The Brookfield Village Board’s approval of a video gambling license for the Brookfield Ale House – with strings attached related to access to the storefront where the machines will be – is an appropriate compromise.
Brookfield Ale House owner Steve Landrey has every right to seek the license for video gambling under the village’s rules. His business has been up and running for more than a year, and there’s nothing about his business that ought to place him in a category different than places like Irish Times or Tony’s Breakfast Café.
The thing Landrey appeared to be pushing, and which he’s since abandoned, was to provide an entrance to his business that was immediately adjacent to the storefront where the gambling machines will be.
That was getting perilously close, trustees decided, to creating a standalone gambling parlor, which the village board has specifically opposed.
And it wasn’t enough, trustees added, that the door to the new storefront immediately south of it (they are literally just a few feet apart) simply were labeled emergency exits. The village has conditioned issuance of the gaming license on those doors being wired with alarms to prevent them from being used casually as entrances or a way in and out for smokers.
Anyone coming to use the games will have to enter through the main door, at the corner of Fairview and Grand. That’s also where smokers will be directed and where there are receptacles for cigarette butts.
As far as how Landrey will square the state’s requirement that machines be not visible from the street and the village’s requirement that storefront windows largely must be transparent, that’s a design matter he’ll have to resolve.
If he can meet all of those conditions, then there’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to obtain his gambling license.