An Illinois Gaming License Is a Lucrative Revenue Source

Obtain A Illinois Gaming License

You’re very likely to increase profits by turning your establishment into a slot machine business. To do that, though, you’ll first have to obtain an Illinois gaming license.

The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) awards gaming permits according to a somewhat involved multi-step process. Here’s an overview of the requirements you’ll have to meet and the things you’ll have to do to get one.

Is Your Establishment Located in a Town that Allows a Slot Machine Business?

The first step in turning your establishment into an Illinois video gaming business is determining whether that’s even possible based on where the business is located. Some municipalities allow slot machine games while others forbid them. You can find out the status of your community here: https://www.igb.illinois.gov/VideoProhibit.aspx

Is Your Establishment Eligible for an Illinois Gaming License?

Illinois law stipulates that even if an establishment is in a municipality that permits a slot machine business, your business can’t receive an Illinois gaming license unless it’s one of the following:

  • A licensed business establishment. This is an establishment that serves alcoholic beverages to be consumed onsite. This includes bars, restaurants and gaming parlors that serve alcohol, and establishments licensed to sell alcohol either on the premises or “to go.”
  • A licensed veterans establishment. This is a site occupied by a qualified vet’s organization holding a national charter. American Legion posts and VFW Halls qualify.
  • A licensed fraternal establishment. As per the Video Gaming Act, this is a location where a fraternal group that is part of a larger organization with a national charter regularly meets. Masonic Temples and Lions Clubs qualify.
  • A licensed truck stop establishment. The truck stop must occupy at least three acres of land, have separate diesel fueling islands, provide diesel and dedicated parking to 18-wheelers, and have a convenience store.

Does Your Establishment have an Illinois Retailer’s Liquor License?

With the exception of truck stops, every establishment applying for an Illinois gaming license needs to get an on=premises liquor license from the State first.

Applying for Your Illinois Gaming License

Assuming all the above conditions to open a slot machine business have been met, you can get your application for an Illinois gaming license here: https://www.igb.illinois.gov/vla/

Note that applying is a rather involved 10-step process. The IGB will perform thorough background checks on owners, co-owners, key employees, and conceivably all employees. Felonies, multiple misdemeanors, convictions, prior violations of the Video Gaming Act, failed drug tests, and problematic business associations on the part of anyone whose background is being reviewed can lead to the application being denied. Nor is that list all inconclusive. The IGB can refuse to issue a license any time the members believe they have just and sufficient cause.

The whole process can seem daunting and confusing, and realistically, you can’t expect to complete and receive your Illinois gaming license overnight. But intelligent planning and prompt attention to detail can minimize complications and delays, and you’re likely to find that creating your slot machine business was well worth it in the end.