Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Video gaming advances

by Jamey Dunn
A bill that would expand gambling to help pay for new schools passed in a House committee today.

The measure, sponsored by Rep. Frank Mautino, a Spring Valley Democrat, would allow establishments where liquor is served, fraternal organizations, veterans' clubs and truck stops to have video gaming machines such as video poker. Many places already have the machines, but they can't legally pay out winnings. If approved, the state would require establishments that offered video poker to be licensed and would legalize betting on the games. The machines also would be taxed, with revenue going toward school construction projects and local governments.

Mautino said he did not make racetracks or off-track betting facilities eligible to operate video poker machines because he wanted to keep the bill simple in hopes of increasing its chances of passage. “For years this bill has been around, and it gets involved in the giant end-of-session bills, which usually collapse under their own weight,” he said.

Here's a break down of some of the numbers associated with the measure:
  • 25 percent The percentage of net profits from the video gaming machines that would be taxed.
  • 20 percent The amount that would go toward building schools.
  • 5 percent The amount that would go to local governments.
  • $2 The maximum wager per hand.
  • $500 The maximum payout per hand.
  • 21 The minimum age to play.
  • $5,000 The maximum fine an establishment would pay for allowing someone under 21 to gamble.
  • 25 The percent of licensing fees and fines that would go toward treating gambling addiction.
  • 75 The percent that would go toward regulating the process.
Anita Bedell, speaking on behalf of the Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems, said that making gambling so convenient would lead to more widespread addiction. “These machines are like the crack cocaine of [gambling] addiction,” she said. “The problem is people don't have to get in their car and drive to Las Vegas or a casino or a race track. They can just go down the street to a truck stop, or a restaurant or a bar.”

House Speaker Michael Madigan said last week that he does not want to consider any gaming expansions this session.


Mark said...

Understanding the the Act provides for municipalties to pass an ordinance that specifically bans Video Gaming within their juristiction, and knowing that the Act does not preempt Home Rule authority, considering that many Home Rule municipalties in Illinos already have ordinances which more broadly include a prohibition of video gaming, I would like to know how the Illinois Gaming Board (the ones who will administer licensing) would treat these.

Club Crawler said...

In total support of this new law. This will bring much needed revenue to a very beaten industry. Read more at www.myclubcrawler.com on the Illinois Video Poker Machines

Anonymous said...

I was doing research on this issue and came across a website that seems to have the answers to many of the issues that have arisen because of the wording of the law. I was also wondering why there has been no mention of this companies way of changing the existing laws to make it more profitable for the state and to keep the questionable elements out of the mix. the company is New Way Gaming and you can search them on Google.