QUINCY, IL. (WGEM) — Quincy city officials said when someone spends money at a video gaming machine, roughly three percent comes back to the city in tax revenue and is put toward the fire and police pensions.
Mayor Mike Troup said the city is currently about $100 million behind in paying into police and fire pensions.
He said the revenue the city gets from gaming machines is helpful, but it’s only a drop in the bucket.
“It’s nice to have this as a windfall because the city wasn’t planning on having this money 5 years ago or 10 years ago, so having another funding source is extremely helpful, but we’re going to need significantly more money to properly handle the unfunded liability,” Troup said.
City officials said revenue from the gaming machines went down in 2020 when machines were forced to close due to the pandemic.
All video gaming machines in Illinois were closed from March 16 – June 30, 2020 and November 19, 2020 – January 16, 2021.
The city says the revenue from the machines are already back up to pre-pandemic levels.
For reference, in fiscal year 2019, the city made $528,902 in tax revenue from video gaming machines. Then in fiscal year 2020, the city made $519,919. For fiscal year 2021, the city is up to $596,170.
Max-A-Million’s president Tanner Freiburg said his business has already seen a climb in revenue too.
“January 16th the machines opened back up. We had a really good spring and I think a lot of that is because of the stimulus checks people were getting and now we’re getting back to your traditional numbers,” Freiburg said.
Right now each businesses can have up to five video gaming machines, but the state of Illinois recently increased that to six machines.
Troup said the city plans to discuss whether they’ll allow businesses to go up to six machines sometime this month.
Freiburg said he rarely sees all five machines at his location being used at once, but he thinks adding a sixth machine could only be a good thing for profits.
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June 8, 2021 at 04:29AM