Rapids City slow to embrace video gambling

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

RAPIDS CITY, Ill. -- Video gaming machines are in bars and restaurants and even convenience stores in river towns up and down the Mississippi in Illinois, but not in Rapids City.

Come April, that could change.  Voters in the municipal election will be asked if they want video gambling in the town of just over 900 residents.

"It's a non-binding resolution. This way, we'll get the public, everybody will have a vote, a chance to weigh in on how they feel about video gaming," said Village Board President Greg Rankin.

The board outlawed video gaming machines by city ordinance when the state of Illinois legalized their expansion.

After a special meeting back in August of this year, there were passionate pleas on both sides of the issue. Some for, some against.

Personally, Rankin is against it, but he is not running for village president this time around.

"The revenues are enticing, but our village doesn't need the money that bad," he said.

The town is one of the last remaining holdouts.

Rankin says only two  places in the one-bar town have expressed interested in installing the profitable machines.

One of those, is actually a convenience store whose owner has indicated he would like to start serving alcohol to qualify for the gaming machines under Illinois law. Operators must have a "pour license".

The election will be held on April 4.