Gas Station Gambling

By: Shannon Smith Email
By: Shannon Smith Email

STATELINE (WIFR) -- Gas stations aren't typically a place you want to hang out, but ones at truck stops are providing a bit more entertainment.

Gambling may not be for truck driver Kevin Brown, but when he has a 10-hour break in between routes, he thinks video gaming machines are a good way for other drivers to relax.

“After a long day on the road some you want unwind, go inside and gamble. some people do that but I don't,” said Brown.

More than 20 truck stops in Illinois are licensed to have video gaming machines, including a Road Ranger in South Beloit. Mayor Michael Duffy says he hopes the machines will attract more business.

“Especially those from out of state, that don't have that type of gaming available to them. They’ll stop here, it’s a good thing in that respect,” said Mayor Michael Duffy.

Matt King says video gambling gives the state a much needed boost.

“If Illinois is looking for extra revenue they're grabbing it from out of state drivers mostly, so it's bringing in money that would otherwise go somewhere else,” said King.

Dozens of more truck sites hope to cash in. 82 of them have already applied and are waiting on state approval.

Under Illinois law, truck stops must have a packaged liquor license in order to have gaming machines. Regular gas stations are not allowed to have them.

Road Ranger has video gaming machines at 12 of its locations. Other truck stops hoping to have machines are the Loves Travel Stop in Roscoe and Mobil on South Rock Drive in Rockford.

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