Illinois Gears Up for the Start of Video Gambling

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

JUSTICE, Ill. (AP) -- Chino's Pizzeria in suburban Chicago is among the first Illinois locations to get video poker machines.

More than three years after Illinois approved video gambling to fund construction projects, the first machines are arriving at approved establishments, like bars.

Chino's owner Roberto "Chino" Vasquez thinks it'll be good for his business in Justice. That's about 25 miles from Chicago.

The Illinois Gaming Board predicts the machines should be ready to play within weeks. They have to test a computer system first.

Officials predict up to 75,000 machines will be installed statewide.

Illinois approved video gambling to help fund a construction program. Gaming is estimated to raise about $375 million yearly.

But the process was slow. There was a legal challenge, gaming board staffing shortages and errors with the contract bidding.


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