Video Gambling

Bob Anderson, owner of City Limits Saloon in Rock Island, looks over the first of five video gambling terminals being installed in his business on Friday, Oct. 12, 2012. (Larry Fisher/QUAD-CITY TIMES)

Larry Fisher

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois’ foray into video gambling translated into nearly $1 million in additional income in November.

With legalized video gambling in bars, clubs and truck stops now in its third month of operation, a new report shows the state drew $957,408 in revenue from more than 1,400 machines.

Municipalities also receive a cut of the proceeds, with the Illinois Gaming Board reporting that $191,481 was distributed to the towns and cities where the machines are located.

The November totals are nearly three times the amount that was generated in October, when just 714 terminals were operating across the state.

The revenue is expected to continue to grow as more of the machines come on line. The gaming board has approved more than 600 locations, but operators haven’t yet turned on or installed the terminals in each establishment.

“I don’t know if we’re even halfway there yet,” gaming board spokesman Gene O’Shea said Thursday.

The 2009 law that legalized video gambling allows up to five terminals to be installed in the state’s 21,000 establishments that are licensed to serve alcohol for onsite consumption or are truck stops.

Although it remains early, projections show the state eventually could see $375 million in annual income from the machines.

At the state level, the proceeds are earmarked for statewide construction projects, including roads, bridges, schools and university facilities. There are no restrictions on what cities can use the money for.

According to the November tally, players pumped $50 million into the terminals and won back $46.3 million.

The numbers also show how much money each establishment generated for local government.

The village of Minonk, for example, will receive $590 from the five machines installed at the Road Ranger truck stop.

Gambling on the five machines at the Starship Billiard Parlor in Decatur will give that city $3,648 in November.

The Avenue Tap brought in $493 in new revenue for Silvis.

Buck and Cindy’s, with three machines, generated $781 for Taylorville.

And the five machines at the Ice House will translate into $1,289 in revenue for Mattoon.

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