Illinois Gaming Board rejects video licenses for strip mall

Sep 23, 2015

The Illinois Gaming Board has rejected video license applications for operators who'd envisioned opening several businesses in a half-vacant strip mall outside Chicago.  

Officials in the small suburb of Hometown characterized such video gambling parlors or so-called "casino malls" as a way to create jobs and spur development. The idea was to open adjacent businesses, each with its own gambling terminals. 

But gaming Chairman Donald Tracy told board members Tuesday that having the operators so close together was essentially a "back-door casino" without safeguards and regulations required of Illinois casinos.

Mayor Kevin Casey says the plan offered the city of roughly 4,500 people a way to generate needed revenue. The decades-old mall has seen several stores close. 

State Rep. Bob Rita, who's pushed for more Illinois casinos, opposes the idea.