Bars, clubs rush to get a piece of video action - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Bars, clubs rush to get a piece of video action

CHICAGO (AP) - Video gamblers in Illinois lost $106 million in the first half of the year, meaning tens of thousands of dollars for the bars and clubs that have the machines and extra cash for state and city governments.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported ( ) Sunday that since video poker and slot machines were legalized last year, 1,800 licenses have been granted and 2,000 more applicants are waiting in line.

George Lawrence runs Bertrand's Lounge in the Chicago suburb of Waukegan. He says the bowling alley and bar wouldn't survive without money like the $20,000 he got from video machines in June.

Some towns have outlawed the games but the cash in enticing. Sugar Grove in Kane County reversed its ban, as did McHenry County in its unincorporated areas.

Information from: Chicago Sun-Times,

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