Schaumburg approves 5 gambling cafes, sticks to that limit
Schaumburg trustees on Tuesday approved plans for the maximum five gambling cafes they agreed to allow when they decided two years ago that residents could open such businesses in town.
Trustee Frank Kozak also supported a proposal for a sixth cafe, which would have required additional board approval to raise the limit and relax a requirement that gambling cafes be at least 1,500 feet apart, but no other trustees joined him.
The approvals went to Shuffle's Cafe & Lounge locations at 2327 W. Schaumburg Road, 1227 N. Roselle Road, 722 E. Schaumburg Road and 13 W. Weathersfield Way, and to the Disco Cafe proposed by M & S Entertainment LLC at 873 S. Roselle Road.
Rejected was the Jazz Cafe proposed by M & S Entertainment at 568 S. Roselle Road, which would have been within 1,500 feet of the Shuffle's Cafe at 13 W. Weathersfield Way.
Gambling cafes differ from restaurants and other liquor license holders that were able to apply for video gambling licenses in Schaumburg last year because gambling -- rather than food and beverages -- is their primary business.
When village board members in 2019 discussed ending Schaumburg's ban on video gambling, such cafes were not favored and strict limitations were ultimately placed on them.
Schaumburg residents were allowed to apply for the five licenses available beginning this year, with nonresidents allowed to apply in 2022, if any licenses remain.
Even so, Trustee Mark Madej voted against all six applications Tuesday night, while others restated their reasons for limiting them.
"I was strongly opposed," Trustee Marge Connelly said. "I think I was calling them predatory at the time."
Kozak explained the reasons he thought the village could have afforded at least one more.
"We sure could use the activity in the village," he said.
Schaumburg officials revisited their gambling ban in 2019 to allow the village's restaurants and bars to compete on a level playing field with those in surrounding communities. That's also the reason they were given an entire year to apply for video gambling before facing competition from gambling cafes.
As of last week, eight existing Schaumburg restaurants had obtained licenses to offer video gambling.