Video gaming machines now available in at Illinois bars and restaurants, can’t substitute real casino experience.
American gambling laws are slowly, but surely being updated towards legalizing online gambling in a variety of states. But what about video gaming machines, currently spread around restaurants and bars in some jurisdictions?
Illinois is one particular state where such machines have been made legal prior to a switch in regulation when online casinos in the US will be accessible to state residents. The machines are now available in a variety of establishments in cities and villages which chose to approve them. Their number is so big, that they are literally in walking distance from each other.
Video gaming machines are becoming a success in Illinois
• American gambling laws have been changed to allow machines in the state
• The machines offer a chance to enjoy some gambling
• But they cannot be considered an alternative to real casino gambling
The question of everyone’s mind is “can these video machines substitute for a visit to a casino?” Unfortunately, not so much. Video gaming machines are designed to be a mere entertainment option, not a full gambling activity, which casinos offer in much greater numbers and variety. Machines are just a supplement to a dining or drinking outing, and certainly can’t offer a full gambling experience places like Las Vegas can.
Gambling outings can be described by a true trip to a full-blown casino, where people go first and foremost to gamble. While machines are simply gaming options at a sports or simple dining bar, they’re truly a bonus to a night out on the town, but not more than that.
Video gaming regulations
Once the state of Illinois has approved the gaming devices in bars, it certainly opened up a whole new market. Previously there were only “amusement machines” not offering any real-money prizes, but now choices are wider, and that’s not a bad thing.
While online slot machines regulation is still in the works in the state, the currently available gaming machines are as good of a substitute as it gets. And it didn’t take much for the state lawmakers to approve them, showing that online gambling regulation could also become a reality very soon.
However, gambling on these machines shouldn’t really be taken seriously. Experience shows that you can’t win any significant amount of cash playing them, but a several minutes of adrenaline rush are also good to spice up a rather dull night at a bar.
Figures suggest that video gaming machines in the state are being successful. Since August, over 18 thousand machines have been installed across the state. In the first month of operation over $730 million has been played on them, and winnings amounted to just over $675 million, meaning that the machines have “won” $60 million.
With the 30% tax rate over $17 million has been extracted from the video machines, where almost $15 million went to the state coffers, and just under $3 million got sent to the municipalities. Naturally, the owners of the establishments, where the machines are placed are also getting a cut, but it’s rather insignificant.
According to American gambling news, the machines allow gamer to play with 5, 10 and 25 cent denominations, where the maximum wager is $2 per game. There’s also a limit on how much can be won in one game – $500. The video machines are also programmed to pay out at a minimum rate of 80 percent during their lifetime, and that’s only on the base game.
However, should players reach a bonus round during the base game, they are in for a treat. There’s a certain amount of free spins given here, and gamers can wager any amount on every single spin, but not more that the sum paid to get to the bonus round.
Basically, this means that if a player wagered $1 to spin the reels, and won a ticket to a 10x free spins round, they will need to win minimum $10 during the free spins, in order to break even, but of course there’s a chance to win much more, as payouts in free spins are generally higher.
That goes for the slots, but as for the video poker gambling machines – they are far from those found at real casino establishments. Generally, casino machines provide gamers with a much better opportunity to win. They come with a variety of bells and whistles, whereas those found at bars and restaurants are merely adult versions of decades-old penny arcade.
Until real-money online casinos become a reality in Illinois, gamers in the state have very limited options to gamble. Of course they can travel to Las Vegas, Atlantic City or any other regulated casino gambling destination in the country, but that’s of course a completely different ball game altogether.