A hot button issue for Quincy City Council to decide

A sign in the lawn of a Maine Street home.

Video Gambling machines could soon become a part of many Quincy establishments.

A change in the city's gambling ordinance, up for a second reaching at Monday night's council meeting, is really pushing some local organizations' buttons.

Quincy City council members will hear from seven speakers about the change in the gambling ordinance, and the majority oppose the change.

"I think this will literally open a portal to just a host of other problems, that are unforeseen at this time," Rev. Orville Jones said. Jones is the senior pastor at First Baptist church in Quincy, and has personally counseled gambling addicts.

The State of Illinois approved a new law allowing video gambling, but now cities much change their ordinances to allow it. 30% of profits will go to the state, where only 5% is earmarked to come back to the city. Jones does not see where any of that will go to the local groups who help those dealing with gambling addiction.

"Who's going to help our agencies, like our churches, like our social agencies here in town, handle the overflow. Is any of the sin tax money going to come back to us to help the people who are being messed up through this? I would think not," Jones explained.

"I don't see this as a revenue generator, a big time revenue generator, for our community. I don't think that's what it was intended to be," Mayor John Spring commented.

Some area bars anticipate increased business if video gambling machines are allowed.

"If this does pass and it were to become part of our ordinance allowing this, I am proposing that we would using any revenues that we receive from the state for infrastructure," Mayor Spring said.

Changing the ordinance would allow Quincy to take part in some of the gambling industry currently allowed in the state. Quincy's state representatives also supported the law.

The Council will hear a second reading on the proposed change tonight and is set to vote on the issue at the July 30th meeting.