If you are looking for video gambling in the metro-east, you don’t have to go very far to find it.
In addition to two full-fledged casinos, all sorts of places have video gambling including: bars, restaurants, bowling alleys and fraternal halls. Belleville alone has 22 different locations with 93 licensed video gaming machines. Granite City has 18 places with 73 machines.
One place you can’t play video slots even though it seems a natural fit: Fairmount Park race track. And even though Illinois is talking about yet another expansion of gambling, that’s not likely to change. Two pending bills would exclude video gambling at the race track. Why? Because East St. Louis and the casinos don’t want that competition.
Outgoing East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks was quoted recently: "The gambling market in the St. Louis metro area is just about at the point of saturation.” That’s probably true, but it’s beside the point. With video gambling allowed practically everywhere, it’s hardly fair for Illinois to draw the line at Fairmount Park.