no problems with the idea of allowing the machines in Maple Park.
He noted that the village suffered in the past from illegal gambling operations run at a tavern that formerly operated in Maple Park. A raid in 2004 at the former D.J.'s Tavern led to charges against Mark Delaney, a former Maple Park village president and other defendants associated with the bar.
But Acosta said these video gambling machines would be different because they would be legal, licensed and regulated by the state.
"I have no problems with them; no issues with it at all," Acosta said.
He said he believes as many as three Maple Park establishments ultimately could operate the machines.