I am writing to invite you to attend a FORUM ON LEGALIZING VIDEO POKER IN CHICAGO. The forum will be held on Wednesday, October 21st, 7:00 p.m., at the Rogers Park Library, 6907 N. Clark St., 2nd Floor.
The Illinois General Assembly recently passed legislation that would allow video poker machines to operate in Illinois. The legislation gives Illinois counties, cities and towns, the ability to opt out of the new law and ban video poker within their jurisdictions, and many have already done so. Chicago already has a law on the books which bans video poker, but the Daley Administration is considering a move to repeal the ban.
I believe it is imperative that Chicago residents understand the full implications of legalizing video poker in order to make an informed decision on the issue. Video poker has been dubbed the “crack cocaine” of gambling because it is so addictive. Legalizing video poker in Chicago would mean that any restaurant, bar or fraternal organization in the city could host gambling machines in their establishments. The social costs of such a measure could be enormous.
The forum will feature Rev. Thomas Grey, a former pastor at the United Church of Rogers Park and the field director of Stop Predatory Gambling, a national grassroots citizens’ organization that seeks to awaken America’s conscience about “predatory gambling.” Also appearing at the forum will be representatives from the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church, the Task Force to Oppose Gambling in Chicago and the Illinois Coin Machine Operators Association.
I urge you to attend this forum to learn more about the issue and voice your opinion. If you are unable to attend the forum, please feel free to share with me your thoughts on legalizing video poker by replying to this e-mail.