Voters in Geneseo indicated their support for video gambling in the city. During the Nov. 6 election, a narrow majority — just 17 votes difference — voted in favor of video gambling.
Voters in Geneseo indicated their support for video gambling in the city.
During the Nov. 6 election, a narrow majority — just 17 votes difference — voted in favor of video gambling.
The State of Illinois allows video gaming unless a municipality specifically prohibits it.
City councils are allowed to approve video gaming, vote against gaming or allow the public to express their opinion with a ballot question. Geneseo aldermen opted to put the question on the ballot as an advisory issue.
A total of 1,730 voted to allow video gambling, while 1,713 voted against the measure.
It will be up to members of the Geneseo City Council to make the final decision on video gambling.
"We went into this really wanting to hear the voice of the community," said Geneseo mayor Linda Van Der Leest. "All along, we said we wanted to hear what the people had to say."
Although, Van Der Leest noted, the 17-vote difference "certainly doesn't give us a decisive indication."
At the Aug. 14 city council meeting where aldermen voted to place the question on the ballot, the elected officials indicated a belief that local residents would vote against video gaming.
"I think I know which way our community will vote, but I could be surprised," said alderman Derek Betcher in August.
"If we take this to referendum, we have to be prepared for the fact that we may eventually vote against the decision of the community (should the community approve video gaming)," said alderman Howard Beck during that meeting. "We'd still have to vote and make our own decision."
At the polls, Geneseo residents were