Monday, April 28, 2014

Illinois Update

Video gambling in non-casino locations came to Illinois in September, 2012. Eligible bars, truck stops, and other locales can host up to five video gambling terminals in an adults-only portion of their establishments. There are now more than 16,000 video gambling terminals operating in Illinois at a total of more than 4,000 establishments. There is no self-exclusion system in place for gamblers on these machines. These thousands of locations and small-scale operations are cited as reasons that a self-exclusion program would not be implementable, but the fact that the locations are adult-only means that there must already be in place a system capable of checking IDs.

The article linked above (and here) offers a few statistics on Illinois's statewide casino self-exclusion plan. In mid-April, 2014, there were more than 10,600 people on the self-exclusion list. Since the initiation of the program in 2002, "there have been 3,477 instances where self-excluded gamblers had been caught [in violation of their exclusion orders], with 3,399 of the incidents resulting in arrests." Many of these violators are caught when they win a jackpot exceeding $1,200, as the collection of such winnings requires identification. When a "winner" is found to be on the self-excluded list, he or she is not allowed to keep the jackpot. So far, casinos have "confiscated $1.5 million of winnings from self-excluded gamblers, who then get to decide which of three addiction centers their money goes to."

[The headline and the early part of the linked article might be confusing to the Self-Exclusion reader, as these refer to excluding some undesirable people from operating on the supply side of video gambling. The material on voluntary exclusions for gamblers comes later in the article.]