Following in the wake of an at times contentious debate over whether to allow video gambling in Riverside late in 2015, the village’s Economic Development Commission and Riverside Chamber of Commerce will host a panel presentation on the subject on Tuesday, March 22.
The presentation will be held in the auditorium of the Riverside Township Hall, 27 Riverside Road, at 7 p.m. It is free to attend and open to the public.
Kristine Herbst, co-chair of the Economic Development Commission, said she hoped the presentation, which will try to present all sides of the video gambling issue, would dial back some of the emotion that marked conversations at the village board level last fall.
“What we’re trying to do is walk a fine line of trying to present a conversation,” said Herbst. “Let’s ratchet it down, be calm and listen.”
Herbst said the commission has not taken a position on video gambling, and that although the commission wants to bring businesses to town, “we also want a high-quality of life for residents as well. But we want businesses to know we’re listening to them as well.”
The March 22 presentation will feature an hour-long panel discussion featuring three people who have experience with the issue of video gambling. Two of the panel members are Riverside residents.
Larry Forssberg, the economic development director for a public-private partnership called the Westmont Economic Development Partnership will bring the perspective of municipal government and a chamber of commerce. Forssberg is also treasurer of the DuPage Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Riverside resident Tim Lattner is former owner of Lattner Entertainment Group Illinois LLC. His company installed and serviced video gaming terminals at bars and restaurants. Since 2013, Lattner has been CFO for Wyoming Horse Racing LLC.
Kathy Gilroy, of Villa Park, has worked as a gambling watchdog as a member of the Northern Illinois Anti-Gambling Task Force, the Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems and on the website StopPredatoryGambling.org.
After the panel discussion, the floor will be opened to questions from audience members for about 30 minutes.