The gambling machines have been in operation for two years, and now video gambling thefts are coming to light. The City of Springfield has the most video gambling machines in the state. Thieves have broken into six bars a total of 10 times since September, targeting ATMs or cash redemption machines from video gambling terminals, according to the State Journal-Register.
In southern Illinois, burglars took thousands of dollars from a Knights of Columbus. That burglary was at least the third that occurred in Franklin County establishments with video gambling, reported the Southern Illinoisan.
Thieves have broken into video gambling machines at taverns in Collinsville, Godfrey, near Jerseyville, and in Summerfield to steal the cash. Thieves have also broken into gambling machines in Oak Lawn and Northlake.
Local residents are losing millions of dollars in the 18,000 video gambling machines that are operating in 4,500 neighborhood establishments statewide. Making gambling more accessible and acceptable in neighborhood casinos will increase addiction, bankruptcy and crime.
Local officials should seriously consider this information when deciding whether to overturn an existing ban or issue a new liquor license to allow video gambling parlors in the community.
Executive Director, Illinois Church Action on Alcohol & Addiction Problems
From the Oct. 8-14, 2014, issue