Sweepstakes and Video Gambling Cause Yet Another Stir in Illinois

Sweepstakes and Video Gambling Cause Yet Another Stir in Illinois

Chicago is eyeing a large casino in the city and the Windy City could even go-ahead to legalize video gambling and sweepstakes machines. However, the Rolling Meadows suburb of the city is now considering limiting the number of video gambling locations to about 12.

Towns and cities can opt-out of video gambling

Video gambling was legalized in the state of Illinois in 2009 but towns and cities were allowed to opt-out of authorization. Rolling Meadows had prohibited video gambling before 2018. It wants to restrict the neighborhoods where these machines are available and curb the number of devices as well. This proposal is being carried forward by Alderman Kevin O’Brien.

Sweepstakes and Video Gambling Cause Yet Another Stir in Illinois

The ordinance proposed by O’Brien will restrict strip malls from housing more than one video gambling business on their premises. Currently, only 10 businesses in the city have video gambling. Two other businesses are interested in getting video gambling machines on their premises. O’Brien said that Rolling Meadows is nearing capacity with a dozen businesses offering video gambling. He said that the residents do not oppose it but they don’t want the suburb to turn into the Las Vegas Strip.

The Schaumburg, located nearby, has different licensed for planned and existing restaurants where video gambling is proposed. They also have gambling cafes where you will find a different license. Alderman Lara Sanoica from Rolling Meadows says that they want a similar approach in their city as well. Alderman Jenifer Vinezeano said that there should be a six-month waiting period for new businesses before they can apply for a video gambling license.

City officials have not voted on the final bill yet. But the November rules required gaming establishments to create separate gambling areas. In the last fiscal, gambling terminals in Illinois brought $478 million in tax revenue for the state and local governments from 32,000 video gambling terminals. These machines earned a total of $1.6 billion in revenue.

What about Chicago’s sweepstakes?

Chicago hasn’t lifted its ban on video gambling terminals. However, it is experiencing a rise in sweepstakes machines that work like traditional video gambling terminals. These devices do not pay cash. Instead, they give coupons to the users which can either be exchanged for cash or used for getting merchandise. These machines don’t just escape regulation but also taxation. Profits benefit the machine operators and businesses that keep these machines. Chicago is now undergoing pressure to permit video gambling machines because of the ongoing financial issues. The city, however, has set its eyes on a large casino.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.