Video Gambling Laws in Illinois for Slot Machines | Awesome Hand Gaming
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Illinois Gambling Laws

Learn More About Illinois Gambling Laws & Illinois Slot Machines

Over the past couple of years, the video gambling in Illinois has seen tremendous growth due to the leniency lawmakers are showing on the industry. From sports betting to lottery tickets and scratchers, Illinois gambling laws are slowly becoming less harsh. Illinois slot machines and gambling are becoming a more popular form of entertainment.

As video gabling laws in Illinois have become more lenient over the years, we have experienced an increase in the usage of Illinois slot machines in bars, restaurants, truck stops, and fraternal organizations in Illinois. Licensed Illinois video gaming establishments are following Illinois gambling laws and are obtaining gaming machines to grow their business with Illinois slot machines revenue. Illinois slot machines and video gaming in Chicago allow business owners to bring in new customers who are looking for places to gamble and play video games.

With over 11,000 Illinois slot machines and video gambling opportunities in the Chicago, Illinois area,  the return on investment for the Illinois video gambling industry is staggering. Year after year, Illinois video gaming locations in Chicago with a gambling license are earning a record-breaking amount of Illinois slot machines revenue and new customers.

Illinois slot machines have an interesting history and can greatly benefit your company’s bottom line, but it’s important to know about the laws surrounding video gambling in Illinois before setting up video gaming for your bar, restaurant, truck stop, or fraternal organization.

Grow Your Business With Illinois Slot Machines & a Gaming License

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Brief History of Illinois Gambling Laws & Illinois Gambling Licenses

Games of chance in Illinois date back to the early 1800s when it first became a state. But back then, any form of gambling was illegal per local laws. The only Illinois gambling or gaming activities to be found were through underground groups or on illegal riverboat casinos.

In the 1920s, Illinois gambling laws and regulations were developed to allow for the legalization of horse racing. Since then, multiple lotteries have been permitted along with the Riverboat Gambling Act of 1990. This opened the door for the ten current casinos that provide video gambling in Illinois.

About ten years ago, another major turning point in Illinois gambling laws made the state even more progressive and gave individuals the freedom to participate in additional forms of gambling. The Illinois Video Gaming Act was enacted at this time and allows businesses such as bars and restaurants to have up to 6 slot machines and participate in video gambling activities in Illinois. In addition, gambling laws allow for a total of 10 Illinois slot machines to be utilized at large truck stops. This Illinois gambling act is enforced and maintained by the Illinois Gaming Board. The Illinois Video Gaming Act is an Illinois gambling law that allows the use of Illinois slot machines in a handful of liquor-pouring establishments. As more municipalities make the flip to allow Illinois slot machines, Illinois businesses interest in obtaining a gambling license from the Illinois Gaming Board continues to grow.

Types of Gambling Allowed by Illinois Gaming Laws

As stated in the Illinois Video Gaming Act, Illinois slot machines and other video terminals are now legal in the state as long as the location has the necessary gambling licenses. As a premier Illinois Video Gaming Terminal Operator, Awesome Hand Gaming provides access to these slot machines as well as video gambling options in Illinois. We also offer the necessary security, marketing, and legal support for restaurants and bars. The Illinois slot machines revenue is split between the state, terminal operator, and the licensed location.

You may be wondering if it’s okay to have either an antique or video slot machine in your own home. Per Illinois gambling laws, locals are permitted to own slot machines as long as they are at least 25 years old from the present date. But keep in mind, these Illinois slot machines are not to be set up as a mini casino from your home, with Illinois gambling laws declaring they should “not be used in the operation or promotion in any unlawful gambling activity or enterprise.”

Horseracing is yet another well-known form of gambling that has been allowed by Illinois gambling laws since the 1920s. Though it was immensely popular for many years, the industry has slowed recently and has seen a decline in both profits and participation.

After the Riverboat Gambling Act came into effect, riverboat casinos were one of the top streams for gaming revenue and video gambling activities in Illinois. That is until 2017 when video gaming surpassed the casinos for the first time. Although the industry is declining, riverboats are still collecting around $250 million per year in revenue.

Other types of gambling currently allowed by Illinois gambling laws:

  • Bingo
  • Pull Tab & Jar Games
  • Charitable Games
  • Lotteries
  • Live Poker

Grow Your Bar, Restaurant, & Business With Illinois Slot Machines

If you are looking for new ways to improve the bottom line at your bar, restaurant, truck stop, or fraternal organization, Illinois slot machines revenue should be added to the top of your options. The profits received from Illinois slot machines under Illinois gambling laws can be used in a number of ways to benefit your business and grow your location. Just a few of these options are:

  • Enhanced digital marketing campaigns (social media, paid advertisements, SEO, video advertisements, and more).
  • Enhanced traditional marketing campaigns (Banners, Feather Flags, Posters, Window Decals, Coasters, Gaming Chairs, Events, & More).
  • Upgrades to the interior of your bar, restaurant, truck stop, or fraternal organization.
  • Additions to your food and drink menus.
  • Hiring additional staff members, managers, waitstaff, and creating other new jobs.

How to Leverage Video Gaming & Illinois Gambling to Grow Your Business

As an Illinois Video Gaming Terminal Operator, Awesome Hand Gaming is your one-stop shop for everything involved with Illinois gambling laws and Illinois gaming machines for your business location. Our goal is to help you reach new heights in Illinois slot machine revenue by assisting with the following:

  • Video slot machines
  • Event planning and coordination
  • Maintaining legality at your establishment
  • Marketing campaign development
  • Illinois Gaming License renewal
  • Game room design
  • Illinois Liquor License assistance
  • Slot Machine repair & installation
  • And more

Illinois Video Gambling Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Obtain My Illinois Gaming Report?

The Illinois Gaming Board provides access to gaming performance and revenue reports on its website. There are 3 types of gaming reports available to the public, Statewide, Municipality, and Establishment. The Establishment report outlines data that illustrates the total revenue earned from video slot machines at locations such as bars, restaurants, truck stops, and fraternal organizations. 

This type of report also outlines other data such as total slot machines, Net Terminal Income, municipality, and license numbers. All Illinois gaming reports include key performance indicators that display the performance of the video slot machines in your establishment. For example, the Amount Played metric is a summary of the total amount of money spent by customers at your Illinois slot machines. On the other hand, the Amount Won metric summarizes the total amount of money awarded to customers that participated in video gambling.

Is Video Gambling Allowed in All Municipalities in Illinois?

No. Each municipality in Illinois has the authority to allow or prohibit video slot machines and gambling. If your restaurant or bar is located in an area that prohibits slot machines, you will not be able to offer games or gambling services to customers at your address. On the other hand, establishments in unincorporated locations of Illinois will have to abide by the Illinois video gambling regulations that have been implemented by the local county board.

In addition, all local government bodies in Illinois are given an opportunity to accept or decline the usage of Illinois video gaming machines. The Illinois Gaming Board provides a listing of each local municipality and its eligibility to participate in video gambling activities.

Am I Allowed to Perform Repairs On My Video Slot Machines?

According to the video gambling laws in Illinois, only Licensed Technicians or Terminal Handlers have the authority to perform maintenance or repair projects on an Illinois gaming system. A Licensed Terminal Handler is allowed to perform the same types of repairs as Licensed Technicians. On the other hand, a Licensed Technician is not able to perform the same repairs or tune-ups as a Licensed Terminal Handler. As an Awesome Hand Gaming partner, our 24/7 service support line is always available. Should you experience any problems with your Illinois Gaming System, we're just a phone call away. A service technician will generally be out to inspect and pinpoint the source of the issue within an hour.

Are We Required to Monitor the Video Gambling Room If We Have a Surveillance System With TV Monitors?

All establishments that choose to participate in video gambling in Illinois are required to have at least one staff member that is over the age of 21 to monitor the game room. This individual will be tasked with the responsibility of prohibiting gambling activities to anyone that is below the age of 21. While Illinois gambling laws do not prohibit the utilization of video surveillance systems, they cannot be used in place of a staff member for monitoring purposes.

Are Video Slot Machines Allowed To Be Played All Day?

Illinois gambling laws only permit legal video gambling to occur at times of the day when it’s legal for bars or restaurants to serve alcoholic beverages. On the other hand, certified truck stops that do not have a liquor license are allowed to operate Illinois gaming machines at any time throughout the day.

How Do I Renew the Illinois Gaming License For My Bar or Restaurant?

A representative at the Illinois Gaming Board will send a message to the email address provided in the initial application that will outline the process of renewing an Illinois Gaming License. When you are renewing your license, you will be required to update information such as liquor license identification numbers, home addresses, and phone numbers. 

If you fail to provide fundamental data required by the gambling laws in Illinois, your application will be denied. Once your application has been submitted, you will receive a second email that will prompt you to pay the renewal fee. Fortunately, as an Awesome Hand Gaming partner, our Administrative Assistant consistently updates your information to stay current. Furthermore, she offers friendly reminders on license renewal. The establishment owner only needs to go online, pay the renewal fee, and print the updated license.

What If I Forget to Pay the Yearly Renewal Fee For My Illinois Gaming License?

Under the current Illinois video gambling laws, all video gaming locations are required to pay the yearly Illinois gaming license renewal fee prior to the expiration date. If you forget to pay this fee, the slot machines at your bar or restaurant will be deactivated immediately. You are given a total of 10 days following the expiration date to pay the renewal fee. 

In this case, it may be possible to reactivate your Illinois gaming systems without being required to apply for the Illinois gaming license again. Once the limited 10 day period has expired, all applicants will be required to reapply for the Illinois gaming license.