Finding a terminal operator (TO) for your location is kind of like dating: you hold out for the right one and ask the hard questions to know what you’re getting into.
As a licensed TO, Awesome Hand Gaming is constantly going through the legal and logistical process of onboarding and installing slot machines in various locations. We’re here to cut through the jargon and deliver honest answers to your most pressing questions about how to find the right video slot machine operator.
How will the slot machine operator help you through the application process?
While the process of putting video slot machines into your establishment is relatively simple, it can be tedious and time-consuming. It all starts with an application.
Awesome Hand Gaming is present through each step of the application process required to obtain a video slot machine. From ensuring you have the baseline requirements (business location, your FEIN [federal employer tax identification number], your IBT [Illinois business tax number], and your federal and state liquor licenses) to site inspections with the Illinois Gaming Board, we go through it with you. We’ve helped countless locations scout out business locations, apply for liquor licenses, and fill out the video gaming application. From the beginning, we make it clear we are partners.
How can your terminal operator financially contribute?
There are slot machine operators out there that promise the world. They’ll say they’ll remodel your place, pay for permanent signage, etc. (which is illegal, by the way). The Video Gaming Act, Section 25(c) states the following:
“No terminal operator may give anything of value, including but not limited to a loan or financing arrangement, to a licensed establishment, licensed truck stop establishment, licensed fraternal establishment, or licensed veterans establishment as an incentive or inducement to locate video terminals in that establishment.”
Similarly, Rule 1800.270(d) provides that Licensed Video Gaming Locations “accept nothing of value from any video terminal operator or any agent or representative of any video terminal operator as an incentive or inducement to locate, keep or maintain video gaming terminals at the licensed video gaming location.”
Therefore, it is of utmost importance that your slot machine operator maintains a collaborative, transparent relationship with its attorney(s) to help interpret this law as it applies to your location.
AHG is in touch with their attorney on a daily basis so our team is always updated on legal restrictions. We do – and will do – everything we can to help our video slot machine locations, but that also means ensuring we’re all abiding by the law. We go by the book to avoid fines and eliminate risks of losing licenses for both ourselves and our locations.
How does your video slot machine operator ensure they are complying with Illinois Law?
It’s important that you and your video slot machine operator is advertising the slot machines legally. Whether this is through signage or digital assets, it’s important that an attorney is on standby to advise on advertising, sweepstakes, and contest rules.
The AHG marketing team regularly contacts our attorney when new or unique advertising opportunities arise. We are always on the forefront of advertising while ensuring it’s done legally.
How speedy is your terminal operator’s service team?
Accidents happen. Slot machines freeze, and it’s important to be able to tell a guest how long they might have to wait for their favorite game to be up and running. Will you know what to do if and, inevitably, when this happens?
The good news: AHG service technicians work around the clock. When our locations with slot machines go live, a sign with our maintenance service line is posted above, around, or next to the video slot machines for easy access. The caller is prompted to leave a message that will be delivered to all of the service technicians. A service technician will field the message and arrive at the slot machine location within an hour.
How often will your slot machine operator visit your establishment?
While some establishments might just want their gaming commission checks, there’s far more involved that affects the big picture, such as promotions, theft prevention, administrative concerns, and more.
Between service technicians, collectors, marketing representatives, security managers, and AHG’s owner Chris McSwain, locations can expect an AHG representative at their location at least once a week. We are a video slot machine operator that makes sure all locations have a main point of contact to regularly communicate all activities. As you move forward in your relationship with AHG, locations can expect to know all of their representatives pretty personally (but not too personally…).