If you are in the mood for video gambling, you now have another option than just going to the casino.
Video gambling went live in 65 locations, such as bars and restaurants, statewide on Tuesday, October 9th. Avenue Tap in Silvis was one of the first in Illinois to offer video gambling and Sarah Morris couldn’t wait to try her luck.
"I think it's a good idea why not, have fun in other places instead of just the casinos,” says Morris.
The Illinois Gaming Board has licensed 341 businesses, but some like City Limits Saloon and Grill in Rock Island are not ready to go. Right now they only have one gaming machine; they’re still waiting on four more to arrive this week.
"It will probably be the 1st of November before we get all the machines up and running,” says Bob Anderson, owner of City Limits Saloon and Grill.
Anderson says it’s been a long process. They were approved for a license back in 2009. Anderson even added on to the building so they could make room. Meanwhile, Avenue Tap opened at noon today and already had chairs full.
"I think it's awesome, it's fun, it's not too loud, nice place to come and relax,” says Morris.
City Limits hopes the video gambling will be good for sales across the board. Anderson says it’s already been good for the state.
"The amount of the jobs created in Illinois is phenomenal,” says Anderson.
Once his video parlor is running, he plans on keeping his business open later, which means he will need more help.
Anderson says, "I expect hiring more employees, I plan on hiring three or four people for sure."
Avenue Tap says they’re looking at staying open late as well. All the machines at City Limits have a $500 dollars max pay out.
"You have a 20 times better chance of winning some money on one of these then you would on a machine that has a ten thousand dollar pay out,” Anderson says.
Illinois residents can expect to see more machines up and running soon, as the Illinois Gaming Board approves more locations. Gambling officials have estimated that up to 75,000 machines could be installed statewide within a year.
State revenues from video gambling are supposed to fund capital improvement projects.