Hutsonville Considering Gambling
The Village of Hutsonville has some big decisions to make over the next few weeks. They've been asked to issue a Class B liquor license, which they've never done before. The bigger issue, though, is if the village wants to allow gambling.
Lucy's Place wants to put a pub in the village. In their proposal, they describe it like a Starbucks with beer. They wouldn't serve hard alcohol, but they would have beer and wine. The license requires that 51% of what they do would have to be food sales. They would also have video poker machines that would comply with state laws.
There are going to be people that are fundamentally opposed to gambling, but the village also has to consider the benefits to the village. They would be able to collect a percentage of the money from the machines. Small towns have to consider how they get their money. The village collected roughly $13,000 in property taxes last year. The prospect of finding a new revenue source is tempting. On the other hand, does the village want to fund projects on the backs of gamblers?
A few village board members talked about their preference of a nice waterfront restaurant that happened to have video gaming machines, but they also said there might be a big difference between what they want and what they actually can get.
The village board is doing the right thing by seeking public comments before they take any action. They don't have to do that and there's nothing stopping them from making a decision, but ultimately, they represent the people. If an overwhelming majority has a strong opinion for or against gaming, the board will know which direction to go.