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How to Start an Illinois Slot Machine Business

A Brief History of Video Gaming in Illinois

Ever since the Riverboat Gambling Act was established in 1990, Illinois slot machines and other forms of gambling have grown rapidly across the state, now with more than ten active casinos. Nearly 20 years later in 2009, the Video Gaming Act was enacted, allowing licensed establishments such as bars, restaurants, truck stops, and veteran locations to place up to five Illinois slot machines in their buildings.

Each of these establishments is authorized and monitored by the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB). They manage the licensing process for video gambling in Illinois and are also in charge of enforcing the proper laws for establishments and other parties that handle Illinois slot machines. The Illinois Gaming Board also maintains the integrity of the Illinois gaming machines through regular inspections. In addition, the board manages the tax collection of both riverboat casinos and video gaming establishments.

And as we mentioned before, the Illinois gaming machine industry is continually on the rise throughout the state. A quick search through the Illinois gaming revenue reports shows that revenue reached nearly $1.5 billion across its 6,560 licensed locations in 2018.

What You Need to Know About Scientific Games International & Its Control Over Illinois Slot Machines

Every Illinois slot machine across the state is connected to a central communications system, also known as a CCS. While the Illinois Gaming Board monitors the laws and regulations of Illinois gaming machines, they have contracted a company called Scientific Games International to develop and control this technical framework.

The CCS software allows Scientific Games to remotely inspect, track, and even disconnect any Illinois gaming machines, depending on the needs and requests of the Illinois Gaming Board. The system is used to ensure machines are turned off outside of business hours and to shut them down if a local establishment is facing disciplinary action for misuse of the Illinois gaming revenue and slot machines.

Staff and Personnel Requirements for Your Illinois Slot Machines Area or Room

Video Gaming Manager

  • When filling out your video gaming application, you’ll find there is a requirement to name a Video Gaming Manager. This individual will be responsible for communicating with your Illinois slot machine operator (like Awesome Hand Gaming), as well as managing the marketing promotions for your Illinois gaming machines alongside the terminal operator. Whether you hire a new individual to fill this role or train a current employee, it is important that they fully understand the policies and rules involved to conduct business properly on your behalf.
  • If you were asked which members of your team are responsible for running the Illinois gaming machine area, what would you say? Hopefully, your instant answer was “EVERYONE!” While you should have a specific dedicated Video Gaming Manager, each person on your staff including bartenders and servers should be trained in the following:

Support Staff

  • Knowledge of who to call in the case of an issue with the Illinois slot machines. If a gaming machine goes down, a cashout voucher doesn’t print, or another problem arises, they should have basic training on how to handle it
  • They must always card individuals who could be under the age of 21 as a means to prevent them from entering the Illinois gaming machine area. Illinois laws strictly prohibit anyone under 21 from accessing these gaming machines. Failure to do so can result in serious disciplinary action of the licensed bar, restaurant, truck stop, or fraternal organization. Establishments that do not follow the rules are at risk of having their Illinois gaming machines removed altogether
  • An understanding of keeping confidential information such as financial details within the confines of your Illinois slot machines business and its employees.

Awesome Hand Gaming Training Services

Awesome Hand Gaming is an Illinois Video Gaming Terminal Operator that offers vital training to help you learn more about Illinois slot machines and the Illinois Video Gaming Act. Along with a designated marketing representative, we provide coaching throughout the license application process, proper gaming machine maintenance practices, and even how to keep your slot machines secure. We’ll make sure everyone in your group knows what it takes to run the Illinois slot machine area and keep your gamers happy.

How Long Does it Take to Obtain Illinois Slot Machines?

Many business owners hope to fill out a quick application and have Illinois slot machines in their bar, restaurant, truck stop, or fraternal organization within a couple of days. While it doesn’t happen that quickly, Awesome Hand Gaming works with each location to get through the process promptly. But much of it will depend on you, your preparations, and the licensing steps.

Before you even begin the process of obtaining Illinois gaming machines, you’ll want to ensure you have a FEIN (federal employer tax identification number) and an Illinois business tax number (IBT). Along with these, you’ll need to have both federal and local liquor licenses clearly displayed and available.

From there, the application for Illinois slot machines will take you through the necessary fingerprinting and background checks, followed by a site inspection. If you are building a new establishment, it will need to be close to opening and have all the appropriate infrastructure already in place. The inspector will review the potential Illinois gaming machines area and meet with both the establishment owners and the Video Gaming Manager. Photos will be taken of each individual along with the location to be sent in with the completed application for final approval.

The Illinois Gaming Board generally meets once per month to review all current applications and vote on whether all requirements have been met. All in all, the entire application process for Illinois gaming machines usually takes anywhere from 2-3 months, depending on when this meeting takes place.

When you partner with the right Illinois Video Gaming Terminal Operator such as Awesome Hand Gaming, you will receive guidance and support throughout the process, we can guarantee the effort invested into obtaining slot machines for your establishment is well worth it!