Video Gaming Plateaus, Faces Restrictions
As of last month, there were more than 19,000 video gaming terminals across Illinois. But it appears things are leveling off after three years of growth. Still, the machines are a major revenue generator for the state and local governments. In fact, the state’s share from video gaming recently passed $276 million.
There are more than 400 machines in Rockford alone. The City Council is keeping an eye on a measure in Springfield that would allow municipalities and counties to limit new machines and their locations. Another proposal would require businesses to reach a certain percentage of food and beverage sales before they could get a gaming license. The intent is to limit pop-up parlors that focus more on gaming and less on serving customers. DeKalb-area Representative Bob Pritchard:
“Gaming of any sort is a form of recreation and should be allowed under a free economy, but we should not overly encourage it or make it so easy that people that are vulnerable and don’t have resources that they can lose would be risking them and losing them and therefore creating more demand for public services to help their financial situation.”
Speaking earlier this month in DeKalb, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner said he is not a fan of gaming, but says he’ll work on a bipartisan basis to figure out a workable plan.
“I personally don’t gamble. I am not a fan of gaming, but it’s here and it’s not going away, and states around us do it. I believe in local control of these kinds of issues."