Illinois Officials at Odds Over Adult Arcade Games

Traditional arcade halls are filled with new and used cocktail arcade games that can legally be played by patrons of any age. Adult arcade games are more likely to be scattered throughout bars and liquor stores, advertised alongside lottery tickets and sweepstakes tickets. Games of chance geared toward adults go by a number of names such as coupon kiosks and virtual slots. Illinois officials have already prevented adult arcade game operators from rewarding gamblers with cash prizes, but they still fear that the games are creating an environment that fosters illegal activities.

Because adult arcade games are not closely monitored in the state of Illinois, some lawmakers feel that businesses are collecting sizable sums of untaxed money. To make things more complicated, arcade gambling machines can be ‘fixed’ by their operators. Imagine playing on a video slot machine that nobody ever wins on. In casinos, this practice is expressly forbidden, but the rules are difficult to enforce when Illinois officials aren’t sure where to look for violations.

While the Illinois Gaming Board believes that video poker and other adult gaming devices have no place in the state, law makers recently supported an addendum that could cause the machines to become even more popular. Some business owners have embraced adult arcade gaming machines, and believe that their customers appreciate variety. At the same time, there are many state officials who think that games, also known as coupon kiosks, are advertised in a deceptive manner.

In Illinois, arcade game players cannot be rewarded with cash prizes. They can, however, receive coupons, discounts, gift cards or redeem prizes via select retailers. What some first time adult arcade gamers don’t realize is that they might have to spend money in order to redeem some prizes. Processing and shipping and handling fees must be paid if prizes are redeemed online. Other business owners have gotten creative with Illinois gambling regulations. Although people that play on non-traditional cocktail arcade machines can’t technically win cash, there are some establishments that allow them to exchange coupons and winning tickets for cash. As it currently stands, adult arcades in Illinois are not as closely regulated as some think they should be.