SPRINGFIELD, IL -- Illinois's operator-run video lottery industry will not be able to begin operations until the first quarter of next year or later, a law enforcement expert has told Vending Times.
The Illinois Gaming Board, charged with responsibility for oversight and regulatory enforcement of the planned VLT industry, has just hired 25 investigators who will conduct background checks on operators, locations, distributors, manufacturers and technicians.
"First [the investigators] have to be trained, and then thousands of locations have to be inspected and licensed," the expert said. "Illinois will be lucky to get its first video lottery machines into operation by the first quarter of 2011."
As many as 10,000 locations may apply for gaming licenses under the Video Gaming Act. But most manufacturers and distributors producing and selling terminals might find it quick and easy to update their existing gaming licenses, according to the source.
The Illinois General Assembly passed the Video Gaming Act in July 2009. The controversial measure was intended to create a statewide market of up to 50,000 operator-run video lottery games generating up to $1.5 billion in annual revenues. Some $250 million to $500 million a year would be paid in taxes.