Despite the number of local jurisdictions “opting out” of Illinois’ planned video lottery market reaching 40, analysts with the Illinois state accounting officials claim they are not concerned. Their statistics show that this only reflects 10% of the state‘s population.
They have adjusted their projections accordingly, claiming they still expect to generate between $288 million and $534 million in taxes a year from operator-run VLTs. They do stipulate that these projections will remain stable if more than 80% of the state‘s population lives in those jurisdictions permitting VLTs.
Of course, there are political concerns too. Both some politicians and many coin-op members have expressed their fears that an increasing number of those municipalities opting out of the program may threaten its profitability.
Racetrack owners have capitalized on this uncertainty in order to push for adding slot machines to their locations. In response, Governor Pat Quinn has agreed that the state legislature should explore authorizing slots at racetracks.
The program launch is at least one year away, due to a necessary timeframe for the Illinois Gaming Board to create a central computer system, approve VLT machines and perform background checks on industry members.