Video gaming expected to bring state over $100 million in revenues in 2014
DECATUR-- After a slow start to video gaming expansion, the Illinois Gaming Board and the Illinois gaming Machine Operators Association say there are currently over 18,000 machines installed across the state.
The much maligned law was passed in September 2012 and with only 61 machines initially installed, roughly $27,000 in revenue was produced. According to numbers from the Illinois Gaming Board, those numbers have since grown to over 18,000 machines installed and an anticipated $180 million in tax revenues created by the end of 2014.
Illinois Gaming Machine Operators Association President Michael Galetka says he attributes the exponential growth to a smooth instillation process and relatively no complaints from restaurant owners, or their customers.
“I think the installation of these machines has gone about as smoothly as it could have,” Galetka said. “We are a big state with a lot of differing opinions, but I think the counties and towns that have bought into the gaming expansion have benefitted from it.”
Because of the growing popularity of video gaming, Galetka said he wouldn’t be surprised if more counties decided to opt-in to gaming expansion, “I think there will be more, yes. I think officials in the counties that initially held out because they wanted to see how video gaming played out in other places have taken note of the increased revenues and will want to join in. There is no additional crime, there has been very little negative pushback form people because it’s not the eyesore that everyone built it up to be in their imagination.”
According to the Illinois Gaming Board, Decatur received $123,000 in gaming revenues through the first quarter of 2014.