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Illinois Charities, Bars Debut Legal Video Gambling

Local Establishments To Keep 35 Percent Of Proceeds From Machines

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While a proposal for more casinos in Illinois is still highly contentious, the state managed to see a huge expansion in gambling this week with the debut of gambling machines at bars and charitable organizations sprinkled across the state, according to the Illinois Gaming Board.

Electronic gambling at these types of establishments was authorized in 2009 under the state’s Video Gaming Act., but the games took a long time to reach the market. Regulators are expecting thousands of locations to be licensed in the near future.

According to a CBS affiliate in Chicago, tax revenue generated from this new gambling arena will go toward a $31 billion infrastructure plan for things such as schools and roads.

Issues with schools dominated headlines in the state last month when tens of thousands of Chicago public school teachers went on strike to protest an assault on labor by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a democrat and former member of President Obama’s administration.

The state will receive 30 percent of the revenue from the new machines, and less than one percent goes to the firm that created the central server controlling it all. The leftovers are divided 50-50 between the establishment and the company that owns the machine.

The Gaming Board said that it has licensed 72 different “terminal operators.”

Only about 35 percent goes to the local business or organization that lures in gamblers.

Under the law, the minimum payout percentage these Illinois machines are allowed to have is 80 percent. Nevada has a 75-percent minimum for its casino giants and slot machine firms.

This past spring, Illinois also took gambling to another level when its lottery was authorized, thanks to a gift from the feds, to sell online tickets. Some lawmakers are mulling over whether or not to approve online gambling, including poker, under the control of the lottery.

According to information from the American Gaming Association, Illinois currently has 10 commercial “river boat” casinos. A bill that would have authorized a gambling joint in Chicago was sent to the governor’s desk, but he vetoed it in late August.

The battle for a Chicago casino has been waged for years and was bitter again this time around. The veto reportedly could be overridden in November by state legislators.

Photo of American Legion Post 71 in Urbana, Ill., which has brand new gambling devices.

Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus

 
 
Tags: Illinois,   Slots,   Poker,   Gambling,   Chicago
 
 
 
 
 
 
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