Members of the Plainfield Village Board discussed two proposed ordinances regarding licensing of raffles and video gaming at a workshop meeting Monday night.
The draft of the first ordinance would establish a system for the licensing of raffles, while the draft for the second would amend part of the village code regarding the sale and consumption of alcohol to allow for video gaming in licensed establishments.
Such ordinances have come up for discussion before, but they went nowhere.
This time, the renewed discussion came about because of recent events in Morris, when the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6049 Queen of Hearts game was shut down because it was in violation of city code, and the code had to be amended to allow a drawing for a $1.59 million pot.
Before discussion began, members of the public made comments mostly in favor of passing an ordinance allowing video gaming because it would help local restaurants and entertainment establishments attract more customers.
Vince Athy, owner of Fox’s Restaurant & Pub in Plainfield, said he owns two other establishments outside of the village where video gaming is allowed, and there have been no problems.
“I really see no reason why we shouldn’t be allowed to have video gaming,” Athy said.
Athy’s main argument centered on helping businesses when the flow of customers slows, and he said any help they can get as members of the community will help the community as a whole.
Some trustees had concerns about how allowing video gaming would affect the image of the village.
One trustee said that he did not approve of the proposed ordinance in its current form, especially considering the village only would get 5 percent of the money made on video gaming.
“I do understand the business owners’ plight,” Trustee Brian Wojoswski said. “The distributor takes no risk on the image of the village. The state takes no risk on the image of the village.
“I am opposed to the gaming ordinance in the current form because the low percentage of revenue is not worth the social costs and tarnish to the image of the community.”