Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is satisfied that video poker is soon to start. Lawmakers approved video poker in 2009 to help fund the $31 billion construction program, but it still hasn’t gotten under way because the Gaming Board had to work out how to regulate it, with terminals in bars, restaurants and veterans’ halls across the state.
The governor says he’s OK with the delay. “They had to have to right computer system in order to properly regulate, so I would much rather wait and get it done right the first time than to have problems down the road,” he said.
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One hundred establishments have been approved for video poker, which could be running within a few weeks. Machines are being delivered and hooked up. Hundreds more are awaiting approval; the list of applicants is 126 pages long. Up to 75,000 machines could be installed statewide.
The activity was designed to produce $375 million a year in state tax revenue, but a number of cities and counties have availed themselves of an opt-out provision. The governor doesn’t have an updated estimate.