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Video poker will benefit Illinois
Letter to the Editor
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Published: 6/1/2009 12:17 AM

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Congratulations to the Illinois General Assembly for its courage and foresight in approving video gaming in on-premise, licensed liquor establishments. Hundreds of millions of dollars will flow into the state's construction fund to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

The new high-tech games will be directly linked to a central system within the state's gaming board, which will monitor in real time play on the machines. Criminal background checks will be required of distributors and liquor licensees to guard against undesirable elements.

In fact, this legislation will do to illegal gaming what the end to Prohibition did to bootlegging and black market alcohol.

To those concerned about gaming addiction, please understand this: a percentage of the licensing fees from the games will flow to addiction programs for local communities. Statistically, gaming addiction is lowest where addiction recovery programs are in place and administered by government agencies. This fact is supported by numerous university studies on gaming addiction.

The Illinois Coin Machine Operators Association, whose members will distribute the new machines to our customers, pledges to make this new adult entertainment opportunity succeed for all of our citizens. As residents of the communities we serve, it is clearly in our business and civic interests to guarantee we and our customers adhere to the letter of the law.

By licensing, regulating and taxing this recreational activity, responsible adults will enjoy a fair game of chance while contributing to the state's fiscal well-being.

John Neville

Illinois Coin Machine Operators Association