Video gambling leads to growth in revenue for Illinois

In this Nov. 10, 2014 photo, Michael Vena, owner of Arabian Knights Farms and Training Center, along with his dog Valor, shows off the farm's gaming room in Willowbrook, Ill. Since Illinois legalized video gambling, the terminals have been showing up in some unusual places: a florist, laundromats, liquor stores and gas stations. And for the businesses that have terminals, like the Arabian Knights Farms and Training Center, they mean money, too, according to Vena. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

CHICAGO (AP) – A new report shows that roughly 3,000 video gambling terminals opened in Illinois last year, generating growing profits for some communities.

The figures released by the Illinois Gambling Board also reveal that gambling revenue rose from $228 million in 2015 to $277 million during 2016, the Chicago Tribune reports. This growth comes as state lawmakers decide whether to expand gambling as part of a wide-ranging budget plan.

The report finds that customers poured over $1 billion more into terminals this year than they did in 2015. But the number of video terminals opening each year has slowed considerably since becoming legal in 2012.

A 2016 Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability report also cautioned that video gambling negatively impacts state casino revenues – especially around Chicago – by increasing competition for customer dollars.

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Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com

 

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