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The Bad Bet

How Illinois Bet on Video Gambling and Lost

A decade ago, lawmakers legalized video gambling, saying it would generate billions of dollars for the state. Instead, revenues for the state have fallen behind projections, the state has struggled to regulate the industry and video gambling companies have reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in profits. Meanwhile, problem gambling is a big issue across the state and legislators are talking about another gambling expansion.

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How Has the “Crack Cocaine of Gambling” Affected Illinois? The State Hasn’t Bothered to Check.

Since video gambling went live in 2012, more than 30,000 video slot and poker machines have been installed in the state and gamblers have lost more than $5 billion. Yet Illinois has failed to address the issue of gambling addiction in any meaningful way.

How Illinois Bet on Video Gambling and Lost

Lawmakers said legalizing video gambling would generate billions of dollars for the state. Instead, it’s proved to be little more than a money grab.

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Do You Know Someone Struggling With Video Gambling? ​Help Us Understand Video Slot and Poker Addiction in Illinois.

More than 30,000 video gambling machines are scattered across Illinois, and gambling addiction appears to be on the rise.

How We Analyzed Video Gambling in Illinois

Here’s how we conducted an in-depth look at the rapid expansion of video gambling in the state and its financial and social costs.

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