It's hard to get your arms around video gambling, it's so gigantic. State totals show $4.5 million played on 139 machines in the metro-east in December. That's at just the first 35 establishments. With new and pending applicants, the number of places of gambling is about to increase tenfold.
The profit on that $4.5 million -- the amount gamblers lost -- was $400,000. If the amounts stay proportional with 10 times more places to gamble, gamblers would be losing $4 million a month in the metro-east.
Statewide, $91.8 million was played in December and $7 million lost. Those numbers likely will grow exponentially also.
No wonder taverns and fraternal organizations pushed so hard to get the machines legalized. This is practically a printing press for them. The Hut near O'Fallon just made $11,076 in one month simply by having five machines.
But can Illinois residents really afford all this fun? Do metro-east residents have a collective $4 million to lose in a month? Or will other purchases be canceled or deferred or will bills go unpaid?