Illinois’ Video Gambling Expansion Stirs Concerns
 
Illinois’ Video Gambling Expansion Stirs Concerns
12.01.14

In just two years, Illinois’ video gambling has spread exponentially – now in places such as laundromats, florists and an apartment complex. Being dubbed “mini-casinos,” multi-million dollar casino complexes are experiencing a slide in their profitability.

If an Illinois venue has a liquor license, the owner can apply for three to five video gambling machines at that location. Currently, there are 18,669 terminals scattered across 4,570 businesses, according to the Illinois Gaming Board, with several hundred being added every month.

Among them are a scuba shop and laundromat in Winnebago County’s Loves Park, a florist in Oak Lawn outside Chicago and a Champaign apartment complex, among others, the Associated Press reports.

Even the most ardent supporter of legalized gambling in the Illinois House – Rep. Lou Lang (D-Chicago) is noticing video gambling’s effects.

“It was never our intention to turn florists’ shops into places for gambling,” said Rep. Lou Lang, a Skokie Democrat. “And so, it’s something that needs to be looked at, for sure.”

Peoria’s city council is ready to close the door on any more video gambling venues opening up. Eight of the state’s 10 casinos are reporting reveune losses up to 9 percent.

Since video gambling’s been legalized in Illinois, it has generated over $210 million for state coffers.


This article was originally posted at the IllinoisReview.com website.

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