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   Ledger Sentinel - The local NEWS source in Oswego, Montgomery and Boulder Hill for more than half a century.
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Published each Thursday in Oswego, Illinois 60543
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Make good use of gaming revenues : Editorials : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Make good use of gaming revenues
7/24/2014

We were impressed with the amount of money now being wagered on video gaming machines at bars and restaurants in Oswego, Montgomery and Kendall County, according to information from the State of Illinois and reported by Tony Scott here in the Ledger-Sentinel last week.

Scott found the Village of Oswego received $2,784 in tax revenues from video gaming machines in May, while the Village of Montgomery released $3,052 from the machines, also in May. Revenues from the machines are likely to increase as more machines are licensed and put into service in both villages.

Granted, the amount of revenue the machines are generating pales in comparison to the thousands of dollars the two villages receive from their retail stores, but over the course of a year the money will add up. If Oswego continues to receive $2,700 each month in gaming revenues it will take in more than $32,400 annually, while Montgomery can expect to receive an extra $36,000 annually.

It will be up to the village boards in the two villages to determine how they want to use their new gaming revenues. We hope they consider dedicating all or a significant portion of the funds to worthy local community projects or to help fund operations of local non-profit service agencies.

For example, Oswego could donate a portion of its gaming revenues to help fund the operations of the non-profit Oswego Senior Center, Inc. Montgomery could also use some of its revenues to underwrite the cost of its monthly senior lunch program. Another option for Oswego would be to use the gaming revenues to pay for the village's annual Fourth of July fireworks celebration. (Several years ago the village relied largely on a citizen-organized fund-rising drive to pay for the fireworks, but in more recent years has used its own revenues.)

Last April Rick Olson, the mayor of Sandwich in nearby DeKalb County announced $25,000 the city expects to receive in gaming revenue will go to help assist local charities. Olson told the media that since the gaming revenues come from the community, it should be given back to local organizations that support the community.

We believe Olson is on to something and hope Oswego and Montgomery officials decide to follow the example now being set in Sandwich.





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