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Video Gambling Brings in Big Bucks

Updated: Wednesday, June 25 2014, 10:42 AM CDT


Video gambling has become very popular throughout the state, especially in Champaign with various businesses including restaurants, bars and even gas stations applying for permits to install machines. Consumers seem to enjoy it.


Mayor Don Gerard says "I believe government shouldn't get in the way of how they want to spend their money, if someone wants to put their money....if they enjoy wagering a bit on the game of chance".


Lacey's Place near Marketview and Neil reported more than $1,000,000.00 in revenue last month. They certainly cater to a specific clientele, those who prefer a more relaxed gambling experience. Some are not opposed to more businesses opening up like this around town.


Matthew Fear says "they've got places like that in the UK. You can go and it's just all slot machines and things like that and I think if it's legitimate business than sure why not".


Fear is no gambler but works in a downtown Champaign bar. He says customers love seeing the colorful screens and option to bet their earnings.People come in they get drinks and they sit and they play the poker machines and if they win they spend more money", Fear says.

Officials say video gambling has also been lucrative for the economy.


"It's an unsuspected revenue source and we can certainly put that money to good use. We done a really good job this year putting far more than we'd anticipated towards our roads and after last winter we're happy to have revenue streams that allow us to do that", Mayor Gerard says.

So what about more businesses opening up, to solely offer gambling?

Mayor Gerard says "whenever you have something like this come in, there's always a concern, when there's something new, there's a concern, whether we're extending bar hours, whether we're allowing to have a festival on the street, we always wanna be a little circumspective of what are gonna be the ramifications of that".

The mayor also says companies that wish to apply for video gambling terminals must meet the standards set by the city, which includes having a licensed bartender on duty.

Video Gambling Brings in Big Bucks

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