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Video gaming pumping millions into region – Jacksonville Journal Courier

Video gaming machines in Morgan County had $8.4 million in net terminal income in the most recent fiscal year, statistics show.

That income placed Morgan County in seventh place in net terminal income — the equivalent of gambling losses — per capita in Illinois, according to the Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability.

In Morgan County, 47 businesses had a total of 205 video gaming machines. Tax revenue off those machines totaled $2.5 million during the fiscal year year that ended June 30. Of that amount, the state received $2.1 million and the balance — $422,381 — went into local municipalities’ coffers.

During that same period, the state collected $300.5 million in tax revenue from 26,873 video gaming machines.

Of the $422,381 in Morgan County revenue, about $300,000 will go into the city of Jacksonville’s treasury this year, according to Mayor Andy Ezard.

“It has certainly been a solid revenue stream in the past few years,” Ezard said. “Our city council is on record to have the revenue go toward specific projects to improve our capital improvement opportunities.”

Ezard said the city council voted to limit the city’s gaming parlors to two.

“I think our city council felt that with the number of liquor license holders each having five gaming terminals, that was enough access for those who wanted to gamble,” he said. “I don’t see the city expanding video gaming to other types of businesses.”

In Cass County, records show there were 17 businesses having a total of 73 video gaming machines. Those video terminals generated $2.4 million in net terminal income and $727,513 in tax revenue.

The state received $606,261 from the Cass County machines and $121,252 went to local municipalities.

In Scott County, eight businesses had 33 gaming machines that had a net terminal income of $1 million and tax revenue of $313,270. Slightly more than $261,000 went to the state and $52,212 was given to local governments.

Greg Olson can be reached at 217-245-6121, ext. 1224, or on Twitter @JCNews_Greg.


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