Video Poker in Evanston? Take Our Survey.

The Illinois legislature recently passed a Video Gaming Act, HB255, signed into law, that legalizes video poker gambling machines in Illinois for bars, restaurants, and certain types of social clubs and fraternal organizations. The machine operator and the establishment owner will split the profits and some revenue will go to the state. One-sixth of a 30% tax on "net terminal income" gets passed back to local governments that have not banned the machines, through a Local Government Video Gaming Distributive Fund. This would work out to about a penny per dollar wagered on a machine with a low 80% payout rate, or a penny per $10 wagered on a machine with a 98% payout rate; the higher the payout rate, the lower the net income and the less received by the state or local governments. Click read more to continue and to take the survey.

The law also allows cities like Evanston to ban the machines by citizen petition and referendum, or by ordinance. The petition process is onerous.

Some of the concerns about video poker are laid out in the Tribune's recent article, 1 state's video-gambling experience bodes ill for Illinois, and by the Better Government Association's Andy Shaw in a guest column.

At the last Board meeting of CSNA, the consensus was that regardless of the merits of video gambling for the state, it's not appropriate for Evanston. However, before presenting our position, we wanted to survey the membership.

Please take a moment to answer our very brief survey today by clicking this link.

Both members and non-members can take the survey; we ask for your name/address to separate members out.