COVID-19 Updates: The Impact of COVID-19 On the Illinois Gaming Industry

The outbreak of COVID-19 is impacting every industry in the country. The health crisis has transformed the hospitality and video gaming industries in a variety of ways. Restaurants and bars across the state are building outdoor patios to ensure each guest is safe while eating and socializing. Additionally, the state and the Illinois Gaming Board have released a new regulation that limits video slot machines to a single person to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. They also require plexiglass dividers between machines that are not six feet away from another machine, and that gamers wear masks at all times. To help you stay updated on changes in the Illinois video gaming industry, we have summarized announcements from the Illinois Gaming Board.

Latest News: COVID-19 Video Gaming Restrictions

November 18, 2020: Each of the 11 regions in Illinois will be required to follow Tier 3 of the COVID-19 mitigations on November 20, 2020 starting at 12:01 AM. The executive order will limit capacity at nearly every type of business in the state. Indoor service at bars and restaurants will be banned, and indoor video gaming terminals will be required to suspend operations.

November 4, 2020: The latest dining and video gaming restrictions will be enforced at restaurants, bars, and truck stops in Region 2 of Illinois. The latest announcement will impact businesses in counties such as Tazwell, Henderson, Rock Island, Grundy, Stark, Woodford, Lasalle, McDonough, Bureau, Knox, Fulton, Livingston, McLean, Peoria, Putnam, Mercer, Henry, Kendall, Marshall, and Warren.

November 2, 2020: Existing COVID-19 protocols have been applied to video gaming establishments in Region 6 of Illinois. The types of establishments that are subject to these regulations include bars, restaurants, and truck stops. The latest news will impact restaurants and businesses in counties of Illinois such as Edgar, Iroquois, Vermillion, Coles, Jasper, Moultrie, Douglas, Shelby, Fayette, Crawford, Richland, Dewitt, Piatt, Cumberland, Clark, Effingham, Lawrence, and Clay counties.

November 1, 2020: Video gaming establishments including restaurants and bars in Region 3 of Illinois are required to enforce the COVID-19 regulations to protect the health and safety of customers. The impacted counties include Menard, Adams, Scott, Sangamon, Montogomery, Schuyler, Hancock, Logan, Pike, Jersey, Greene, Macoupin, Calhoun, Mason, Cass, Brown, Christian, and Morgan.

October 31, 2020: All COVID-19 restrictions apply to restaurants and bars in the McHenry and Lake counties of Region 9.

October 28, 2020: Each local state regulation applies to restaurants, bars, and businesses in Cook county of Region 10.

October 28, 2020: Each restaurant and bar in Region 4 is subject to the state video gaming and dining restrictions. The COVID-19 regulations apply to all establishments in Madison, St. Clair, Clinton, Bond, Randolph, Washington, and Monroe counties.

Illinois GamingOctober 26, 2020: State officials released a statement on Monday that new restrictions will be implemented on indoor dining at restaurants in Cook County on Wednesday, October 28 due to high COVID-19 positivity rates. Indoor dining at restaurants will be banned and outdoor service will be restricted to 11 PM each day of the week. The state is advising bars to remove seats to prevent people from gathering together while they are waiting to be seated outside. In addition, reservations will be required to access restaurants in Cook County.

As of October 22, the positivity rate has increased to 7.7% from 7.2% the prior week. According to the Illinois health department, the local area only has close to 25% of hospital beds available for sick individuals. The latest announcement will impact restaurants and businesses in Oak Lawn, Schaumburg, Wheeling, Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows, Elgin, and other areas. The prior week, the governor of Illinois released indoor dining restrictions in four counties such as DuPage. As of this current time, indoor dining will remain legal in Chicago at a 40% capacity.

October 23, 2020: Legal gambling at establishments in Region 8 is permitted to occur from 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM. Establishments are not allowed to serve entrees or snacks to customers inside their restaurant or bar. To combat the increase in COVID-19 fatalities and cases, the state of Illinois is restricting food and drink services in Kane and DuPage counties to only outdoor service. Restaurants will be allowed to serve food and alcoholic beverages to tables outside. In addition, the state recommends providing carryout options to customers.

The managers and owners of an establishment are required to invoke the use of masks in the video gaming area. The Illinois Gaming Board has released rules that consist of enforcing a single person per slot machine restriction. For tips on ways to safely open your gaming machines, call a staff member at the Illinois Gaming Board by phone at (217) 524-0226 or a specialist at Awesome Hand Gaming at (855) 921-1030.

October 23, 2020: The Illinois Gaming Board has released limited video gambling hours for Region 7 of 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM daily. Restaurants, bars, and truck stops in Will and Kankakee counties are required to abide by the operational hours. The consumption of food, appetizers, and alcoholic beverages is prohibited in Region 7 of the state of Illinois. Should a resident choose to dine at an establishment, they will be required to eat and drink outside. If the customer does not want to participate in outdoor dining, an establishment is permitted to provide carryout services.

Establishments are strongly encouraged to sanitize a video slot machine when a customer is finished with his or her gambling activities. In addition, the Illinois Gaming Board has limited a single person at each slot machine in an establishment. If you notice a group of people near a gaming machine, ask the individuals to stay at their designated slot machines.

COVID-19 Updates: The Impact of COVID-19 On the Illinois Gaming IndustryOctober 22, 2020: To decrease the total amount of new COVID-19 cases, the state of Illinois has banned indoor food and drink services to various counties in Region 5. The new rules cover Saline, Johnson, Franklin, Perry, Jefferson, Wabash, Williamson, Massac, Alexander, Gallatin, Marion, Hardin, Edwards, Wayne, Edwards, Hamilton, Jackson, Pope, Pulaski, Union, and White Counties.

On the other hand, the regulations allow restaurants and bars to offer curbside services and carryout options to customers in Region 5. At the current time, Illinois video gaming services are permitted from 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM throughout the week. To keep your customers safe, please administer hand sanitizer to customers at video slot machines in your bar or restaurant.

October 3, 2020: Video gaming at restaurants and bars in Region 1 of Illinois is legal from 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM each day of the week. Establishments that permit video gambling outside of the specified hours can be penalized. The limitations apply to counties including Stephenson, Carroll, Jo Daviess, Boone, Whiteside, Lee, Winnebago, and Ogle. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, indoor dining is prohibited to establishments in Region 1. Outdoor dining and carryout is permitted for bars and restaurants in the local area.

Every establishment is required to enforce the use of face masks in the dining area and video gaming room. To prevent an airborne spread of COVID-19, the Illinois Gaming Board has implemented a single person limit per video slot machine. If you have questions about the new regulations, call a representative at the Illinois Gaming Board by phone at (217) 524-0226 or a staff member at Awesome Hand Gaming at (855) 921-1030.

September 2020 Illinois Gaming Revenue Highlights

Total Amount of Video Gaming Locations & Gaming Terminals

The September report released by the Illinois Gaming Board indicates that there are currently a total of 7,272 establishments in Illinois with video slot machines. This is an increase of roughly 30 gaming establishments since the month of August. The latest data indicates that there are a total of 36,828 slot machines at bars and restaurants throughout Illinois. In the month of September alone, close to 416 additional slot machines were installed.

Net Terminal Income & Revenue Data

The Net Terminal Income earned in Illinois during September was $164,162,770.98, a decrease of close to $219,223.83 from the month prior. Illinois’ Net Terminal Income is a metric that measures the total amount of gaming revenue generated from video slot machines before it is distributed to the municipalities, state, licensed location, and terminal operator. Similarly, the total amount of money played at video slot machines fell to $1,993,679,640.73 in September, a loss of $7,912,567.16 since the month of August. The total Illinois gaming revenue distributed to the state decreased from $47,672,827.26 in August to $47,605,644.00 in September, a decline of close to $67,183.26.

Upcoming Illinois Gaming Board Meeting in October

The Illinois Gaming Board will be conducting a digital meeting on October 29th on its website to discuss new COVID-19 restrictions and advancements in the video gaming industry. The schedule of topics will be made available two days before the meeting. While we are not aware of the exact agenda, the board is expected to discuss the Rockford casino proposal.

View the Latest COVID-19 Updates From the Illinois Gaming Board

Do You Have Questions?

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Call the Illinois Gaming Board: (217) 524-0226

November 2020 Illinois Gaming Board Updates & Highlights

The Illinois Gaming Board conducts meetings each month to discuss recent changes in the Illinois gaming industry, issue licenses, and make disciplinary decisions. The board members set monthly meetings to ensure the integrity of gaming in Illinois is maintained. Meeting agendas are usually posted 48 hours prior to the scheduled meeting date. Typically, open session meetings are held on the 5th floor of the Michael A. Bilandric building located at 160 North Lasalle Street. If your establishment would like to be added to the agenda under “public commentary” you must submit a request in writing prior to the posting date.

Summary of the September Video Gaming Meeting

The Illinois Gaming Board held its monthly meeting on September 17th, 2020. The Administrator Marcus Fruchter, was granted authority to act on certain matters. Chairman Schmadeke, Ramirez, Hayden, and Garcia began with the approval of the Board. During the board meeting, several points were covered including; the administrators reports, administrative matters, public commentary, and updated casino or establishment regulations.

Illinois Gaming UpdatesIllinois Gaming Board Staff Appreciation Speech

Administrator Fruchter began by thanking the Illinois Gaming Board and all staff members for their hard work during these trying times. The Illinois Gaming Board workforce now has an extensive amount of labor on their hands, but are doing everything they can to keep casinos, video gaming, and sports wagering running efficiently and safely. Administrator Fruchter acknowledged that all gaming establishments and licensees are being affected by the pandemic. Fruchter encourages people to explore information that can be found on the DCEO website, regarding the Restore Illinois Plan which has an intuitive outline on how to safely reopen the state.

Updates on Sports Wagering Activities

After expressing appreciation for the staff of the Illinois Gaming Board, Administrator Fruchter provided updates on sports wagering, which he explained is starting to take shape in Illinois. Out of ten casinos, seven have received approval to begin sports wagering operations. Four casinos have added online and in-person wagering, and three casinos have in-person wagering. Hawthorne Casino and Race Course is licensed to offer sports wagering as well. Despite hardships from the COVID-19 pandemic, revenue from sports wagering reports gives reasons to be optimistic about the future of the addition.

Video Gaming Announcements

Next, Fruchter provided an update on Illinois video gaming stating more information will be released in coming weeks about Rule 320. The administrator reminds the industry that the Illinois Gaming Board Rules impose ongoing duties on licensees to conduct themselves in a professional manner when interacting with the public, competitors, customers, and the board.

GamingOverview of the New Casino Application Process

The Administrator of the Illinois Gaming Board also discussed the new casino license application process. Fruchter states he is aware of the October timeline for new applicants and advises all applicants to pay close attention to the statute and rules. Administrator Fruchter strongly advises handing in information to the Illinois Gaming Board in a timely complete manner. Fructher discussed specific statutory sections and rules regarding ethical behavior and encouraged applicants to continue filing the necessary documents in accord with Section 5.3 of the statute, informing the Illinois Gaming Board of discussions with an applicant.

Administrator Fruchter reminded the industry that handing in incomplete and/or inaccurate information creates more work for the staff causing delays in the approval process. The board ensures that the new Casino application process is ethical, transparent, and in compliance with the law. Members of the Illinois Gaming Board will carefully review all submitted applications. Board members and staff will remain focused and faithful to the process and timeline following through on all obligations without sacrificing integrity, independence, or ethics.

Illinois Video Gaming Data for September

The total number of gaming locations in Illinois as of September was 7,275. The locations consist of truck stops, restaurants, fraternal organizations, and bars. On the other hand, there are over 36,435 Video Gaming Terminals at establishments in the state. Over 3,000 establishments maintain more than five video slot machines for customers.


Amendments to Video Gaming Rules 1800.570 and 1800.580

The amendments will improve video gaming rules 1800.570 and 1800.580. The latest amendments are designed to regulate the distribution of Annual Fees. Details were released that stated annual fees are due for licensees that have pending disciplinary actions. In addition, new authority has been assigned to Administrator Fruchter that allows for the approval of licensees’ requests that are in relation to denials and renewal rejections. These changes will make the process of resolving and/or setting hearing requests concerning the denial of initial applications or renewal applications easier.

Illinois Video Gaming Services

Awesome Hand Gaming is a licensed Illinois Video Gaming Terminal Operator with over 80 years of experience. Providing unparalleled service in the Illinois Video Gaming Industry, Awesome Hand Gaming provides slot machines and gaming bars to bars, restaurants, truck stops, and fraternal organizations. Partners with the IGB, AHG’s main focus has and will always be helping the business owners through each requirement in order to obtain an Illinois gaming license. Awesome Hand Gaming provides 24/7 service with a one hour response time average!

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8 Social Media Marketing Tips for Businesses During the COVID-19 Pandemic

With Illinois slowly moving through the phases of Restore Illinois, our community is doing everything they can to support local businesses. Curbside pickup, delivery, and masks have become the new social norm. During the COVID-19 pandemic craziness, we need to take time to support each other. If you’re a restaurant or bar owner, you may be struggling to attract customers to your establishment to purchase food, cocktail kits, or appetizers.

Most restaurants, bars, and breweries in Illinois are seeing massive decreases in revenue due to a drop in active customers and Illinois gamers. In many cases, this is because most customers are unaware of new curbside and delivery services available. An excellent way to combat this issue is to utilize social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat to promote your curbside services. Creating unique online content can be the best way to boost awareness and maintain customer loyalty. To help you preserve your healthy customer base during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have compiled a list of social media marketing tips for businesses.

Social Media Marketing Tips for Businesses During COVID-19 PandemicPromote Curbside Pick-Up or Delivery Services

If you are offering curbside pick-up or delivery it is important to reiterate this to your customers. Now is the time to advertise your carryout menu consistently on your social media pages. Add food images, your phone number, and a link to easy online ordering to simplify guest experiences. Develop a unique social media marketing campaign on Facebook or Instagram that is designed to promote new menu items, daily specials, and even dinner and drink pairings at your Illinois video gaming establishment. And be sure to create budget friendly menu options. Offering regular menu items with a second take home serving at a discounted price is a two for almost one deal that is hard to pass up

Make An Instagram Story to Promote Food & Drinks

An excellent way to promote new lunch or dinner menu items to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic is to publish a story on Instagram. This is a feature on Instagram that allows you to market your small business by publishing photos or videos. Once a photo is published, it will remain active for 24 hours. This social media marketing tip will help your customers stay updated with the latest appetizers, drink specials, food, and discounts offered by your bar or restaurant.

The staff at our Illinois video gaming terminal operator also recommend leveraging the benefits of word-of-mouth marketing on social media to reach a broader audience of people. Ask your customers to share pictures of their food and appetizers on their Instagram or Snapchat Stories. This will help attract new customers to your restaurant that may not be aware of your services. You may also consider republishing your customers photos to your official social media accounts. This will help show appreciation to customers that are actively talking about your Illinois video gaming establishment online.

Social Media Marketing Tips for Businesses During COVID-19 PandemicCreate Posts to Promote Meal-Kits & Food

During this uncertain time, people with preexisting conditions are reluctant to leave their homes due to the Coronavirus. An effective marketing tip for small businesses, including bars and restaurants, is to build meal-kits of customer-favorite entrees or appetizers. 

We recommend including a large portion of food in each meal-kit to help decrease the number of times a customer is required to drive to your destination. The meal-kits should provide enough food to last a week. This will give customers an incentive to purchase your meal-kits instead of other kits offered by your competitors. You can easily promote your meal kits by purchasing advertisements on Facebook. In addition, you may decide to purchase a Sponsored Post on Instagram to show customers images of your lunch or dinner food.

Send Postcards About Food & Drink Specials

Sending postcards, flyers, and menus to the surrounding areas of your business is an excellent way to connect with the customer and get your name out there. This is an effective marketing tip for businesses that can be used to reach customers that may not have social media accounts. Every-Door-Direct-Mail can be sent to select areas of your choice. The marketing team at Awesome Hand Gaming is ready and willing to assist you with custom designs, selecting routes, placing the mail order, and ensuring delivery. 

Providing surrounding areas with a straight-forward, convenient piece of mail that they can hang on their refrigerator will not only act as a reminder for your current clientele, but will act as an invitation for new customers. Placing thorough information on the services your establishment is providing throughout these uncertain times directly into the hands of your customers is sure to put you back on the map.

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Social Media Marketing Tips for Businesses During COVID-19 PandemicUse Facebook & Instagram Polls to Vote on New Curbside Menu Items

As most of us have never lived through a global pandemic, we are meandering through unknown territory. Businesses have been left with a lot of unknowns, forcing them to not only adapt, but to get creative! Experiment with Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter polls to gain insight on your customers’ likes and dislikes. Use this social media marketing tip to gain feedback from your customers about new menu items that are offered at your Illinois video gaming business.

Share Old Photos on Social Media to Create Nostalgia 

Sharing photos of your establishment is a great way to remind customers of the special moments they’ve experienced with friends or family. Connect with your guests by revisiting the past. Whether they’re seeing images of themselves at your Illinois gaming systems or the bartender that keeps them coming back for more, these prized memories will certainly add to the anticipation of your small business reopening the doors.

Social Media Marketing Tips for Businesses During COVID-19 PandemicLivestream Events on Social Media

Facebook and Instagram have features that let you record live videos and publish them directly to your timeline in real time. Promoting your establishment live offers your guests and other potential customers an authentic, behind-the-scenes look into your small business. Use this social media marketing tip to host an online cooking demonstration of customers favorite entrées. This will not only provide a unique virtual connection with viewers, but it will also get their mouths watering and ultimately promote those curbside pickup and delivery services. Perhaps a live cocktail-making class better suits your small business. 

Promote your carry-out cocktail kits on Facebook or Twitter, then create an event to teach your guests exactly how to make them! Customers appreciate true candidness in these uncertain times, and a livestream does just that. You may also consider publishing live videos on Facebook or Instagram to show customers the initiatives you are taking to clean the tables, chairs, flooring, and video slot machines at your Illinois video gaming establishment. This will appeal to families or individuals that may have second thoughts about using curbside services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keep Customers Engaged With Your Illinois Video Gaming Systems on Social Media

Using unique social media hashtags can help businesses stay relevant. Now, more than ever, people are looking to social media for updates and entertainment. Using hashtags such as #SupportSmallBuisness can help customers find you, all while uniting with other small businesses in the area. Aside from hashtagging, it is important to remind your customers that what may seem lost is not truly gone. 

Feeling lucky, spinning some slots, and winning big will be a favorite pastime again in due time. Feature pictures of your guest previously playing on your Illinois gaming systems to remind them that those memories will once again be a reality! Try offering free slot play cards with carry-out orders as an extra incentive to come back once video gaming is reinstated in Illinois. It is important to do our part to support people who continue to support small businesses.  

Social Media Marketing Tips for Businesses During COVID-19 PandemicBe Transparent With Your Safety Regulations 

It’s imperative that you keep customers in the loop on the precautionary measures that are being taken to ensure their health and safety. The most important social media marketing tip for small businesses during the health crisis is to share images of staff members wearing masks and gloves. This will give your guests that extra peace-of-mind when ordering curbside pickup or delivery. 

At the end of the COVID-19 health crisis, the average customer will feel more comfortable visiting Illinois video gaming establishments that are continuously disinfecting their tables, Illinois gaming systems, and flooring. Remind customers on Instagram or Facebook that you are continuously wiping down the video slot machines at your bar or restaurant. Once dine-in services resume, customers and gamers will be attracted to restaurants that are transparent with their safety precautions.

Businesses that are able to connect with customers during these unsettling times are the ones who are going to grow from it. Staying engaged will drive business for your current customers and prompt future visits from new customers. Now more than ever, small Illinois video gaming businesses can utilize social media marketing tips to boost and maintain customer traffic throughout the pandemic and upon our return to normalcy. If you want to obtain video slot machines for your restaurant, bar, or truck stop, give our team a call by phone at (855) 921-1030 or fill out our Contact Form. Awesome Hand Gaming is an Illinois video gaming terminal operator that provides video slot machines to businesses. We offer slot machines from manufacturers such as Novomatic, Aristocrat Technologies, Inspired Entertainment, WMS, Spielo International, Bally, and IGT. Our team will help you obtain an Illinois gaming license and games for your business.

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3 Ways to Promote Your Business During the COVID-19 Crisis

Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, you may be struggling with ways to promote your business to new or existing customers. Restaurants have faced hardships, but have also had the opportunity to get creative with their business models. We are an Illinois video gaming terminal operator that is dedicated to helping you grow your restaurant or bar during these hard times. To help you reach a large quantity of customers, we have compiled a list of COVID-19 information and tips that can be used to attract customers during the Coronavirus pandemic.

3 Ways to Promote Your Business During the COVID-19 CrisisDevelop Email Campaigns to Promote Your Curbside Services

Adding an email subscription form to your website allows guests to sign up for updates regarding curbside delivery, reopening plans, and meal kit services. Include a dine-in only coupon to curbside receipts to prompt future visits when things are back up and running. Customers that have faced hardships will look forward to an evening out at your establishment, all at a discounted rate! Developing email campaigns is an easy and affordable way to promote your business to customers throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

Publish Safety Precaution Rules on Social Media for Customers

Restaurants have done their part to omit human to human interaction. Restaurants and Illinois gaming businesses have done everything in their power to keep contactless curbside pickup running safely and smoothly. Employees have been properly trained on the importance of cleanliness and have been made aware of COVID-19 symptoms. To stop the spread of the virus, it’s important to implement preventative safety measures with your staff to keep customers safe and satisfied. To ensure your customers are aware of the safety precautions you’re taking, publish updates and images on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter each day. This will help differentiate your establishment from the competition.

  • Ask each staff member to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water prior to handling food
  • Tell your staff to wear gloves and masks while providing curbside delivery services. 
  • Instruct the employees to continuously swap face masks and gloves during the day
  • Educate your team on the importance of utilizing hand sanitizer after touching surfaces

In order to maintain the health of both guests and employees, these sorts of measures should remain in place as we move through the reopening phases. 

3 Ways to Promote Your Business During the COVID-19 CrisisBuild Meal Kits for Guests

Meal Kits can be purchased uncooked — with all the fixings! This will not only provide guests with their favorite dish, but will give them a chance to create it all themselves! Meal kits can be offered in larger quantities, decreasing the amount of times customers need to leave their homes to visit your restaurant or Illinois gaming business. Many restaurant chains have been providing meal kit services and they look amazing! Check out what they’re offering for some ideas:

  • California Pizza Kitchen is offering five mouthwatering meal kits, including a Roasted Salmon Meal Kit for 4. In need of an activity to keep the kids engaged? California Pizza Kitchen offers a kid-sized make-your-own pizza kit!
  • Taco Bell has made Taco Tuesday just a bit better! At-Home Taco Kits are equipped with 8 flour tortillas, 12 crunchy taco shells, seasoned beef, nacho chips, and cheese sauce, and all the toppings you need to create the perfect taco!
  • Breakfast, Brunch, or Breakfast for dinner — Denny’s has got you covered! Offering 8 different shareable family meal kits that can be eaten any time of day! 
  • Struggling with sides to accompany your protein? Look no further — Boston Market is offering what they call “Chilled XL Heat and Serve Sides,” which are perfect for large families who need quick assistance with meals during quarantine!
  • Chick-fil-A has bundled meal deals called “Family Meals.” These meal kits and services can feed smaller 4-person families. They provide a list of larger entrees with a choice of sides and beverage. They are also selling their signature sauces in 8-ounce tubs. 

Prompting future visits, keeping things clean, and offering meal kits can offer a fun, affordable way to promote your business during the COVID-19 pandemic. To receive assistance with questions about Illinois gaming or marketing, give our team a call by phone at (855) 921-1030 to receive assistance. Awesome Hand Gaming is an Illinois gaming terminal operator that provides video slot machines to bars, restaurants, truck stops, and fraternal organizations in Illinois.


5 Safety Tips for Bars & Restaurants to Follow During COVID-19

You can never be too careful when you are factoring in the safety of the workers and guests at your restaurant or bar during the COVID-19 health crisis. The Coronavirus has taken more than a toll on the heart of America — it’s taken a toll on Illinois gaming establishments, restaurants, and bars. We all know and love the familiar habit of kicking off our work shoes on a Friday at 5 o’clock, heading down to our local bar, and catching up with our friends and neighbors. 

Since the pandemic, we have had to make more than just a slight adjustment. Our new “norm” has completely changed, and it’s safe to say that, to return to the old, we have to embrace some of the new. Here are some helpful safety tips to keep our friends, neighbors, coworkers, employees, and guests safe at your bar or restaurant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Invest in Disinfectants & Cleaning Agents

Everything starts with how you change your daily routines. The first step to ensure the customers and employees at your Illinois gaming establishment are safe is to lead by example. You should consistently wear a mask and disposable gloves, and wash your hands often and thoroughly throughout the phases of this pandemic. Keep disinfectant and bacteria-killing agents around at all times to promote safety and minimize worry. Stay up to date and educated on products that the CDC and IDPH recommend using. 

Wear a Mask Wearing a mask is a fundamental addition to helping keep the employees and customers safe at your Illinois gaming business. Make sure masks are easily accessible for your staff members, and require that everyone who is working wear them at all times. The mask must cover both your nose and mouth to prevent the spread of respiratory droplets that can come from coughing, sneezing, or talking. It is also important to continue social distancing even when you are wearing a mask. Maintain a 6-foot distance whenever possible to reduce the likelihood of catching the virus. Wear a Mask

Wearing a mask is a fundamental addition to helping keep the employees and customers safe at your Illinois gaming business. Make sure masks are easily accessible for your staff members, and require that everyone who is working wear them at all times. The mask must cover both your nose and mouth to prevent the spread of respiratory droplets that can come from coughing, sneezing, or talking. It is also important to continue social distancing even when you are wearing a mask. Maintain a 6-foot distance whenever possible to reduce the likelihood of catching the virus. 

Wash Your Hands

Discuss with your staff how important it is to follow CDC guidelines on how to properly wash your hands. Ensuring that antibacterial soap and sanitizer are always in stock is of the utmost importance for both employee and customer safety. Proper signage should be posted throughout the Illinois gaming establishment and in the restrooms to act as a reminder of what effective personal hygiene looks like. 

Furthermore, restrooms should always be stocked with paper towels for hand drying and garbage cans should be strategically placed near the restroom door so employees and guests can avoid touching the door handle. Providing garbage cans both inside and outside the bathroom door will ensure your guest can dispose of waste while upholding their personal hygiene. If you have any questions about how to improve hand washing between employees and customers at your restaurant or bar, visit the CDC website on proper procedures. 

5 Safety Tips for Bars & Restaurants to Follow During COVID-19Wipe Down Areas During & After Use

There are many people who contribute to running a safe, healthy, and successful business. From the employees, to the consumers, to the distributors, this is a time when it is essential to consider the health of all the moving parts. The FDA and CDC have put together guidelines to keep your Illinois gaming facility clean and disinfected. Remember to keep sanitation nearby and to consistently wipe down all areas before use, during use, and after use. 

Clean Your Illinois Gaming Machines

One of the most important aspects of your business is your Illinois gaming area. While specific guidelines on social distancing are yet to be determined, we know that sanitizing your video slot machines will be on the list. Start getting in the habit of disinfecting your slot machines and gaming areas multiple times a day. Prepare to limit the number of patrons in the gaming area, and provide sanitation stations that are accessible to all players. Most importantly, play safe! That’s really what we call winning.

It is our number one priority to make sure our friends, family, and neighbors are staying safe. The more we practice these protocols, the faster we can be back on track to normality. Implementing strategies to encourage behaviors that reduce the spread of COVID-19 among employees and customers is crucial. If you have questions or concerns about safety guidelines or Illinois gaming, give our staff a call by phone at (855) 921-1030. Awesome Hand Gaming provides video slot machines and games to restaurants, bars, and truck stops. We’re getting closer and closer to the light at the end of the tunnel. Stay safe, Illinois.


How to Increase Your Illinois Gaming Revenue With a New Food Menu

You have the slot machines. Now all you need is that extra touch to get more customers through the door of your restaurant or bar. Upgrading your food menu is the perfect way to draw people in to play your gambling machines.

Composing a superb food menu with the right selections, prices, and menu design not only appeals to the appetite of your customers but also increases the likelihood of them spinning some slots. The Illinois gaming revenue earned by your bar or restaurant is dependent on the quality of appetizers, entrees, and drinks you provide to customers. By providing guests with memorable food will help you grow your business with money earned from video slot machines.

Do you want to update your food menu, but don’t know where to start? We’ve compiled everything you need to upgrade to the perfect menu that will make your guests eager to eat, leave them satisfied, and get them into that gaming seat to try their luck on your slots.

Consider Food and Labor CostsConsider Food and Labor Costs

Finding a fine balance between affordable but quality menu options and labor costs is not always easy. If you raise prices too high on popular items, and you might deter customers from visiting your restaurant to play your video slot machines. This may have a negative impact on the Illinois gaming revenue earned from your lunch and dinner crowds. On the other hand, you may be selling yourself short if you keep prices the same.

With the ever-fluctuating food and labor costs and the over-saturation of food establishments in the industry, it’s important to consider these aspects when deciding how you will update your food menu and what to add or take away. 

How Often Should You Upgrade Your Menu? 

A rotating menu is a wonderful way to attract new customers to your gambling machines and earn Illinois gaming revenue. They give you time to review your menu and find out what’s working and what’s not.

Some restaurants update their menu quarterly, some seasonally, and others only once a year. How often you upgrade your menu ultimately comes down to you! 

Upgrading your menu doesn’t mean you have to rebrand your entire establishment.  This could simply involve making a few tweaks: If rotating seasonally, add food options to match the holidays. For example, you may decide to offer soups and warm desserts for the winter while providing salads and BBQ items for the summer. Take away unsuccessful items that aren’t making much revenue, or perhaps add items customers would like to see.  

Whatever you decide, know what to add and take away. To avoid losing gamers and Illinois gaming revenue, do not remove food items from your menu that are popular with locals.’ Also, we do not recommend adding food entrees to your menu that don’t match your brand.

What Is the Right Size for a Food Menu? 

What Is the Right Size for a Food Menu? 

Oftentimes ignored, the size of your menu makes a big difference when attracting customers and video gamers to the slot machines at your bar or restaurant. You want enough food options to explore without being overbearing. Too many items can overwhelm customers and make them indecisive. If there are not enough food options, this may negatively affect their experience and inhibit your ability to generate Illinois gaming revenue.

Consider what your kitchen staff can handle, the brand of your establishment, as well as food and labor cost. Typically, you want to present a diverse menu that balances between both traditional and popular items. This means classics everyone can enjoy such as a cheeseburger or chicken tenders, and also themed items that guests can only get at your establishment. 

What is the best size for your food menu? Typically seven or eight food items in each category is just the right size, allowing guests time to pick and eat, then stay and play your video slot machines. 

How to Design a Menu for a Restaurant

Much like menu size, the placement of food items contributes to the appeal of your establishment. Placing food items in a sensible spot will visually guide guests to their choice.

Make your best dishes locatable. Items you want to push, and are typically the most expensive, should be placed front and center on your menu. Affordable items should go towards the lower half of your menu, allowing guests to start from the top and gaze down until they find a selection most suitable for them. 

Placing popular dishes in the back or lower-left corner of the page will make it hard for your guests to find the best food options. Use these placements for side options or the kids’ menu instead. If a guest is unable to find the excellent food you are known for, they will be less likely to visit again and play your video gambling machines. This will have a negative impact on the Illinois gaming revenue earned at your restaurant or bar.

Other design elements include consistency. Maintain font, theme, and color scheme throughout your entire menu. Consider the psychological effects color has on people, and how different colors evoke different emotions. Yellow grabs customer’s attention, red makes them hungry, blue is calming and might evoke a too relaxed guest that ends up avoiding the video gambling post meal. Do your research and make the best of your color scheme.

Is Your Menu Easy to Read? 

Not only should you consider what’s on your menu, but also how legible it is. Avoid hard-to-read fonts and adding too many words. You should also avoid using unnecessary jargon and unusual terms that don’t contribute to the theme of your establishment. If your menu is too hard to digest, the likelihood of a customer returning to your restaurant or bar to play your video slot machines diminishes. To ensure you are able to generate a consistent amount of Illinois gaming revenue, it’s important to provide each customer with a clean, accessible, and simple menu.

Use straightforward language and common words. Keep item captions short and sweet. Font size is especially important when upgrading your menu. Your font size should not be so large that it screams at customers but also shouldn’t be so small that they have to squint to read. Make sure the typography you choose best resembles your establishment’s color scheme, logo, and brand. 

Keep Content CreativeKeep Content Creative

Creating enticing meals is one thing, but getting your customers to try it is another. Use appealing content that answers the questions: Why should I try this food selection? What’s in store for me?

Add lively adjectives and buzzwords such as fresh, savory, warm, tasty, and zesty, to make your food menu exciting to Illinoins gaming customers. You can even allude to regional references to give your menu personality. 

Most importantly, make sure your content is proofread by multiple professionals to ensure the quality and credibility of your brand. 

Keep Track of Competition in the Illinois Gaming & Food Industries

If you want to attract customers to your slot machines and grow your business with Illinois gaming revenue, you need to be aware of competitors within the area. Sometimes getting traffic in the door boils down to the details, such as pricing, food options, and distance. Know what restaurants or bars that are within a ten mile radius from your establishment are doing. 

What does their menu have to offer? What’s their theme, drinks specials, and brand? Once you have assessed your local establishments, craft your updated menu to bring something new to the table, something that other bars or restaurants in the local area with video slot machines don’t offer.

Grow Your Illinois Gaming Revenue with Awesome Hand Gaming Grow Your Illinois Gaming Revenue with Awesome Hand Gaming 

Awesome Hand Gaming can help you boost your Illinois gaming revenue! With more than 80 years of experience, our team has the skills you need to assist with handling management, route operations, gaming system maintenance, legal, and marketing services for your gaming enterprise. We are an Illinois Video Gaming Terminal Operator that provides the latest video slot machines in the industry to bars, restaurants, truck stops, and fraternal organizations. To find out how we can set up your Illinois gaming machines and help you market your promotions, give us a call by phone at (855) 921-1030, or fill out our Contact Form.

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How to Use Food & Drink Specials to Promote Your Illinois Gaming Machines

Once you have Illinois gaming machines in your restaurant or bar, integrating food and drink specials is a great way to attract clients to your establishment to earn additional gaming revenue. A unique and diverse menu appeals to both old and new customers, and they can use the opportunity to try video gaming while enjoying a discounted beverage or meal. 

With food and drink specials, you can attract more customers and earn additional Illinois gaming revenue at your establishment. By offering a discounted rate, you can encourage customers that are playing your slot machines to try new dishes and drinks they wouldn’t normally order! If you are struggling to brainstorm the right idea for your bar or restaurant, the following options will get you started.

Offer Happy Hour SpecialsOffer Happy Hour Specials

If you want to get customers to try out your Illinois gaming machines, Happy Hour specials are a great way to bring people in. With these specials, you can attract customers to enjoy your food and test out your video slot machines.

Happy Hour specials work great as they attract video gamers in Illinois during off-hours. Once people show up for Happy Hour and play on your Illinois video gaming machines, they may even end up staying for dinner afterward.

Try techniques like offering miniature food items with drink specials. If guests like the miniature versions of your lunch and dinner menu, they are more likely to return later to try the full dish and play your Illinois gaming machines.

A drink flight is an increasingly popular way to help clients try out different drinks. Select a few of your most popular drinks and include small samples of each into the flight for your customers. Once they find one that they like, your customers might order more of that drink. The same concept works well for desserts.

If you’re looking to attract even larger crowds of video gamblers to your restaurant or bar to earn additional Illinois gaming revenue, we recommend designing a Happy Hour menu around the idea of shareable plates. Groups of friends will show up to split a plate, have a drink, and try out your Illinois gaming machines.

How Do Happy Hour Specials Help?

Your restaurant only has so much space available. Ideally, your goal should be to generate revenue from food, drinks, and Illinois gaming throughout the day. Most people go to restaurants during a lunch or dinner rush, leaving establishments empty during slower times.

Happy Hour specials encourage clients to come during your slow hours, which helps you gain additional food and Illinois gaming revenue throughout the day.

Seasonal specials can also bring in new clients by giving them something new or interesting to try. You can create a warm, welcoming vibe in your restaurant by pairing your specials with your game room decor. Match your Mai Tais to a beach theme. At Halloween, pair your pumpkin drinks with spiderwebs. When Christmas rolls around, include mini holiday garlands with brandy and eggnog drinks.

Try Limited Offer SpecialsTry Limited Offer Specials

Limited offers help you build a sense of urgency. When an offer is only around for a brief time, people realize they have to buy it before it disappears. Plus, you don’t have to invest in a long-term menu item because it will only be around for a short time.

If you really want to bring in new customers to play your Illinois gaming machines, try pairing up your limited offer on food with a limited offer of free slot machine gaming. By offering free play, you can see how it affects your Illinois gaming revenue and decide whether the outcome is worth it. If this plan brings in more revenue from your Illinois gaming machines, you can always keep it going.

Use Lunch and Dinner Specials

If you want to attract new customers, you don’t have to stop at Happy Hour specials. Lunch and dinner specials are great for promoting your menu and video slot machines as well. Giving your customers an inventive to visit at certain times will help you earn additional revenue from appetizers, drinks, food, and Illinois gaming.

A simple offer of a $5 Match Slot Play for any customer who tries your special could boost the likelihood of someone making a purchase. Once you advertise this special, customers will be more inclined to try your food so they can play the games on your Illinois gaming machines for free. You can even try special promotions like brunch food at lunch, limited time offers, $9.95 Mix and Match menu items, a pasta bar, a salad bar, and more.

Blend Gaming and Food Specials Together

By combining your gaming and food specials together, you can boost your revenue from food, drinks, appetizers, and Illinois video gaming. You can convince your gaming clients to dine in, and at the same time, you can encourage your restaurant clients to try out your Illinois gaming machines.

Once you have chosen the right special, it’s important to promote it correctly. Try out different promotion methods to see which one works best, or you can use multiple options to do some A/B testing.

Some of the most basic marketing techniques have proven successful for dozens of gaming establishments in the past:

  • Print Signage
  • Print Ads
  • Social Media
  • E-Blasts
  • Events (and AHG events!)

Improve Your Business With the Illinois Gaming Revenue Earned From Your Slot MachinesImprove Your Business With the Illinois Gaming Revenue Earned From Your Slot Machines

Illinois gaming machines can help you attract a variety of clients. By adding machines, you can get clients to stay for longer periods of time. When clients are using your machines, they will often order food and drinks until they leave.

With video slots, your establishment becomes a destination instead of simply a restaurant or bar. Your Illinois gaming revenue can also increase the money you make, giving you an advantage over your competition.

Awesome Hand Gaming Is Here to Support Your Business Growth

If you want to boost your revenue, Illinois gaming machines are a great way to get started. Awesome Hand Gaming has partnered with the Illinois Gaming Board to provide and maintain video slot machines in the state. To find out how we can set up your Illinois gaming machines and help you market your promotions, give us a call by phone at (855) 921-1030 or fill out our Contact Form.

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How to Improve Your Business & Earn Illinois Gaming Revenue

No matter what industry you are in, there will always be competitors who are searching for ways to better their business and attract more clients or customers. If your company isn’t constantly part of this pursuit, you are likely losing market share to your competitors.

So, what can you do to improve your company’s bottom line?

Whether you run a truck stop, a bar, or a restaurant, adding Illinois gaming revenue to your income is a perfect way to get ahead of the competition. We are an Illinois Video Gaming Terminal Operator that will help you increase the revenue you accumulate from your current customers with video slot machines and games.

The Importance of Improving Your Illinois Video Gaming Services

Consumers are always interested in new and exciting services. By adding Illinois gaming systems to your business, you can gaming revenue and capitalize on one of the latest developments in both the bar and food industries. You’ll also gain a new feature you can market on social media and your website.

Other than the immediate benefit of earning Illinois gaming revenue, your Illinois gaming systems help you market your business to your current clientele and an entirely new audience of gamers. While you can only sell so much food or alcohol to a single person, your guests can spend more money on your gaming machines. If you want to improve your services and increase your Illinois gaming revenue, gaming systems are a smart choice.

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Why You Need to Check Out Awesome Hand Gaming Restaurants & Bars

Right now, there are hundreds of restaurants, bars, and truck stops throughout the state that have earned an gaming license and video slot machines from the Illinois Gaming Board after receiving assistance from the staff at Awesome Hand Gaming. We offer the latest Illinois gaming systems and games from manufacturers such as Bally Technologies, SPIELO International, IGT, InspiredWMS, Aristocrat Technologies, and more. If you are currently planning out your Illinois video gaming marketing strategy, check out some examples of how other Awesome Hand Gaming establishments have incorporated food specials and other incentives into their promotional campaigns.

Many locations promote their Illinois gaming systems using AHG marketing flags, window decals, signs, and even branded coasters. If you want to attract more customers and increase your Illinois gaming revenue, you can also offer giveaway items and host attention-grabbing events.

Create Interactive Gaming EventsCreate Interactive Gaming Events

One way you can increase your Illinois gaming revenue is by holding fun, interactive Illinois video gaming events at your bar or restaurant. You can start by making a map of your floor layout, so you can determine where each part of the event will take place, and then figure out the cost per person at your event.

To make your event more enjoyable, you may want to set up television entertainment or an audio system as an added way to ensure customers will interact with your video slot machines as long as possible. Sound and video will also help to liven up your party. If you book a cover band or have other entertainment, your guests will be more likely to stay for the entire event. 

Before the Illinois video gaming event occurs at your bar or restaurant, get a final headcount of everyone who will be there and see if guests want specific menu items discounted at the event. If you can get them in the door, keep them satisfied and sticking around, you can bet they’re going to take a seat and spend some money playing your Illinois gaming systems.

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Plan an Interactive Video Gaming Event With Our Staff

If you want to increase your Illinois gaming revenue, professionally-hosted interactive events are one of the most effective choices. These promotions increase awareness about your video slot machines and boost engagement. At an Awesome Hand Gaming event, we encourage you to offer free gaming sessions so your prospective customers can try the Illinois gaming systems and then spread the word to their friends and family.

Depending on your restaurant or bar, you may want a different style or theme for your gaming event. We have achieved success with events like chili cook-offs, life-size battle pong, team volleyball, Nintendo 64 Mario Kart racing tournaments, as well as costume parties. The right option depends on your Illinois video gambling location and the brand image you want to project to attendees.

Awesome Hand Gaming events are popular and memorable, so we are often booked at least six months in advance. To have a successful event that promotes the video slot machines at your bar or restaurant, we generally recommend you start planning the details of your event at least five weeks ahead of time.

Remember to Follow Up With Customers After the EventRemember to Follow Up With Customers After the Event

After your event, don’t forget to follow up with your customers. By getting feedback from your clients and visitors, you can learn which techniques were a hit and which things need to be changed. You can call your customers or send out email surveys after the event to learn more about their level of satisfaction with your Illinois gaming systems, food discounts, and drink specials at your event. If you have a social media page, you can also send out your survey online. You can easily conduct polls on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Social Media Campaigns for Illinois Video Gaming Events

Different types of social media campaigns can help you market your event and get feedback about it afterward. For example, you can try some of the following ideas:

  • Use influencers on social media to spread the word.
  • Conduct polls about what customers want on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • Offer social giveaways and competitions to increase the hype around your Illinois video gaming event. 
  • Brand your restaurant or bar and spread awareness with Facebook Group partnerships. 
  • Develop partnerships with other brands.

Awesome Hand Gaming Helps Take Your Illinois Gaming Revenue Stream to the Next Level

If you want to improve your gaming business, Illinois gaming revenue can help. We have machines approved by the Illinois Gaming Board for restaurants, bars, truck stops, and similar locations. From obtaining an Illinois liquor license, video slot machine installation, to earning an Illinois video gaming license, our staff will walk you through each step required to add gaming to your business. If you currently utilize a different gaming operator for your slot machines, we recommend switching to Awesome Hand Gaming to receive the benefits of our interactive event planning services and Illinois gaming systems.

Through Awesome Hand Gaming, you can boost your Illinois gaming revenue by incorporating complementary options like free giveaways, promotional models, event planning, and more. Give us a call by phone at (855) 921-1030 or fill out our Contact Form to learn more about our event planning and video slot machine installation services.

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How the Revenue From Illinois Video Gambling is Helpful to Municipalities

Video gambling in Illinois is helpful to bars and restaurants because it provides a reliable stream of gaming revenue that can be used gain new customers and grow your business. However, Illinois gaming systems and gambling is also useful to municipalities because it helps produce new jobs and pours money into the local economy. By investing in video slot machines, restaurants, bars, and truck stops can increase their revenue while also increasing the city’s financial standing.

How Video Gambling Helps the Local Economy

Municipalities should opt into allowing Illinois gaming systems at bars and restaurants because video gambling makes it easier for business owners to grow their establishment. In turn, this boosted revenue gives entrepreneurs more space in their budget for paying rent, covering overhead costs, and investing back into their Illinois video gaming business.  Businesses may even be able to open new locations and hire more local workers if their Illinois gaming revenue grows.

Back in 2015, the Illinois Gaming Machine Operators Association reported an estimate of 700 new and thriving video gambling establishments in Illinois after the Video Gaming Act was passed. In addition, this act paved the way for 32,000 new jobs and $469 million to $763 million in annual revenue for the area.

Because municipalities have allowed Illinois gaming systems into the public space, businesses can now bring in additional tax revenue for the local government. If a municipality allows Illinois video gambling, they keep 5 percent of the net terminal income from licensed establishments, earning Illinois gaming revenue within its boundaries.

How the Income From Illinois Video Gambling is Helpful to MunicipalitiesWhat is a Licensed Illinois Video Gambling Establishment?

The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) has defined which local establishments can have Illinois video gaming and the number of video terminals they can house. A licensed establishment is any retail location where liquor is served, including any place where liquor is poured, drawn, mixed, or consumed.

To become a licensed establishment, businesses can operate on a for-profit or nonprofit basis and must meet a specific set of requirements. Companies that fit this standard include video gambling parlors, restaurants, small eateries, gas stations, truck stops, and bars.

What is a Licensed Fraternal Establishment?

A Licensed Fraternal Establishment is a designated location where fraternal organizations are able to meet. These include Legions, Moose Lodges, and more. To qualify for video gambling and gaming systems, fraternal organizations must produce their most recent letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to show they are a fraternal benefit society or a domestic fraternal society.

Most communities have multiple fraternal establishments within them. Awesome Hand Gaming is an Illinois Video Gaming Terminal Operator that is dedicated to helping fraternal organizations earn Illinois gaming revenue from slot machines. We serve numerous fraternal communities including:

What Is a Licensed Veterans Establishment?

To qualify as a veterans establishment, an organization must have regular veterans organization meetings at that location.. An updated charter from a national veterans organization is required.

Over time, Awesome Hand Gaming has worked with many veterans organizations, like VFW Wood Dale Post 2149, which established Illinois gaming systems in the bar to earn Illinois gaming revenue. Meanwhile, the Woodstock VFW also has four remote video gambling machines with dozens of games to choose from.

How the Income From Illinois Video Gambling is Helpful to MunicipalitiesWhat Is a Truck Stop?

Illinois video gambling can also be managed at truck stop establishments. A qualified, licensed truck stop generates 10,000 gallons or more of biodiesel or diesel fuel in monthly sales and must sit on at least 3 acres of land. 

To be considered a licensed, large truck stop, the facility must produce an affidavit to show it is located within 3 road miles from the freeway. Large truck stops must sell at least 50,000 gallons of diesel per month and sit on 3 acres of land.

All establishments have additional rules and regulations that determine where Illinois video gambling systems can be placed. According to Illinois state law, video slot machines must be placed in a location restricted to people who are 21 or older. You are not allowed to earn Illinois gaming revenue from individuals that are below the age of 21. The entrance to the video gambling area must also be in full view of someone who works at the establishment.

How Awesome Hand Gaming Can Help

Awesome Hand Gaming can help boost bottom-line profits at local businesses with Illinois gaming revenue. Our company is a top-rated Illinois video gambling terminal operator. We help establishments take part in Illinois gaming by providing video gaming services, slot machines, routine maintenance, and more.

Our process begins by requiring a gaming license application from the establishment. Awesome Hand Gaming is involved in every step of the application process to ensure each establishment obtains the necessary video gambling machines. Afterward, our team members will maintain and service each machine for maximum uptime. 

Grow Your Business With Illinois Gaming Revenue

Business owners are constantly seeking the latest opportunities for company growth and earnings. Fortunately, Illinois gaming revenue helps grow businesses and local municipalities. Awesome Hand Gaming is here to help by incorporating gaming systems into Illinois establishments for better business.


How to Add Illinois Gaming Systems to Your Business

By adding Illinois gaming systems or slot machines to your bar or restaurant, you can enjoy a wide variety of benefits. The current Illinois gambling laws will require you to get fingerprinted, apply for an Illinois Gaming License, and set up your machines. But with the help of Awesome Hand Gaming (AHG), you can simplify your setup and get started in the Illinois video gaming industry.

We’re here to answer the most common questions that business owners tend to have before they get started. 

How Long is the Application Process for Illinois Gaming Systems?

In general, it takes around three to four months from the first step to the point when your Illinois gaming systems are installed at your establishment. This includes the initial moment you apply for gaming systems to when you have met Illinois gambling laws and are rewarded with an official license. Unfortunately, there is no way to speed this process up, as the licensure is handled and approved by the state of Illinois and the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB).

How Will Our Team Assist Throughout the Application Process?

Awesome Hand Gaming aids with the entire process of acquiring gambling machines. If you want to offer Illinois gaming machines at your bar or restaurant, you can obtain your machines through us. Our team helps you through each step in applying, obtaining gaming machines, and getting started with the video gambling Illinois allows.

We start with the baseline requirements such as your FEIN (federal employer tax identification number), your business location, your Illinois business tax number, and both your state and local liquor licenses. From filling out the Illinois gaming system application to finding the right machines, we will help with every step in the process.

What Happens After the Application is Submitted?

There are a handful of important things to prepare for when it comes to the state’s gambling laws and gaming license requirements. The Illinois Gaming Board requires owners to get fingerprinted by one of three private firms. After the initial investigation and background checks, a special agent arrives to do an on-site inspection. At this point, the establishment should be nearly completed and ready to open if they aren’t already up and running.

During this stage, both management and owners need to be present, as the Illinois Gaming Board takes photos of the proposed area for the Illinois gaming machines and the owners and video gaming manager. According to Illinois gambling laws, the entrance of the gambling machine area should be visible to one of your employees who are over the age of 21 at all times, to ensure underage gambling is prevented.

Once your site inspection is finished, it is up to the Illinois Gaming Board to vote on your application. This happens once a month, so you may need to wait a couple of weeks to find out your application’s status.

What Will Adding Slot Machines to My Business Cost Me?

While the slot machines are provided from your Illinois terminal operator at no cost, it’s important that you understand some of the other minor costs involved with the application process before diving right in.

When you submit an application for Illinois gaming machines to the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB), it will cost $100. Once the application is approved, you will need to pay an annual amount of $100 to maintain your establishment license year after year. Depending on your municipality, you may also have to pay annual gaming payments such as a sticker fee for each video gaming terminal (VGT), a supplemental liquor license, or other fees.

How Much Space do Illinois Gaming Systems Take Up?

A slot machine or gaming system is generally 30 inches deep, 74 inches high, and a minimum of 28 inches wide. However, these dimensions can vary depending on what VGTs you choose. In addition to the Illinois gaming systems, you’ll also need to plan for about three feet of clearance around it for maintenance accessibility.

Can I Buy Slot Machines and Install Them in My Location on My Own?

Per Illinois gambling laws, local establishments cannot buy and install Illinois gaming systems on their own. To legally operate Illinois gaming systems, you are required to hire and sign a contract with a terminal operator like Awesome Hand Gaming. It is their responsibility to handle the machines, services, and maintenances for your licensed Illinois video gaming location.

What are the Differences Between “Slot Machines,” “Video Gaming Terminals,” and “Video Gaming”? 

There has long been a debate about what to call Illinois gaming machines. At the moment, the name of Illinois gaming systems depends on who you ask and their specific preferences. The Illinois Gaming Board calls it video gaming, with the actual machines being known as video gaming terminals (VGTs).

Video gambling Illinois residents who love to play at bars and restaurants identify them by a variety of different names. Many players and establishments call these devices slot machines, video slots, video gambling machines, video gaming machines, and plenty of others.

Why is it Important to Perform Preventative Maintenance on My Illinois Gaming Systems?

If you want to make the most of your Illinois gaming systems, it is important to identify slot machine problems before they turn into major issues. Anytime your machines are broken or not working properly, you end up losing potential Illinois gaming revenue. The best way to avoid downtime is by having regularly scheduled maintenance checks. 

We Offer Preventative Maintenance for Your Illinois Gaming Machines

Awesome Hand Gaming will keep your Illinois gaming systems in peak condition. We have more than 20 service technicians who can show up for repairs or maintenance tasks at a moment’s notice. Each technician is assigned to a northern or southern region, so they are always ready for any emergency or repair task.

Usually within an hour, our technicians can fill the machine’s paper, clean the buttons, clear paper jams, clean the bill acceptors, fix locked machines, and repair blank monitors. We handle everything from tech support to lost communications with the Sci Game network.

Grow Your Revenue Today

By investing in Illinois gaming systems, you can grow your company’s revenue and provide more entertainment options to the customers at your bar, restaurant, truck stop, or fraternal organization. Awesome Hand Gaming is here to help with the entire process of finding a location, applying for a license, abiding by Illinois gambling laws, and setting up your video gaming systems. To learn more, call AHG today at (855) 921-1030.