Video gamblers in Illinois lost $106 million in the first half of the year, meaning tens of thousands of dollars for the bars and clubs that have the machines and extra cash for state and city governments.
Bob Waddell owns a bar outside Keyesport in Clinton County in southwestern Illinois. He made $9,778 in video gambling in December.
Exactly how cash-strapped Illinois’ fortunes shake out with the state’s long-awaited gambling expansion remain to be seen, though the first numbers appear to illustrate the wagering option’s popularity — at least for now.
Video gambling is up and running in Illinois, at least on a limited basis, and other venues are expected to go live in the coming weeks.
More than three years after the state approved video gambling, the first batch of machines is arriving at bars, veterans’ establishments and truck stops.
“We haven’t gotten one penny from the video gambling because of bureaucratic bungling,”