Illinois gaming machines help Heartland communities - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Illinois gaming machines help Heartland communities

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MARION, IL (KFVS) - One of the most highly anticipated sources of new revenue in Illinois is paying off.

Video gaming machines started spewing out the green two years ago and it's not just the state's larger cities reaping the rewards.

In October, Marion brought in more than $12,000, while Mt. Vernon saw numbers just under $20,000.

In Illinois, 5 percent of gambling revenue goes to the municipality. It might not sound like a lot, but add up those numbers each month, you might think twice.

By June, more than 17,000 machines were placed in gas stations, bars, restaurants and businesses across the state.

Those machines generated $485 million last year alone.

The side business is a plus for some in southern Illinois.

Black Diamond Harley Davidson in Marion installed four gaming machines less than a year ago.

Not only are they profiting off of the revenue, but also new business.

“What the gaming has done was give the people another reason to come in to the dealership. Some of the people, when they are getting their bikes worked on or doing different things with their motorcycles, they can go in there, do some gaming and hopefully win a little bit of money," says Shad Zimbro.

As for what city leaders choose to do with the extra cash, that's up to them.

Some leaders say that money gets put into general fund.

In Marion's case, $5,000 was donated last month to two local charities.

The Video Gaming Act law gives local communities and counties the option to pass a ban on video gaming.

Some cities that don't allow video gambling include Brookport, Cambria, Carterville and Energy.

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