State increases video gaming machines from five to six machines


AMBOY — The State of Illinois increased its market on gambling with the passage of Senate Bill 690. The new law was signed by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker at the end of June. SB 690 increases the number of casinos in Illinois, makes sports betting legal, and allowes video slot and poker machines at airports. 

SB 690 also increases the number of video gaming machines per licensed establishment from five to six. The maximum bets placed on each machine will also increase from $2 to $4, and increases the maximum cash award from $500 to $1,199.

Locally, Barbara Harrison from The Last Alarm, asked the Amboy City Council on Monday night, if the local gaming facilities are going to be able to get a sixth machine. 

Amboy City Attorney Mat Keegan said that the Amboy City Code didn’t put a limit on number of gaming terminals at each establishment. He said, per code, the establishments must do another application to the city for the additional machine, with the cost being $25.

Harrison said the state is taking more tax revenue from businesses with gaming machines. SB 690 raises the video gaming terminals tax from 30 percent to 33 percent in the first year, and to 34 percent in the second year and beyond. 

Harrison asked the council if there were any laws in town, or any limits on the amount of gaming parlors allowed.

Keegan said the only way to stop new gaming parlor establishments from coming into the city is by not having specific consumption liquor licenses available. He added the city would have to amend the ordinance of the number of liquor licenses available to allow another gaming parlor.

There are two Class D liquor licenses still available in the city. The two available are the Class D license, which is issued for the sale at retail of beer and wine for consumption on premises only at restaurants, clubs and or dance halls.

In other board news:

• The board approved the purchase of two used snow plows from the Lee County Highway Department in the amount of $7,000.

• The board approved the appointment of Reed Akre to the Amboy Park Board.

• Amboy Mayor John Schamberger said the next Business After Hours will be held on Wednesday at Amboy Food and Liquor celebrating the new deli. He also said that the date of the Amboy Christmas Walk has been set for Saturday, Dec. 14.