Here’s the thing about the upcoming advisory referendum in Riverside. It’s not going to settle anything.
Short of a binding referendum that outlaws video gambling, there’s absolutely nothing that an advisory referendum can do to prevent a future village board from summarily voting to allow video gambling.
But, given the response from Riverside residents since the subject bubbled to the surface in 2015, it’s not likely to happen. There isn’t a village board in Riverside that would allow video gambling in the face of such coordinated, vocal opposition to benefit one or two businesses or keep a teetering business afloat.
An advisory referendum keeps a dead-on-arrival proposal for video gambling in a zombie state for another three months for no good reason. Its outcome is predictable. And, yet, that outcome has no teeth.
It’s going to take the pulse of about 10 percent of the village’s registered voters, which is all a gubernatorial primary election is going to attract. Sure, it’ll be a resounding rejection of video gambling, but any proponent of video gambling can easily argue that it doesn’t represent the village’s true position.
In other words, this attempt to settle the argument will do no such thing.
The way the video gambling discussion in Riverside gets shut down and stays shut down is for Riverside officials to recognize residents simply don’t want it and suspend the discussion. It’s already over.