Swansea village trustees on Monday advanced a plan to allow video gaming machines in businesses that have liquor licenses.
The Village Board’s Judiciary Committee voted 4-1 to send the measure to the full board for a vote on June 15. Trustee Katherine Ruocco cast the lone “no” vote.
“It comes down to the fact that we’re supposed to make the best decisions for the village,” Trustee Brian Wells said. He said the village’s budget is so tight that it doesn’t make sense to turn away a potential revenue source that other communities have utilized.
Swansea is surrounded by communities that permit video gaming terminals. Belleville, Fairview Heights and Shiloh all allow video gambling terminals in businesses with liquor licenses as permitted by state law. St. Clair County also permits video gaming.
“People are going to gamble. If people are going to spend (money gambling), Swansea needs to get it,” Wells said. “It’s here. I don’t like it, but I don’t like our revenue that would be spent here being spent somewhere else.”
Wells said he expects the full board to approve the proposal.
This isn’t the first time the village has considered allowing video gaming. Village trustees voted 3-3 in September 2012 to repeal the village’s ban on video gambling terminals in the village. Then Swansea Mayor Jim Rauckman broke the tie vote, siding with the trustees who didn’t want to see gambling machines in the village.
The village is now under new leadership. Mayor Ken Mueller took office in May 2013, and three trustees just took their seats on the board last month — Brian McGuire, Stephen Pulley and Neumeyer.
The board meets next at 7 p.m. June 15 at village hall located at 1400 N. Illinois St. in Swansea.