CHICAGO -- The Chicago City Council is nowhere near a vote on permitting state-sanctioned video lottery machines to be operated in the state's most populous and politically important jurisdiction, according to a story in The New York Times.
Alderman Eugene Schulter (47th Ward), who chairs the Committee on License and Consumer Protection, said he is asking state officials for more information about plans for implementation of the Video Gaming Act before his committee holds hearings on the question.
In addition, officials of the Illinois Gaming Board, which will regulate and oversee the VLT market, have now conceded that a lack of sufficient IGB staff could delay the launch of video lottery until the second half of 2011.
Under the Video Gaming Act, the IGB is charged with performing background checks and inspections of operators and locations. Many investigators have yet to be hired and trained, as reported earlier by VT. IGB spokesman Gene O'Shea told the Times that "Nobody has been licensed yet."
Gov. Pat Quinn signed the Video Gaming Act in 2009. Illinois officials project an eventual market of up to 50,000 operator-run video lottery terminals in locations licensed for on-premise liquor consumption. The state's VLT industry is projected to generate up to $1.5 billion in annual revenues with 30% (some $250 million to $500 million a year) paid in taxes.