This month marks the four-year anniversary of the passage of the Illinois Video Gaming Act, which legalized licensed video gaming terminals within the state. (A solid number of coin machine operators have secured licenses to participate in this business.) According to the state gaming board, since September 2012 when the gaming terminals first lit up, the machines have produced an estimated $785 million for the state, making the industry number one in terms of five-year growth.
There are more than 24,000 machines in more than 5,000 bars, but experts say there is plenty of room for continued growth since 150 communities in the state do not allow the machines in town. (Municipalities can pass ordinances “opting out” of video gaming.)
In an AP report published today (Sept. 26), Illinois Gaming Machine Operators Assn. President Michael Gelatka said, “Our goal from the beginning with video gaming has been to make an economic difference: for our partners who draw players to their establishments, for their employees and patrons, and for our state and local governments who need tax revenue to support their services and programs.”