On May 25th, 2009, Illinois legislators gave the slot machine industry in the state new hopes for a potential source of revenue Thursday evening. If Governor Pat Quinn agrees, the International Game Technology, Bally Technologies and WMS Industries from Illinois could get a much needed push from their bottom lines. Both houses of the state legislature approved a $29 billion public works program that would be finance by increased in taxes and fees connected with the approval of video gaming across Illinois.
The state already has a thriving riverboat gaming industry. But the new legislation would approve slot machines in bars and taverns, allowing each location to offer video gambling devices. JP Morgan gaming analyst Joe Greff estimated that the bill, in its present state, would clear the way for 15,400 slot locations, implying that an estimated 77,000 slot machines could be approved. Greff said that they think that the real market size for video slots gaming devices at these restaurants and bars is somewhere between fifteen thousand and twenty thousand. But the figure is bigger than the ten thousand slot machines currently managed by the Illinois riverboat casinos.
Legislators thought that earnings from slot machines would bring an estimated $375 million yearly into state tax treasury. The biggest supporter in the gambling industry might be IGT, especially if the game of video poker is part of the final deal. Oppenheimer gaming analyst David Katz said that they believe that it could be the best chance for IGT, given that it participates more actively in the video poker industry. He added that IGT has been the most solid provider of video poker in the US gaming market.