Morton Village President casts tie-breaking "no" vote on video gaming

By Marshanna Hester

October 7, 2013 Updated Oct 8, 2013 at 2:26 PM CDT

MORTON, Ill. -- In dramatic fashion, the Village of Morton decides not to allow video gaming.

Board President Ronald Rainson was forced to cast the deciding "no" vote Monday night, after a 3-3 tie among the trustees.

If it was just about him, Rainson said the vote would be easy.

But, he said he had to make a choice based on what was best for the village.

It was standing-room only inside Freedom Hall and not everyone left happy.

Before the vote, those for and against video gaming had the chance to address the board on the controversial topic.

"Think about where we are right now. We are in freedom hall," said Larry Stimeling, who supports video gaming. "I should have the freedom to do a legal activity, an activity that is legal in 99 percent of this state. Part of that one percent is the Village of Morton, which restricts my freedom to do something I choose not to do."

"We all know there is a principle in life that says we all must work and produce something of value in order to receive compensation. Gaming produces no product of value," said Joyce Kaiser who is against video gaming. "We would like to urge you to vote against video gambling at tonight's meeting. Please do this as a consideration in teaching the value of work and good ethics in keeping Morton a healthy, honest and thriving community."

Video gaming machines were allowed inside establishments for amusement only until the board voted in 2009 to ban them.

Businesses like Schooners say they've lost revenue since gaming recently became legal, as their customers are going to neighboring towns to use the machines.