In 2009, Illinois introduced the Illinois Gaming Act, which allowed a licensed establishment to own and operate up to five slot machines per location. Following the act, the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) was established, and this is the governing body that oversees all licensing, regulations, and tax collection from the industry.
Before you start your business, you must visit the IGB website, as multiple municipalities forbid opening such business or working in it. But one thing is certain, the industry is very popular and very profitable, as in 2018 the industry in Illinois brought in almost $130 million in total revenue.
This article will tell you everything you need to know to open a slot machine business in Illinois.
Licenses to Run a Slot Machine Business
Starting a slot machine business requires an Illinois gaming license to operate video gaming terminals (VGTs). Below, we’ve outlined the most important steps you need to take to obtain one.
- First off, make sure that your slot machine business operates within a municipality that allows video gaming. As we mentioned earlier, you can check out the IGB website for more information regarding it.
- Secondly, you need to make sure that your type of slot machine business is allowed, in order to obtain the license. The types of video gaming establishments that an IGB can license are retail, fraternal, veterans, and truck stops. Within each type, there is a sub-type of businesses that makes up the category. According to Universal Gaming Group, some of the sub-types of businesses can be categorized as non-traditional gaming establishments, and they can be: a Laundromat, convenience or grocery store, car wash, etc.
- The last step with the license obtaining process is to fill out the application. If you have a difficult time filling out the form, you can consult with a terminal operator.
How to Prepare Your Slot Machine Business
If we take into account that you’ve obtained the license, then you need to do some thinking about where to place the slot machines. As we mentioned, a slot machine business can have up to 5 terminals. Since the number is limited, this gives you flexibility with placement. Some studies have suggested that the placement of your slot machines can directly influence how successful your business is.
When designing the space for your slot machines, there are few things that we need to discuss first. Some of these things are required by law, so make sure you don’t skip this one.
- Signatures: Signatures are required by law. For example, a sign that says “No Smoking”
- Dedicated electrical: Each slot machine requires power, and your terminal operator will help you or provide you with the dedicated electrical
- Stanchions: Stations are needed to separate the gaming area from the non-gaming area. These are mostly needed if you have a sign that forbids persons under the age of 21 from using the slot machines
- Clear line of sight: A clear line of sight is needed from the entrance to the gaming area for you or your employees so that you can overlook operations.
- Bin: A bin for cash out vouchers placed near the ATMs will help you solve a huge problem.