Roughly six weeks after the Avenue Tap in Silvis began offering video gambling, there is little doubt about its popularity.
Owner Bryan Hendricks said the five terminals are busy, and he’s seeing new patrons walk through his doors.
“It’s going extremely well,” he said Monday.
A new status report from the Illinois Gaming Board provides a snapshot of how some locations with the new terminals are doing across the state.
At 714 different machines, a total of $17.9 million was wagered in October, according to the new report. That’s only a fraction of the $128.6 million the state’s riverboats handled in October, but it still meant more than $346,000 in revenue for the state for the month. Local governments received nearly $70,000.
At two locations in Silvis, the state says nearly $160,000 was wagered in October, nearly $114,000 of it at the Avenue Tap. It’s hard to tell how high video wagering will go. The terminals at the Silvis tavern have been up and running since only Oct. 9, and some other places in Rock Island County haven’t gotten as fast a start.
Still, the month’s wagering means $664 for the city of Silvis, and Jim Grafton, the Silvis city administrator, says it could help kick off a Main Street program for the city’s downtown.
“I’d like it to be put into that,” he said.
The monthly tax revenue, particularly if it grows, would go quite a ways toward paying the $15,000 annual cost of the program.
Grafton, like officials in other communities, isn’t sure what to expect from video gambling taxes. Silvis’ latest budget, at $3.5 million, was drafted before the terminals were installed. But, he said, every little bit helps.
“It’s going to be new revenue,” he said.
Most of the taxes from the gambling machines goes to the state, which will use it to pay for new road, bridge and school construction projects. The state’s share of the Silvis wagering for October was $3,320.
The overall state revenue is likely to grow, even if it’s not clear by how much. Illinois has licensed nearly 1,000 terminals, but fewer than a quarter of those are fully functioning.
The October report also showed varying amounts of wagering across the state. A location in Rockford saw $848,000 in gambling, while a Cook County site saw $531,000 wagered.