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Anti-gambling crusader wins sweepstakes.

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  • Anti-gambling crusader wins sweepstakes.

    Anti-gambling crusader who shut down raffles wins $25,000 in gaming parlor sweepstakes

    Kathy Gilroy has crusaded against gambling in Illinois for decades, speaking out against casinos, illegal raffles and the recent wave of video poker cafes.

    As one of the most visible gaming opponents in the state, she has warned that the vice erodes society’s values and work ethic, takes money from poor people and can lead to addiction, bankruptcy, crime and suicide.

    Just this year, she blew the whistle on a $1.6 million Queen of Hearts raffle put on by the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in rural Morris, forcing it to shut down hours before the planned drawing, until the raffle was properly licensed.

    So even she concedes it may seem ironic that she recently won $25,000 by playing a sweepstakes game at a gambling cafe in her hometown of Villa Park.

    “I called a pastor friend, and said, ‘Oh my God, should I send it back? What do I do? Do I donate it?’” she said. “He said, ‘Don’t feel guilty. You just got paid for all your volunteer work against gambling.’ It’s God showing his grace on me.”

    Despite her longtime anti-gambling activism, it turns out Gilroy has a history of playing and winning sweepstakes. She said she’s landed prizes including electronics and trips to the Bahamas and California. She once won a big-screen TV from a mechanic, but asked instead for $1,000 in service. A week later, her transmission went out, and she quickly got her money’s worth.

    She’ll even play the video poker machines at gambling cafes if she is given a free promo card.

    The distinction Gilroy makes is that she was not spending her own money to gamble. She enters sweepstakes because, by state law, they must be made available free of charge. And — unlike the VFW game that was not licensed, as required by law — she says the sweepstakes she plays are perfectly legal.

    Still, Morris VFW Commander Jerry Zeborowski was perplexed to hear that Gilroy had won a sweepstakes.

    “It’s ironic that someone who’s anti-gambling would enter something like that,” he said. “That’s a little hypocrisy there, don’t you think?”

    Gilroy, 68, who works selling supplemental health insurance for people on Medicare, shrugs off the negative comments she’s gotten over the years, such as when she succeeded in halting a raffle to raise money for needy college students because it was unlicensed and not put on by a nonprofit, as required by law.

    But she admitted she did have to think twice about this situation.

    She worried that her winnings were proceeds from money that people lost gambling, but decided that it comes out of the profits of the parent company, Laredo Hospitality Ventures.

    Gilroy said she was raised on a farm near Lost Nation, Iowa, in a family that never had much money. She worked her way through school, and traveled to fairs and trade shows around the country, selling everything from books to blenders.

    Decades ago, she used to gamble at racetracks, she said. But her attitude towards gambling started to change when she won $700, only to lose it back swiftly to the track.

    She took part in an anti-gambling seminar by the Rev. Tom Grey, leader of the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, formed in 1994. She began speaking out against any effort to expand gambling, including most recently with video poker cafes, which have grown to offer more than 24,000 machines statewide.

    Last year, as one example, she asked the Lincolnwood Village Board to reject a request to lift its ban on video gambling. At issue was a proposal by Laredo Hospitality to open a Stella’s Cafe — the same Des Plaines company and gambling parlor chain through which Gilroy ended up winning her drawing.

    As Gilroy tells it, she heard about the sweepstakes after signing up for the gambling cafes’ emails. After every fifth visit to a cafe, she got a scratch-off card, which occasionally won her a $5 card to play the machines or entries for the grand prize, a new Ford Mustang convertible.

    Finalists were drawn from each of Laredo’s 52 locations in Illinois, and Gilroy was one of them. Winners had to be present, so she attended the grand prize drawing at a restaurant in Rosemont on Dec. 16.

    She drew No. 7, and when her number was pulled from a fishbowl, she was amazed to hear that she had won. She opted for $25,000 in cash instead of a car, and has already bought some stocks with the money.

    To get the winnings, Gilroy had to sign an agreement to let Laredo take her photo and use it as they wish — so she might end up promoting the very industry she fights.

    Laredo officials didn’t return calls for comment, and didn’t allow the Tribune to take Gilroy’s picture inside the Stella’s in Villa Park, so they may not be eager to use her as their poster child.

    Years ago, just before she quit betting on the ponies, Gilroy said, she looked around and was struck by the smoke and the broken-down players at the track.

    “I said, ‘What am I doing?’ This is so stupid,’” she recalled. “It dawned on me, this is not the lifestyle I want. I don’t want to even associate with these people.”

    Still, after all these years, after shutting down numerous illegal raffles and raising awareness statewide that raffles need to be locally licensed, Gilroy said she takes advantage of sweepstakes whenever she can.

    “It’s the gambling I oppose,” she said, “not the sweepstakes.”

    While technically she is correct that it's not gambling I still got a laugh out of this one. And yes, of course her pastor friend claimed it was a payoff from GOD
    It is ironic that someone so anti-gambling frequents her 'gambling cafe in her hometown of Villa Park'
    and plays video poker.

    But good for her.

    It's almost as if all his overconfident, absolutist assertions were spoonfed to him by a trusted website or subreddit. Sheeple
    RIP Tony Bogey & Baron O

  • #2
    I used to bet on horse racing at Los Alamitos in SoCal. I watched my exacta come in, so did a bunch of people... The track was gonna lose big money, so they showed a photo finish of the 2nd & 3rd horses and cropped the winner out - the winner was a length or more ahead of the others. An angry roar went up from the crowd. I never bet on the horses again.


    • #3
      Wow, never heard of that type of thing in modern times. 10 years ago our office was next to the track and we used to skip out on Fridays to go over there. All we did was small time betting as entertainment. I still can't imagine someone trying to make a living by doing it.
      It's almost as if all his overconfident, absolutist assertions were spoonfed to him by a trusted website or subreddit. Sheeple
      RIP Tony Bogey & Baron O


      • #4
        this was the early 80s before everyone had camera phones... Doc Severinson from Johnny Carson's show was a part owner in the track, he did their commercials.


        • #5
          Early 80's was right after I graduated and started working, so I had no extra money for luxuries like gambling. It took some time before I could afford golfing regularly.
          It's almost as if all his overconfident, absolutist assertions were spoonfed to him by a trusted website or subreddit. Sheeple
          RIP Tony Bogey & Baron O


          • #6
            I dont know how I feel about this woman, I do see an element of hypocrisy and she doesn't seem to limit her crusade to casino gambling but includes sweepstakes and raffles. I dont really consider them gambling, at least not the destructive addiction anyway.
            Last edited by Berzerker; December 28, 2017, 16:59.


            • #7
              She says she only played the video poker when she got free money through scratch offs

              Don't drug dealers give out the first hit for free

              But I'll cut her slack if she only plays with free money but it doesn't say if she paid to enter the sweepstakes she won.
              It's almost as if all his overconfident, absolutist assertions were spoonfed to him by a trusted website or subreddit. Sheeple
              RIP Tony Bogey & Baron O


              • -Jrabbit
                -Jrabbit commented
                Editing a comment
                My first reaction was, big surprise. But learning that she has won several semi-major prizes, her comments come across as self-serving, asinine, and frankly not believable. So no slack from me.

            • #8

              She is exactly the same as the antigay religious fundamentalists who are busy trying to get butt ****ed in airport bathrooms.
              Try for discussion and debate.


              • #9
                Or the prohibition campaigners who must have their "tonic" after a long day of crusading against alcohol.
                I am not delusional! Now if you'll excuse me, i'm gonna go dance with the purple wombat who's playing show-tunes in my coffee cup!
                Rules are like Egg's. They're fun when thrown out the window!
                Difference is irrelevant when dosage is higher than recommended!


                • #10
                  The priest is part of her Pascals Wager ... ?


                  • #11
                    yet I see nothing wrong with gambling, this is a trend of the modern world, many have already switched to online earnings during quarantine, I recommend you with a review at best online casinos with match bonuses 2020, this will greatly facilitate your choice of a playground, go now and make your choice, good luck!
                    Last edited by DanielBeeton; November 30, 2020, 20:00.


                    • #12
                      Anti-gaming crusaders

                      btw do ppl still play games? I wished we had an "other games" forum.


                      • #13
                        Rah Lives! (at least in our memories)
                        It's never too late to shut the **** up and hope for the best. - Kentonio
                        If social security were private, it would be prosecuted as a Ponzi scheme. - me
                        Check out


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by BeBro View Post
                          Anti-gaming crusaders

                          btw do ppl still play games? I wished we had an "other games" forum.
                          Lately, some Civ VI (mostly multiplayer) and a lot of Factorio.
                          Indifference is Bliss


                          • #15
                            I was impressed when I saw a trailer to Star Wars Squadrons a while ago. OTOH I don't wanna invest so much time in huge games I probably skip it. I'd go for an XCOM 3 tho, if it ever comes out, since I really liked pt. 2.