If you haven't played one of the video game machines around town, you are one of the few. 

You've seen them pop up all over town ever since they were legalized in Illinois about 5 years ago. Ever wonder how much money can be made off one of the machines? The answer is A LOT.

All the information is surprisingly available at the Illinois Gaming Board website.

All profits are split up 35/35/30. The establishment gets 35%. The owner of the machine gets 35%. The state collects the remaining 30%. One sixth (16.66%) of the state's haul is given back to the city.

An establishment can have up to 5 machines and are liable for all licenses and background checks.

Make sense? Let's have an example.

Bar A  has 5 machines that at the end of the year profit $200,000.

Bar A gets 35% of that: $70,000

The operator/owner of the machine gets 35%: $70,000

The remaining 30% goes to taxes: $60,000

The state gets 5/6 of that $60,000: $50,000

The municipality gets 1/6 of that $60,000: $10,000

Now let's take a look at some of the numbers for Rockford and Loves Park.

NOTE: These are figures for March 2017. Seriously though. Go play around on the Illinois Gaming Board website. It's fascinating.

Gambling profit 4

The above graph is a ranking of cities based solely on profit. As you can see Rockford is leading the way with over 3 million dollars made on gambling machines in March.  The city keeping over $150,000 for themselves.

Loves Park keeps with the trend and lands itself in a respectable 5th place. Loves Park has roughly half the machines as Rockford and unsurprisingly made about half of what Rockford did in March. Profiting over 1.5 million dollars and keeping $77,000 for themselves.

The one figure where Loves Park is outpacing Rockford is in dollars bet per person. Rockford is averaging $255 per person while Loves Park is more than tripling it at $843 per person.

Some other numbers I found while poking around:

  • In 2016 Rockford residents put $114,560,473 into slot machines. Those machines paid out a total of $85,900,451 for a profit of $28,660,021. Rockford kept $1,433,007 of that.
  • In 2016 Loves Park residents put $60,978,161 into slot machines. Those machines paid out a total of $45,539,310 for a profit of $15,438,721. Loves Park kept $771,945 of that.
  • People put $3,441,497 into slot machines at Don Carter lanes last year. The bowling alley kept $1.2 million of that.
  • The 4 Molly's in Loves Park alone generated $8,879,085 of profit. Molly's kept $3,107,679 while the city of Loves Park brought in $443,954 from their locations.

The bottom line here is that a lot of money is exchanging hands. The other takeaway is that the only one consistently making money is the establishment. Gambling can be fun, just don't make it life changing in a bad way.

Thanks to Redditor /u/huxleyan for making an awesome interactive website you can visit here.

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