Illinois Making Final Preparations For Video Gambling

Sep 19, 2012

State officials continue preparations for the launch of video gambling in Illinois establishments. The Illinois Gaming Board says it's testing a computerized monitoring system at various locations, including Rockford and Machesney Park.

The state hired a private company to run the system, which will keep tabs on terminals at bars and restaurants that are licensed to have the machines. So far...gaming officials say the tests haven't produced any major problems.

In the three years leading up to the start of video gambling, concerns were raised about regulators having enough recourses to oversee the program. But State Senator Terry Link of Waukegan says he thinks the state is ready to go.

"There's always somebody that's gonna try to figure out an angle to get away with something. But I think that the gaming board has probably put in as strong as safeguards as you could possibly put" Link said.

Link sponsored a bill signed by the governor this summer that deals with the parameters of sending out investigators appointed by the gaming board. Gaming officials note that the monitoring system will be able to detect if the machines are being tampered with.

In 2009, Illinois lawmakers legalized video gambling to help fund a massive capital construction program. However, local governments have the option of implementing a ban. The Sycamore City Council is expected to decide in a couple of weeks whether it will video gambling.