Universal Slot Machine – An Illinois gaming cafe, or gaming lounge, is an establishment that caters primarily to video games. A gaming cafe’s main revenue stream is driven by playing slot machines – formally known as video game terminals (or VGTs). In accordance with the Illinois Video Gaming Act, gaming cafes also require a license to pour liquor and most also offer food or snacks for customers to purchase.
Turning your establishment into a video game cafe can generate considerable additional income. In 2019, an average month in Illinois video games generated $139,722,530 in total revenue. In addition, VGT attracts new and loyal customers.
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According to Illinois law and the regulations of the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB), gaming cafes must meet the same licensing criteria as pouring establishments: a for-profit business, open to the public, and a valid liquor license allowed on-site. consumption.
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While Illinois law does not place any unique restrictions on video game cafes, many municipalities impose their own restrictions, regulations, additional fees, and other licensing requirements. For starters, the Illinois Gaming Board provides a list of municipalities that allow video gaming and municipalities that do not, to be used as a resource for potential new gaming establishments. It is important to note, however, that each municipality may have stricter guidelines in place regarding gambling operations in their jurisdiction. For example:
Does your facility meet the criteria? Is it in a municipality that allows video game cafes? In this case, obtaining a license for a gaming cafe is a multi-step process.
Among other things, the application process will include a thorough background check for all owners and persons with significant influence and control (PSIC). You can expect a complete review of public records of felonies, felonies, and misdemeanors including outstanding debts and domestic disputes. The board will also look into any past failures to follow gambling license requirements (for example, operating unlicensed games and gambling).
The purpose of such a thorough vetting process is to ensure gaming establishments are run by honest, ethical people.
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Getting a license for an Illinois video game cafe can seem quite involved, and it is. Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate this process alone. You will operate your Illinois gaming cafe in partnership with a Terminal Operator, who will partner with you from the start.
As one of Illinois’ leading Terminal Operators, our team of experts at Universal Gaming Group will guide you through every part of the process of launching and operating a video gaming cafe. We will be with you from the license application. We will make your operation go quickly, smoothly, and profitably. We are committed to ensuring full compliance with IGB regulations and working with the IGB to create a safe gaming environment.
If you need more Tips on Opening an Illinois Gaming Cafe, we invite you to contact Universal Gaming Group today.