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Letter: Welcome to new lawmakers

To the Editor:

As we head into 2015, some major changes are on the way for our state government in Springfield. The video gaming industry is ready to work with our new leaders to support our local neighborhoods and rebuild our economy.

The Illinois Gaming Machine Operators Association, on behalf of the video gaming industry, wants to welcome Gov.-elect Rauner, the 15 new legislators taking office in January including Rep. Mark Batinick, and the returning members as they come to serve at an important time for our state.

Video gaming is doing its part to help get Illinois on a better track. There are now more than 18,600 video gaming machines operating in nearly 4,600 locations around the state. Those machines have produced nearly $160 million in state and local tax revenue in 2014 through October.

Those dollars are supporting thousands of local jobs, helping local governments shore up their budgets and afford infrastructure projects, and providing critical money for the state’s capital construction program – repairing and building roads, bridges and transit systems and putting people to work. This is local entertainment that draws people to bars, restaurants and fraternal organizations, and provides hope to so many business owners hurt in recent years by the economic downturn. Video gaming is strictly regulated by the Illinois Gaming Board, and our industry – made up of a collection of responsible small businesses – is proud of the progress since video gaming terminals were turned on in fall 2012.

IGMOA and our partners in the Support Main Street Illinois Coalition see video gaming helping neighborhoods every day.

We look forward to educating our new elected officials on how video gaming is making a difference for our state, and to working together to keep more entertainment money for local benefit.

Michael Gelatka


Illinois Gaming Machine Operators Association

Mike Pappas

Fair Share Gaming

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