Rockford City Council discusses raising the number of video gaming machines

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ROCKFORD, Ill (WTVO) ─ Rockford wants to give video gambling operators the chance to add more machines.

Finance and Personnel Committee members approved a request to raise the number of machines allowed in an establishment from five to six.

It would mirror a new statewide gambling law.

City Council recently approved an increase in license fees from $25 to $250 a year for each machine.

That goes into effect in 2020.

With a possible Hard Rock Casino on the horizon, some aldermen think businesses may not add the machines.

“We may see, actually, some establishments that have five reduce their number, that have four reduce their number,” said 4th Ward Alderman Kevin Frost. “I believe there’s ten locations, right now, in Rockford that, of the 97 we have, that actually only have three machines. So, once the casino comes into play it’ll be interesting to see what that does to the video gaming industry and I guess, right now, we just don’t know the answer to that.”

According to its agreement with Hard Rock, Rockford can only add about 150 more gaming machines city wide.

The full City Council still needs to approve the change.

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