WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Video Poker Now Available in Illinois

Oct 10, 2012

You can now win money from playing video poker at Illinois bars.  

There are 65 establishments in Illinois that can legally pay out for video gaming wins and many more are awaiting the go-ahead from the state.

The rollout has been long time in coming. Illinois lawmakers approved video poker in 2009 but it's taken a few years for regulators to set it up.

"It's All About Wine,” which is a wine shop and bar in Springfield, is one of the more than 300 bars, fraternal organizations and truck stops that have a license to operate video poker machines.

"We're an adult business, and video gaming's an adult business so it was a fit," said owner John Roman.

But Roman said he can't turn his on yet because the Gaming Board has to do final checks first.

Roman said he understands the long wait. That way regulators could do it properly.

But an employee of a capital city tavern waiting for a license said it's frustrating. He said while regulators drag their feet, bars have watched money go down the drain. 

Thanks to Illinois Public Radio