Money-losing courses add video poker and video slots, taking advantage of a state law aimed at boosting bar and restaurant owners. Struggling municipal golf courses are turning to video poker and slot machines to make up for declining revenue. More than a dozen taxpayer-funded golf courses in Illinois have turned to legal gambling in the past three years, though with mixed results.
The public courses are located in New Lenox, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Joliet, Countryside, Blue Island, Glenwood, Worth and North Chicago and, outside the Chicago area, in Winnebago County, Streator, Cahokia and Moweaqua. The municipal courses split any profit with the gaming-machine owners. Altogether, they took in a total of more than $1 million from 55 machines located in their clubhouses, after taxes, records show.