While slot machines and casinos are found throughout Illinois, the state is seeing a significant shift in where the overall gaming revenue is coming from. Many local establishments are now adding video slot machines to their locations and have been experiencing tremendous boosts in their bottom line. With Illinois gaming machines and video gaming terminals (VGTs), restaurants, bars, and truck stops are succeeding with Illinois video gaming revenue, thanks to some recent changes.

Previously, the state of Illinois followed nothing more than the Riverboat Gambling Act of 1990 and the Video Gaming Act of 2009 to regulate casinos and the Illinois video gaming industry.

More recently, Governor Pritzker signed the Illinois Gambling Act on June 28, 2019. Because of this change, the Illinois Gaming Board now allows more Illinois gaming machines per location, opening the door for added Illinois video gaming revenue.

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Slant Top Cabinet Slot Machines Versus Upright Cabinet Slot Machines

Different types of Illinois gaming machines offer varying levels of performance and features. With a slant top cabinet slot machine, you get a machine that can stand up on its own. Meanwhile, upright cabinet Illinois gaming systems must be placed in a base at a set location.

An upright cabinet gaming machine is generally easier to place in a line. This is because the separators and bases are connected to each other. Using upright Illinois gaming systems helps to provide a cohesive look for your bar or restaurant.

While upright and slant cabinets use the same software, a slant cabinet video slot machine can be placed farther away from other cabinets because it doesn’t need a base. This type of device creates a larger gaming area, so it is better for bigger, more spacious Illinois video gaming locations.

Why Do Independent Illinois Video Gaming Locations Have More Games on Their Video Slot Machines Than Casinos?

When comparing Illinois slot machines in casinos and slot machines at Illinois video gaming locations such as restaurants and bars, you will most likely notice how the amount of games varies on each machine. In general, a casino will have a set number of Illinois gaming machines focused on a single game. At independent locations, you will find multiple games on the exact same gaming system.

This occurs because the Illinois video gaming location can only have a maximum of six Illinois gaming systems. To make up for having only six slot machines, each machine includes multiple games rather than only one. Because of this, the visitor has a higher amount of choices on a machine, making the selection similar to that of a casino.

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Casinos Are Suffering From Falling Revenue

Casinos have started to see a decline in their normal monthly revenue. The most recent numbers show that Illinois casino revenue has fallen by 3% this year. To make the situation worse for casinos, there will soon be up to six new casinos competing with the current 10 casinos in the state.

The main reason for their decline is that more people are choosing to play on slot machines in local restaurants, bars, and truck stops rather than making the trip to the casino. According to a report released by the Commission on Government Forecasting & Accountability on September 12, 2019, Illinois brought in more than $1.4 billion in tax revenues from horse racing, casinos, the lottery, and video gambling for the budget year through June 30th. This is 3.5% higher than it was the year before.

Currently, the state may be dealing with a decline in casino revenue, but is seeing a significant increase in overall gambling-related revenue. This surprising contradiction is due in large part to the Illinois gaming machines across independent establishments. While riverboats and casinos are facing an uphill battle, independent businesses are gaining additional market share in the state.

Illinois video gambling began in 2012 and by 2017, it was already bringing in more revenue than casinos. For many years, riverboat casinos were the success story of the gambling industry. In 2003, riverboat casinos became the main source of gambling revenue in the state. At the time, riverboat casinos brought in $554 million in tax revenue compared to the lotto’s $540 million.

While Illinois casinos enjoyed a peak revenue of $699 million in 2005, revenue has declined almost every year since then. Last year, casino revenue was at only $260 million, which was an almost 62% drop.

In 2008, the lottery was the largest source of state revenue from gambling. Last year, the lottery was the source of more than half of tax revenue from wagering. In 2018, the lottery brought in $735 million in state tax revenue.

Casino revenue has been decreasing for about a decade, and this trend is only likely to continue. With so many slot machines available at restaurants and bars, consumers have more options than ever before for placing a wager.

How the Illinois Gaming Board Regulates Casinos and Illinois Gaming Machines

When it comes to Illinois gaming systems, slot machines are treated differently than casinos. At a casino, staff members from the Illinois Gaming Board must be physically at the casino at all times. With bars, restaurants, and similar locations, someone from the Illinois Gaming Board merely monitors the Illinois slot machines using a central communications system.

The Video Gaming Act requires all Illinois gaming sysstems to be monitored through this system which was created by Scientific Games International. The program makes it possible for the Illinois Gaming Board to remotely turn machines off or to turn off certain games if needed. When a licensed location is facing disciplinary action, the system can also shut the machine down.

Start Increasing Your Illinois Gaming Revenue

Awesome Hand Gaming is known for distributing and maintaining the best Illinois gaming machines. We bring video slot machines to local establishments like bars, truck stops, and restaurants. From video slot machine installation to Illinois liquor license guidance, our team is committed to helping you through each step required to enter the video gaming industry in Illinois. With more than 80 years of experience, we have the skills and know-how you need to handle management, route operations, maintenance, legal and marketing services for your gaming enterprise.

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