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Issue Date: Vol. 52, No. 3, March 2012, Posted On: 3/2/2012

Launch Date For VLTs In Illinois Is Unknowable, Says IGB

Marcus Webb
Illinois Gaming Board, Aaron Jaffe, Illinois video gaming, vending lottery terminal, VLT, video poker

SPRINGFIELD, IL -- Illinois Gaming Board chairman Aaron Jaffe said on Feb. 28 that the launch of operator-run video lottery in Illinois could slip past its unofficial estimated date of September, according to a story in the Chicago Tribune.

The start date remains hazy -- the third or fourth quarter of this year, Jaffe said. His exact words printed by the Tribune: "There is no way to know when we'll be ready."

IGB has 225 employees, but needs 350, or a 50% boost in staff size, in order to process pending applications in a timely manner, The IGB chairman said.

The IGB has reviewed only 46 license applications from manufacturers, distributors and operators, Jaffe reported. Nearly twice that many remain backlogged and await action.

Thousands of eligible bars have not even applied for VLT licenses yet. Some observers say bar owners are reacting cautiously to the flood of propositions from operators and would-be operators vying for their business.

The paper estimated that 35% of Illinois citizens reside in zones that have opted out of the VLT sector or have so far refused to opt in. Chicago, potentially the state's largest market for video gaming, "appears unlikely" to legalize video poker, the newspaper said.

As reported earlier by VT, Scientific Games announced on Jan. 3 that it had signed a contract to build and run the central computer system for Illinois's VLT industry. | SEE STORY

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