Some Still Waiting to Get In The Illinois Video Gambling Game - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Some Still Waiting to Get In The Illinois Video Gambling Game


 A new report shows that Illinois' fledgling video gambling industry brought in more than $346,000 in revenue for the state in October.

The Illinois Gaming Board's monthly report shows that the state's October take came from nearly $18 million in wagers at 714 machines across Illinois. Local governments where the gambling is offered got nearly $70,000.

Lawmakers approved video gambling in 2009 to help fund a $31 billion construction program to fix schools, roads, bridges and other projects, but it didn't get under way until this year.
When it was approved, officials estimated that such gambling would raise about $375 million a year for the state.

Gambling officials have estimated that up to 75,000 machines could be installed statewide within a year. Updated projections haven't been released.

For a couple Quad Cities area establishments, including two bars in Silvis, owners say things are going well so far. Some have yet to get a piece of the pie. One bar in Oquawka has had machines since August and they're not on yet. Others are in the same boat.

"I've had people from Kewanee, Galesburg, Cordova, all over coming in because they know about them, they want to play them," said Bob Anderson, owner of City Limits in Rock Island.

Anderson has had five terminals for more than a month but says the process can be complicated when dealing with both the Illinois Gaming Board and an operator which provides the machines.

"After you're signed up with an operator you put your application in with the state and then the state reviews it," added Anderson.

There's a background check and terminals are delivered, including a redemption machine. But then it's still not as simple as flipping a switch. The operator contacts the state which actually has to come hook things into the central communication system. "They're so busy. They only have so many agents and they've got right now over three thousand applications on file," said Anderson.

His machines are slated to go online November 30th. A long wait, he says, since the video gaming act passed back in 2009.

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