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.
Funded in part by his wealthy family and aided by a personal connection at the Illinois Gaming Board, Andrew Rubenstein’s Accel Entertainment now owns a third of the state’s video gambling machines, making it the biggest video gambling operator in the nation.
Owners of one of Illinois’ largest video gambling companies are behind efforts to influence city politics, expand gambling and build a casino near land they control.
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.
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.
Attention: Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Mississippi and Pennsylvania. Accel Entertainment became the largest video gambling operator in Illinois. Now it has its eyes on you.
And updates on the creation of new casinos around the state.
Illinois will finally conduct a thorough study of the gambling problem in the state — the first such survey in nearly 30 years. It said it will spend more money to treat addiction, too.
Big numbers reflect big legislation — one that got pushed through at the last minute, with little debate or analysis.
Illinois is going to dramatically expand gambling. Here’s the bill and what it means.
And like the state’s last gambling expansion, in 2009, the massive new bill could bring trouble.
Lawmakers are making money from video gambling operators. A vote on gambling expansion may happen Friday.
As video gambling has grown in the state, so have the industry’s links to lawmakers.
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.
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.