The Oak Lawn Village Board granted a liquor license to Big Pappa's gyro place despite warnings from two trustees that there could be too many gambling machines in town.
"I’ve had a concern where we’re going to limit liquor licenses and poker machines," Trustee Terry Vorderer said during Tuesday's night's board meeting.
Vorderer (Dist. 4) wondered aloud what would happen if a "nail place" requested a liquor license.
Video gaming terminals are allowed in "licensed establishments where liquor is served for consumption on the premises," as well as in fraternal and veterans' establishments and licensed truck stops, according to the state gaming board. Even with a liquor license, a business must get the green light from the gaming board to install video gambling machines.
Along with Vorderer, Trustee Mike Carberry (Dist. 6) also complained about the prospect of more gambling machines appearing in Oak Lawn. Vorderer and Carberry both voted against granting a liquor license to Big Pappa's. The measure still passed 3-2.
Trustee Carol Quinlan (Dist. 5) pointed out that allowing machines into liquor-serving establishments is not against the law.
"The bottom line is its legal," she said. "It’s an OK thing to do."
Quinlan also noted that the board has discussed the issue before.
"I think we’ve been talking about this since the spring," she said.
Sandra DiGangi, owner of Big Pappa's addressed the board before the vote. DiGangi spoke of her love for Oak Lawn, said she only wants to serve beer and wine, and told of her intention to bring video gambling to the 10806 S. Cicero Avenue gyro place.
Before casting his vote on the losing side, Vorderer speculated about video gambling's unstoppable incursion if Big Pappa's got a liquor license.
"If we passed this one I don’t think we can stop anyone," he said, then pondered what would happen if White Castle requested a liquor license.
"I want to see them here," Vorderer said of the gambling machines. "They do draw revenue, but we do have to draw the line."