Currently, sports betting is a hot topic both in the legislature and State-wide. To date, Illinois has not passed legislation to allow sports betting in the state. This is a topic with a lot of interest and as such we expect to see legislation introduced shortly after the election and possibly taken up in the November Veto session. IGS, directly and in affiliation with the IGMOA and the IRA, are advocating that if the State allows sports betting that our segment of the industry should have an opportunity to participate.
The economics of sports betting is not yet clear. Until we know what tax rate the State places on sports betting and the regulations will be required, it is simply premature to estimate just how lucrative this will be for your establishment. However, an important point to note about sports betting is that the revenue projections are not nearly the same as what VGT machines provide; it’s a very low margin business. We will keep you closely informed as things crystallize as we know many of our retailers are interested in what type of opportunity this may present.
IGS attended the Illinois Restaurant Association’s 2018 Golf Classic at St. Andrews Golf & Country Club on August 1. It was a beautiful day for golf other than a little afternoon rain. We had a foursome participating on the green and had our marketing team running a Plinko game on Hole 5 with golfers to win fun prizes! With the theme being Mad Hatter’s Tee Party, we caught a glimpse of some great hats and outfits! IGS was a corporate sponsor of this great event and is a proud platinum sponsor for the Illinois Restaurant Association.
IGS’ Sales Manager, Jen Connor, won the women’s longest drive, making it the second year in a row that an IGS employee won the title. (Last year our Business Development Manager, Cliff Mountsier, won men’s longest drive!)
We are already looking forward to next year’s outing and will be practicing our golf swings to ensure we keep our longest drive streak going for the third consecutive year!
Check out photos from the event: 2018 IRA Golf Outing
Happy Social Media Day!
According to Facebook.com, there are 2 billion active users on the application each month. Just by having a page, you can reach current customers as well as a new customer-base of individuals potentially interested in your business.
Generating Facebook content is a simple and FREE way to frequently communicate with those who follow your page. The best part is the IGS marketing team assists establishments with page creation, page management and content generation. Our designers create custom graphics that advertise your gaming room, specials, promotions or other updates you might want to share with your followers. Additionally, we can help manage your page by scheduling posts days, weeks or even months in advance saving you some time and effort involved in page management.
Grow your audience for your business page by running sponsored ads. A sponsored ad amplifies your message to an audience targeted based on age, gender, location, interests and other demographics. Running sponsored ads or boosting posts are great ways to build gaming awareness, increase page likes and get users engaged in the content you share.
Please reach out to your account manager if you are an existing client and would like some help creating a Facebook page or enhancing your existing one.
Today we celebrate National Get To Know Your Customers Day! Repeat and loyal customers are the success of your business. While you’re getting to know your customers, take advantage of the opportunity to show them they are appreciated. Make it a point to get to know a little more about your customers and make each of them feel important; check out the tips below for some ideas.
New to the idea of incorporating video gaming in your establishment, but not sure how to get started?
Already have video gaming, but wondering whether you’re getting the maximum benefit from your current terminal operator?
IGS will be making its seventh showcase at the 2018 NRA Show at M cCormick Place in Chicago May 19-22. If you’re attending, be sure to visit our booth #5268 in the South Hall. We hope to see some familiar faces! For more information visit show.restaurant.org.
Sting operations help hold businesses accountable when it comes to serving minors, however some lawmakers say the state is cracking down too hard when it comes to gambling.
“We’re doing everything we can to follow the law,” said general manager of Don Carter Lanes Brad Sommer. “We just want a fair shake at it.”
Like a growing number of restaurants and bars around Illinois, Don Carter Lanes in Rockford offers video gaming for customers over the age of 21.
“These games have become such an important part of our business model now that we’re doing everything we can to keep minors out,” said Sommer.
But Sommer says his best efforts might not be enough in an undercover sting.
Under the law, sting operations can send in a minor to a bar or restaurant with video gaming. If the minor plays a machine before a waitress or manager can check their ID, lawmakers say that business could be fined up to $5,000.
“By the time they can walk over there and tell the person they have to leave, they could have easily gotten one bet in and that was never the intent,” said Republican Senator Dave Syverson.
That’s why Syverson is sponsoring a new bill to protect business owners from what he calls unfair practices.
Two entrepreneurs are hoping to help breathe new life into East Dundee’s River Valley Shopping Plaza with their upscale video gambling cafe concept. T.J. Rubin and Jamie Arthurs recently opened Royals at 505 Dundee Ave., offering food, a variety of beverages, and several gaming machines.
“We thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to help revitalize the shopping center and the neighborhood,” Rubin said. “We’ve been open for about a month and gotten a lot of traffic. People seem to be warming to the concept.”
Video gambling has been a moneymaker. In August, 285 terminals were spread across 66 locations in DeKalb County, according to the Illinois Gaming Board, the agency that oversees video gambling and riverboat gambling. Bettors wagered a total of $11.6 million, losing $914,000. That $914,000 is the net terminal income, 30 percent of which goes to the state, while the remaining 70 percent is split between the machine operator and the business.
“It’s grown quicker than expected,” said Derick Ibarra, a partner in a business that operates cafés in DeKalb and Sycamore.
He said he came from the restaurant business. His family used to own Cabana Charley’s in Sycamore.
It wasn’t a deliberate shift, Ibarra said, but changes in the restaurant industry led to the cafés. He had opened a few terminals next door to the restaurant his family owned, and later, when it came time to reconcept the restaurant, he said he felt someone else could do a better job.
The July 2015 signing of Public Act 99-0046 requires alcohol servers (and those checking IDs for alcohol service) in Illinois on premise establishments to successfully complete a Beverage Alcohol Sellers/Servers Education & Training (BASSET) class every three years. As cited in the law, this mandate takes effect by a pre-determined date? based upon county population. Many local jurisdictions already require BASSET.
All Illinois counties will be expected to have certified BASSET servers by July 1, 2018. Click here to view a map which shows when alcohol servers and ID-checkers are required to be BASSET-certified by county. Expect the Illinois Liquor Commission Control (ILCC) to fully enforce this certification.
With the foodservice industry in Illinois being the largest private sector employer in the State, it’s comforting to know the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA) is dedicated to promoting, protecting, educating and improving the restaurant industry and supporting its future. The IRA works to provide restaurant operators and suppliers in Illinois with valuable business services, networking opportunities, cost saving programs, and vital advocacy.
The IRA is the largest, most active resource for restaurateurs in Illinois. The IRA is advocating on behalf of restaurants on important issues such as the increase to the minimum wage and lowering the age from 21 to 18-years-old for restaurant staff to serve alcoholic beverages to customers.
IGS is a proud platinum sponsor of the IRA and looks forward to working and advocating alongside them on behalf of hard-working restaurateurs.