There apparently is nothing in Illinois’ gambling law that prohibits video gambling malls — a concept that may place as many as nine independently operated “casino cafes” in one location in the Southland.
I mentioned in a previous column that the mayors of two suburbs are ready to welcome with open arms the idea of converting two strip malls in their towns.
Crestwood Mayor Lou Presta and Hometown Mayor Kevin Casey have discussed the plans with developers, who want to lease the storefronts to multiple owners of gambling cafes. The businesses resemble coffee shops but serve liquor and are each allowed up to five video gambling machines.
Dotty’s and Stella’s Place are two of the more successful operations that have been popping up in suburban locations and cater to a clientele that is mostly female.
The Hometown mall, just south of 87th Street on Southwest Highway, could eventually have up to nine gambling cafes, each owned by a different person or business, Casey told me.
Presta said a developer told him there could be seven such cafes in a strip mall just south of Cal-Sag Road and across the street from an off-track betting parlor. That mall is anchored by a bingo hall that would remain, Presta said.
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