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Bars, clubs rush to get piece of video action – State issues 1,800 licenses

Video gamblers in Illinois lost $106 million in the first half of the year, meaning tens of thousands of dollars for the bars and clubs that have the machines and extra cash for state and city governments. Since video poker and slot machines were legalized last year, 1,800 licenses have been granted and 2,000 more applicants are waiting in line. The bonanza has meant more customers and more improvements for taverns, truck stops, bowling alleys and fraternal organizations that installed the machines. And it even has some local governments that banned the gambling outlets to reconsider their positions. Just in June, Jesters in the north Chicago suburb of Waukegan took in $70,000 lost by wagering customers. The bar and the machine operator split $50,000 of that. The state treasury gained $18,000 and the city of Waukegan took $3,500…Please click here to read the full Associated Press story in the Galesburg Register-Mail.

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