Video Gaming in Lombard

latest update: 11/11, 2020 

Video Gaming Referendum Results 

The November 3rd General Election ballot included an advisory question asking Lombard residents whether video gaming should be allowed within the Village of Lombard.  The results showed that 22,814 Lombardians voted on the issue, with 53% (11,957) voting to allow video gaming in Lombard, and 48% (10,857) voting against video gaming.  

The non-binding, advisory referendum question results will serve as a tool for discussion for the Village Board as they make their final decision of whether or not to allow video gaming in Lombard beyond the trial period. The Village Board is not bound to the November 3rd voting results.

The Village ordinance that currently permits video gaming in Lombard on a trial basis, was approved on December 5, 2019 and provides that video gaming within the Village will automatically terminate on December 31, 2020, absent further action by the Village Board.  At the upcoming Board of Trustees Meeting on December 3, 2020, the Village Board will review and consider the continuation of video gaming in Lombard and an ordinance to remove the December 31st sunset clause. The topic will be placed on items for separate action to allow for public comment and discussion by the Village Board.

While Illinois COVID-19 restrictions are anticipated to limit in-person public attendance for the December 3rd meeting, which will take place at 7 p.m. over a virtual meeting platform, opportunities for public viewing and participation will be made available. Further updates on the meeting and opportunities for viewing and participation will be shared at www.villageoflombard.org/videogaming.   If you wish to share your preliminary opinions on the matter, please email videogaming@villageoflombard.org.


November 2020 Video Gaming FAQ

  • What were the results of the November 3rd, advisory referendum question that asked residents if video gaming should be allowed in the Village of Lombard?
    • Results showed that 22,814 Lombardians voted on the issue, with 53% (11,957) voting to allow video gaming in Lombard, and 48% (10,857) voting against video gaming. 
  • How many businesses currently have video gaming? 
    • As of November 11th, 5 businesses in Lombard have video gaming.  
  • What will happen next?
    • At the upcoming Board of Trustees Meeting on December 3, 2020, the Village Board will review and consider the continuation of video gaming in Lombard and an ordinance to remove the December 31st sunset clause.
  •  Where can I watch Village Board Meetings?
    • Lombard Village Board Meetings are streamed live on Comcast Chanel 6, AT&T Channel 99, and on the Village's website at www.villageoflombard.org/live
  • Where will the Village share updates about video gaming?

Video Gaming Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Lombard’s History when it comes to video gaming?

2010 & 2014
In 2010 and in 2014 this matter was brought to the Village Board for consideration. The Village took public comment and heard concerns from residents in the community.  At such time, the majority of public comments reflected opposition to the concept and the Village Board voted not to proceed with video gaming.

2018
The issue was once again brought to the Village Board for consideration by businesses in August 2018. After extensive discussion, the Board of Trustees voted to permit video gaming for a trial period beginning April 4, 2019 under two conditions:

  • A non-binding advisory referendum question on video gaming would be placed on the March 17th, 2020 ballot for consideration; and,
  • A sunset clause automatically ends video gaming after June 30, 2020, unless the Village Board revisits the topic and takes action to allow video gaming on a permanent basis.

At their meeting on December 5 (see agenda), the Village Board of Trustees discussed previous requests from local businesses to amend the above date for the existing trial period for video gaming and the date on which a non-binding advisory question regarding video gaming would appear as a ballot question. The date amendments were requested by business as a result of delays in the issuance of operator gaming licenses by the State of Illinois. (See PowerPoint

Following additional public comment and discussion, the Village Board passed two ordinances relating to video gaming.

  1. The first ordinance changed the automatic sunset date of video gaming, from June 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020. The sunset date means that the allowance of video gaming in Lombard will be removed, unless the Village Board takes further action. 
  2. The second ordinance repealed a previously approved ordinance, which would have placed a non-binding advisory referendum question on the March 17, 2020 ballot. The new ordinance additionally directs the Village Manager ensure that a future ordinance is placed on a Village Board agenda (after March 17th but before August 16th), which would place the same advisory question on the November 3, 2020 ballot. 

For additional information, video of the meeting and further updates related to video gaming in Lombard please visit www.villageoflombard.org/videogaming..

NOVEMBER & DECEMBER 2020
The November 3rd General Election ballot included an advisory question asking Lombard residents whether video gaming should be allowed within the Village of Lombard.  The results showed that 22,814 Lombardians voted on the issue, with 53% (11,957) voting to allow video gaming in Lombard, and 48% (10,857) voting against video gaming.  

The Village ordinance that currently permits video gaming in Lombard on a trial basis, was approved on December 5, 2019 and provides that video gaming within the Village will automatically terminate on December 31, 2020, absent further action by the Village Board.  At the upcoming Board of Trustees Meeting on December 3, 2020, the Village Board will review and consider the continuation of video gaming in Lombard and an ordinance to remove the December 31st sunset clause. 


2. Is video gaming allowed in Illinois?
Yes. The Video Gaming Act was enacted in July 2009, authorizing the placement of up to five Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs) in licensed Retail Establishments, Truck Stops, Veteran and Fraternal Establishments. The VGTs are all connected to and monitored by a Central Communications System.

3. What is a Video Gaming Terminal? 
A “Video Gaming Terminal” (“VGT”) is an electronic video gaming machine that plays or simulates the play of a video game authorized by the Board upon the insertion of cash. Authorized video games include, but are not limited to, video poker, line up, and blackjack. The VGT must utilize a video display and microprocessors in which the player may receive free games or credits that can be redeemed for cash. VGT does not include a Terminal that directly dispenses coins, cash, or tokens or is for amusement purposes only.

4. Why did the Village reconsider Lombard's video gaming ban?
At a Village Board meeting on August 16, 2018, several local business and restaurant owners spoke during public comment, requesting that the Village reconsider its ban on video gaming. Their concern was that Lombard restaurants are losing customers and revenue to neighboring communities that do offer video gaming. Consequently, the Village Board of Trustees requested that the topic of video gaming be discussed by a number of resident committees. 

5. How did the Village revisit this topic?
Following the request of business owners to reconsider the ban, the Board of Trustees requested initial review by several resident committees. Each committee, consisting of Lombard residents, discussed the topic as it pertains to their purview.

The topic was on the agendas for the:

  • Finance and Administration Committee on October 22
  • Public Safety and Transportation Committee on  November 7
  • Community Relations Committee on November 12
  • Economic & Community Development Committee on December 10

7.  What additional steps were taken in discussing video gaming before a decision was made?
In addition to the above meetings, the Village Board held video gaming workshops on January 24, 2018 and March 7, 2019 to discuss the topic. Only after all discussions did the item appear on a Village Board agenda. 

8. How many DuPage County Municipalities have restrictions against video gaming?
As of March 2019, 16 DuPage County municipalities, including unincorporated DuPage County, DO NOT currently permit video gaming and 16 municipalities DO allow video gaming. If Lombard implemented video gaming, those numbers would switch from 15 municipalities that do NOT, and 17 municipalities that DO allow video gaming.

9. How many communities have approved video gaming since it was approved in Illinois?  
There are 968 governing bodies in Illinois have approved video gaming to some extent.

10. Is there a limit on how much you can win or bet on a video gaming terminal? 
Yes. The Video Gaming Act sets forth both maximum wagers and maximum earnings. The maximum wager per hand is capped at $2.00 and the maximum cash award for a single hand is $500.00. Additionally, the value of credits are limited to 5¢, 10¢, or 25¢.

11. How would video gaming work?
Illinois’ Video Gaming Act authorized the placement of up to 5 video gaming terminals in licensed retail establishments, fraternal and veteran’s establishments with a liquor license, where permitted by local ordinance.

12. How are funds collected by video gaming distributed?
Video gambling revenues, after payouts to winners, are taxed at a flat 30% rate, with 25% going to the State and the other 5% going to the local municipality. The remaining 70% of revenue is divided equally between the establishments and terminal operators. 

13. What is the estimated income be for the Village from video gaming in Lombard?
Based on information from April 2019, there are 16 municipalities in DuPage County that allow video gaming. The average revenue from video gaming for those municipalities was $97,958 in 2015, $130,962 in 2016, $159,458 in 2017, and $183,013 for the past trailing 12 months (September 2017 – August 2018). The potential new revenue generated by the implementation of video gaming depends on how many businesses participate, and how many machines each business chooses to put in their establishment. Based upon preliminary phone calls to business owners the Village estimates potential implementation of approximately 40-50 gaming terminals.  It is estimated that the implementation of video gaming would generate approximately $131,720 - $164,650 in revenue to the Village, if there are no restrictions on the type of establishments that allow video gaming.  

14. How would funds raised from Video Gaming be spent by the Village of Lombard?
The Village would utilize its portion of income (5%) to fund core services, including Police, Fire, Public Works, Community Development and long term financial planning.

15. What types of establishments are eligible for video gaming terminals?   
Licensed establishments include licensed retail establishments where alcoholic liquor is drawn, poured, mixed, or otherwise served for consumption on premises, licensed truck stops and fraternal establishments. 

16. What are the hours of operation for video gaming terminals? 
Video gaming terminals may only be played during the legal hours of operation allowed for the consumption of alcoholic beverages at the licensed premises.  

17. In addition to hours of operation, what are some of the State’s restrictions when it comes to video gaming?

Per State law, the following restrictions apply to operation of video gaming terminals:

  • Location
    Video gaming terminals may not be operated within 1,000 feet of a horse racing or riverboat gambling facility or within 100 feet of a school or place of worship.

  • Number of Machines
    No more than five machines are allowed on any premises

  • Location of Machines
    Video gaming machines must be located in an area that is restricted to persons aged 21 or older, and in view of at least one employee.

  • Age Restriction
    No one age 20 years old or younger is permitted to play at a video gaming terminal.

18. How are video gaming terminals restricted or supervised within establishments with video gaming?  
All video gaming terminals must be located in areas restricted to persons over 21 years of age. Licensed video gaming locations that restrict admittance to patrons 21 years of age or older, are not required to have a separate restricted area. In locations where separation from minors is required, a physical barrier to the gaming area is required and may consist of a short partition, gate, rope or other means of separation and shall not visually obscure the entrance to the gaming area from an employee of the licensed video gaming location who is over 21.   The Video Gaming Act requires that video gaming terminals must be within the view of at least one owner, manager, or employee of the establishment who is over 21 and shall be present during all hours of terminal operation.  While locations may utilized closed circuit TV to monitor the entrance to the area in addition to an employee, closed circuit TV may not be utilized in lieu of an employee. Licensed video gaming establishments must also prevent access to or play of terminals by any persons who are visibly intoxicated.

19. Will the Village be able to add additional restrictions? 
Yes. The Village Board of Trustees adopted its own local restrictions regarding video gaming including but not limited to:

  • Gaming Revenue Limitations: Limiting the percentage of income received from video gaming to a certain percentage of the overall income of the establishment.
  • License Waiting Periods:  Ensuring interested locations are established businesses capable of operations without reliance on video gaming. 
  • Security and Public Safety Requirements: Surveillance requirements including burglar alarms and additional safety measures in place. 
  • Promotional Signage Restrictions: Restricting video gaming signage. 

20. Is there feedback available from other municipalities who have allowed Video Gaming?
Yes. Since the adoption of video gaming, the Police Departments of nearby towns reported no major issues identified as a result of video gaming. Also, with regard to licensing of terminal vendors, this responsibility would not fall under the Village; the Illinois Video Gaming Board is responsible for performing all background checks and licensing video gaming terminal towers.  

21. When did business owners have the opportunity to provide feedback or public comment on the topic? 
Public comment was provided at the committee meetings listed in question 6, and at the Village Board Workshops on January 24 and March 7. All Village meetings provided an opportunity for public comment. Additionally, people who wished to submit their feedback regarding this topic were able to email videogaming@villageoflombard.org

View Ordinances:

Board Meeting Videos


Past Updates

Video Gaming Statement November 14, 2019

The issue of lifting the prior ban on video gaming was brought to the Village Board for consideration by businesses in August 2018. After extensive discussion, the Board of Trustees voted to permit video gaming for a trial period beginning April 4, 2019 under two conditions:

  • A non-binding advisory referendum question on video gaming would be placed on the March 17th, 2020 ballot for consideration; and,
  • In the absence of further Board Action or legislation, video gaming in Lombard would have a sunset clause, under which video gaming would automatically be prohibited after June 30, 2020

At the Village Board Meeting on November 7, 2019, two businesses spoke during public comment to request that the Board of Trustees consider rescheduling the March 2020 video gaming non-binding advisory referendum question and the automatic “sunset” of video gaming scheduled for June 30, 2020.

The video gaming trial period (from April 4, 2019 – June 30, 2020) was initially proposed to permit video gaming on a temporary basis for the purposes of observation. Businesses have requested a change in the dates of the non-binding advisory referendum question and automatic sunset of video gaming due to the delayed approval of pending video gaming applications by the State of Illinois. Since April 2019, the Village of Lombard has issued ten local Video Gaming licenses. Eight of the businesses approved for local licenses requested required approval of State licenses by the Illinois Gaming Board. The State of Illinois approved its first two licenses to Lombard business on November 7th with six applications remaining pending before the State and two businesses not yet having applied to the State.

At the November 7th meeting, Trustee Bill Ware requested that the Village Board consider the following course of action:

  • At the upcoming December 5th Board of Trustees meeting, consider an ordinance to repeal the non-binding advisory referendum question, currently scheduled for March 17th (with the intent to move the referendum question to November 3, 2020).
  • Commit to placing an ordinance on the March 19, 2020 Village Board Agenda to reschedule the non-binding advisory referendum question on video gaming to November 3, 2020. The formal ordinance to set the advisory referendum question on the November 3rd ballot cannot be formally discussed by the Village Board until after March 17th election date.
  • At the upcoming December 5th Board of Trustees meeting, consider an ordinance to change the sunset date of video gaming, absent further legislation, from June 30th to December 31st, 2020.

Four board members (majority consensus) confirmed their interest in discussing the above requests at the Village Board of Trustees Meeting on December 5th.

The Board of Trustees will consider the proposed ordinances to amend the automatic sunset of video gaming and repeal the March 17th non-binding advisory referendum question on first reading, at a regularly scheduled Board of Trustees Meeting, on Thursday, December 5th. Final action and second reading would not be anticipated to occur until December 19th. Formal action to reschedule the non-binding advisory referendum question cannot be considered until after March 17th.

The ordinances being considered deal exclusively with the scheduled dates for the non-binding advisory referendum question and automatic sunset of video gaming, not the merits of whether video gaming should or should not be permitted within the Village of Lombard on a permanent basis. Meetings take place at Village Hall, 255 E. Wilson Ave., at 7 p.m., and are open to the public. If you cannot attend these meetings and would like to share your opinions on the matter, please email videogaming@villageoflombard.org.

FAQ Regarding Video Gaming Discussion at the Upcoming December 5th Meeting

Below are answers to questions related to the upcoming video gaming discussion, scheduled to take place at the Village Board of Trustees Meeting on December 5, 2019. The below FAQ is also available in a printable PDF format

1.) Refresh my memory. What is the status of Video Gaming in the Village of Lombard?
The issue of lifting the prior ban on video gaming was brought to the Village Board for consideration by businesses in August 2018. After extensive discussion, the Board of Trustees voted to permit video gaming for a trial period beginning April 4, 2019 under two conditions:

•    A non-binding advisory referendum question on video gaming would be placed on the March 17th, 2020 ballot for consideration; and,

•    A sunset clause automatically ends video gaming after June 30, 2020, unless the Village Board revisits the topic and takes action to allow video gaming on a permanent basis.

2. How many licenses have been issued by the Illinois Gaming Board?
A business must receive a local video gaming license from the Village, as well as a license from the Illinois Gaming Board, before offering video gaming to patrons. Since April 2019, 10 local video gaming licenses have been issued from the Village. As of November 11, 2019, the State of Illinois approved two licenses to Lombard business on November 7, with six applications remaining pending before the State, and two businesses having not yet applied to the State. 

3. What was requested/discussed at the November 7th Village Board of Trustees meeting? 
On Thursday, November 7th, two business owners approached the Village Board during public comment at a regularly scheduled Board Meeting, to request that the video game trial period be extended, due to a slow rate of issued licenses from the Illinois Gaming Board.

4.  In response to this request, were any recommendations made? 

Trustee Bill Ware recommended that the Village Board consider the following course of action:  

  • At the upcoming December 5th Board of Trustees meeting, consider an ordinance to repeal the advisory referendum question, currently scheduled for March 17th (with the intent to move the advisory referendum question to November 3, 2020).   
  • Commit to approving an ordinance after March 17th to reschedule the advisory referendum question on video gaming to November 3, 2020.  The formal ordinance to set the advisory referendum question on the November 3rd ballot cannot be formally approved by the Village Board until after March 17th.    
  •  At the upcoming December 5th Board of Trustees meeting, consider an ordinance to change the sunset date of video gaming, absent further legislation, from June 30th to December 31, 2020.   

At the upcoming December 5th Board of Trustees meeting, consider an ordinance to change the sunset date of video gaming, absent further legislation, from June 30th to December 31st, 2020.   

5.    Will there be discussion/vote on whether the village should permanently have video gaming at the December 5th meeting?
No. The discussion on December 5th will be limited to considering an extension of the video gaming trial period and a delay of the non-binding advisory referendum question. 

6.    Is this extension for sure happening? 
No. The Village Board will discuss the topic on December 5th Board of Trustees Meeting. 

7.   What happens if the Village Board decides not to delay the referendum?
Nothing will change. A referendum question pertaining to video gaming in the Village will be placed on the March 17, 2020 ballot, and the video gaming trial will end June 30, 2019, unless the Village Board takes further action. 

8.  I wanted to vote on the referendum. Is the Village taking away the referendum?
The current schedule for the referendum includes a question on the March 2020 ballot. The new timeline proposed would push the referendum back to November 2020. If the request for the delay is approved, then the current March 2020 referendum question must be legally repealed or repealed, in order to move it to a future ballot. 

9. If the referendum question for March 2020 is repealed, what next actions must happen in order to ensure that it is on the November 2020 ballot?
Due to legal restrictions on referendums, the Village Board would not be able to place it on a future ballot, until after March 17th, 2020. Trustee Bill Ware proposed a referendum on the November 2020 ballot be discussed by the Village Board on March 19, 2020. 

10.Is the Village Board committed to placing an ordinance on an agenda after March 17 to ensure that the referendum will be placed on the ballot for November 3, 2020?

Per Section 5 of the ordinance that would repeal the referendum question, language has been included that states:

  • SECTION 5.   That the Village Manager is hereby directed to place an ordinance on the agenda for a meeting of the Corporate Authorities of the Village, to be held after March 17, 2020, but before August 16, 2020, which calls for the placing of an advisory public question on the November 3, 2020 General Election ballot, concerning whether to permit video gaming in the Village, with the form of said advisory public question to be in the same form as the advisory public question set forth in Ordinance No. 7646, adopted April 4, 2019.

11.   Are there other ways for a referendum to be placed on a ballot? 

A referendum can be scheduled in two ways as follows:

  • 1. BINDING REFERENDUM TO PROHIBIT VIDEO GAMING
    Pursuant to 230 ILCS 40/70 (the Video Gaming Act), the petition for the referendum must be filed with the Village Clerk at least 90 days prior to the election (December 18, 2019 would be 90 days prior to the March 17, 2020 general primary election), and the petition would have to contain the signatures of at least 25% of the registered voters of the Village.
  • 2. NON-BINDING ADVISORY REFERENDUM RELATIVE TO VIDEO GAMING
    Pursuant to 10 ILCS 5/28-2, the petition for the referendum must be filed with the Village Clerk at least 92 days prior to the election (December 16, 2019 would be 92 days prior to the March 17, 2020 general primary election), and pursuant to 10 ILCS 5/28-6, the petition for the referendum would have to contain the signatures of registered voters of the Village in an amount equal to at least 8% of the total votes cast for candidates for governor, by the registered voters of the Village, in the last election for governor.

12.  What is the purpose of the non-binding referendum?
The Village board will use the results of the non-binding referendum a tool to help them make their final decision of whether or not to allow video gaming in Lombard beyond the trial period. 

13.  How will the referendum question be worded?
The language of the non-binding advisory referendum question is based upon the language provided for under the Illinois Gaming Act for a binding referendum with the exception of a word change recommended at the Village Board Workshop that occurred on March 7th, 2019. The agreed upon language for a referendum will read:

Shall video gaming be permitted in the Village of Lombard         Yes/No

14.    Where can I provide my thoughts and feedback on the topic? 
You can email videogaming@villageoflombard.org to provide your feedback. 


March 8, 2019: Video Gaming Workshop 

On Thursday, March 7, the Lombard Village Board held a workshop on video gaming to discuss two draft ordinances  that had been previously proposed at a workshop on January 24. One ordinance would have lifted the ban on video gaming and the other ordinance would have required a referendum vote to permit video gaming.

As there was no consensus in selecting one ordinance, Village President Keith Giagnorio introduced a compromise that would include the mutual consideration of two ordinances. The first ordinance would permit video gaming with a sunset provision, whereupon, without further board action, video gaming would automatically terminate on June 30, 2020. The second ordinance would place a non-binding, advisory referendum regarding video gaming on the March  17, 2020 ballot.

The first ordinance would permit video gaming with a sunset provision, whereupon, without further board action, video gaming would automatically terminate on June 30, 2020. The second ordinance would place a non-binding, advisory referendum regarding video gaming on the March 2020 ballot.   

The two ordinances will be placed on the upcoming Village Board Meeting agenda for first reading, on March 21, 2019. Once the draft ordinances become available, they will be shared publicly, at villageoflombard.org/videogaming and on the Village’s social media pages.

  • View: Ordinance regarding video gaming and liquor licenses for establishments with video gaming
  • View: Ordinance providing for an advisory public question concern video gaming 

“Coming here today, we had some trustees who want a straight vote on the issue of video gaming and some who want a referendum, so I’m put in the middle to make the choice,” said President Giagnorio. “When you’re sitting here, you have to come up with a plan and ask yourself what is best for the entire Village, including residents and business owners. I thought long and hard about it and I feel this is a fair way to go.” Giagnorio continued and stated that the proposed compromise, takes into consideration the following:

the current Village Board, which has spent the last six months reviewing and becoming educated on the topic, would be able to consider and vote on the matter in the short term;

the time and effort put forth by the Village’s committees and their recommendation to pursue video gaming would be recognized;

  • citizens that have requested a referendum would receive one;
  • voters would have an opportunity to witness and observe the impacts of video gaming in the community prior to voting in the non-binding, advisory referendum;
  • business owners would be given the option to allow video gaming sooner than if they had waited for a referendum on the March 17, 2020 ballot.

The question to consider overturning Lombard’s video gaming ban was originally brought before the Village Board by restaurant owners during public comment at the Board of Trustees meeting on August 16, 2018. The topic was then discussed and approved by the Village’s four standing advisory committees, consisting of community members. Throughout the process, the Village received comments in favor and against video gaming from business owners and residents.

Anyone who would like to submit their feedback regarding this topic may also choose to contact the Village at videogaming@villageoflombard.org. For a more information about the history of video gaming in Lombard, an updated FAQ, and videos of meetings, visit villageoflombard.org/videogaming.