Most south and southwest suburbs that allow video gambling saw tax revenue generated by the machines increase last year, according to new figures from the Illinois Gaming Board. Most area communities also saw increases in the number of gambling terminals operating in their towns compared with 2015, the data show.
Statewide, 24,841 video gambling terminals were operating at the end of last year, compared with 22,135 at the end of 2015, according to the gaming board. Revenue to the state last year was $277 million, compared with $228 million in 2015.
Around the state and in the south and southwest suburbs, the amount of money put into the machines by bettors was also up. Collectively, throughout the state, customers of establishments that have the gambling terminals poured $4.2 billion into them in 2016, compared with $3.4 billion in 2015, according to the gaming board.
Add up all the video gambling machines scattered in small venues across the state — there are more than 24,000 machines, the equivalent of 20 casinos — and you’re talking real money. The amount of money left over after paying video gambling winners for the first time exceeded $1 billion in fiscal 2016. That’s a 27 percent increase, making video gambling the hot hand in Illinois’ gaming industry.
This list includes 4 IGS Locations! Betty’s Bistro – Morton Grove, Tracy’s Cafe – Carol Stream, Betty’s Bistro – Morton Grove, and Tracy’s Cafe – Winthrop Harbor.
Data from industry experts and the state of Illinois show video gaming has generated about $785 million in state and local tax revenue since the machines were legalized four years ago. The Southern Illinoisan reports that the number of establishments in Illinois that allow the machines has grown as well – with 5,600 businesses having machines.
Illinois Gaming Machine Operators Association officials say the state brings in more than $22 million a month in taxes from gaming that’s meant to support capital infrastructure projects.
Never mind the players — it appears that downstate cities are some of the biggest winners from Illinois’ video-gambling machines. Local governments get to keep 5 percent of the take from their video-gambling machines. For some downstate cities, that’s more than $1 million a year.
Video gaming machines have been popping up in Illinois bars and restaurants for nearly four years. For the most part, the increase in gaming machines and in revenue across the state has been steady.
There are nearly 24,000 video gaming machines in Illinois, and the amount played over the last few years is in the billions of dollars — with a b.
Michael Gelatka, president of the Illinois Gaming Machine Operators Association, says he’s been satisfied with how the process has been regulated. “I think that was the strength of the Illinois model,” he said. “It wasn’t everywhere you can sell lottery. It’s in bars and restaurants.” That has helped businesses facing closure, he says, by offering a seemingly reliable revenue stream.
Wilmington residents might want to hug a video gaming terminal.
Revenue from video poker gamblers has allowed Wilmington to rid itself of its vehicle sticker tax — a tax that has been in place since 1942. The city council, by a 5-2 vote on Tuesday, decided to eliminate the tax that generated about $60,000 annually.
City administrator Tony Graff said video poker profits is the reason the tax to been rescinded.
“This will save everyone a few dollars,” he said. “We’ve been watching the income from video poker since it was started and decided this could replace that tax. We’ve been getting about $70,000 a year from the video gaming.”
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.
Gamblers in Bloomington spent $180 million on video gaming last year, bringing in more than $700,000 in tax revenue for the city. That’s one reason why the city is looking claim a greater share.
“With regard to the gaming, I don’t think any of us expected or knew what to expect with regard to what kind of revenue it was going to bring in, but it has brought in very good revenue to the city,” alderman Jim Fruin said.
Illinois Gaming System’s is proud of our clients, J.T. Costelloes, Mariah’s Steakhouse & Pasta and Bugatti’s Bar & Grill! Read on to see their feature in an article from The State Journal-Register:
Three years ago, when JT Costelloes became one of the city’s first restaurants to legally install video gaming machines, there were plenty of new faces, says its manager, Tim Costello. “It was noticeable,” says Costello. “Now, it’s more of the regulars (in the gaming room).”
A sign there boasts customer payouts exceeding $230,000 over that three-year period. It’s made for raises for the restaurant’s staff and refurbishment around the building, says Costello. “It seems like the only reason we made payday sometimes,” adds John “Coz” Costello, the restaurant’s owner, “is because of the machines.”
Bassam “Sam” al-Khayyat doesn’t make any bones about why he put a video gaming room in Mariah’s Steakhouse & Pasta and why he’s applied for a gaming license for his newest venture, Bugatti’s Bar and Grill. “I’m an aggressive businessman,” explains al-Khayyat. “For all of the good and ugly calls I’ve made in my business over the years, that’s one of the good ones. And I’m not ashamed of it.”
Illinois’ video gaming industry has always enjoyed a close link to local communities and the small businesses and fraternal and veterans’ organizations that form the bedrock of cities, towns and neighborhoods.
That’s why I am proud that the members of the Illinois Gaming Machine Operators Association (IGMOA) came forward to support communities and residents who suffered devastating losses during recent tornadoes in northern Illinois. The IGMOA was eager to contribute $20,000 to the Illinois Tornado Relief Effort, a fundraising campaign to benefit the hardest hit communities.
The Illinois Gaming Machine Operators Association is the professional association of companies who supply and operate video gaming machines in licensed establishments across Illinois.
Illinois Gaming Systems proudly participated in this effort to support local communities in need of assistance.