Indiana coalition pushes for VGTs in bars and truck stops

Several organisations supporting coin-operated amusement machine operators form the coalition.
Several organisations supporting coin-operated amusement machine operators form the coalition.

An Indianan coalition hopes state lawmakers will put VGT expansion on the agenda for the 2021 legislative session.

US.- A group of Indiana businesses and organisations have asked state lawmakers to allow Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs) in bars and truck stops in order to boost revenues and stimulate the local economy.

The Video Gaming Terminal Coalition argues VGT expansion would generate up to $165m in annual revenue for the state, help businesses suffering during the Covid-19 pandemic and generate up to 32,000 jobs in the state.

The coalition’s proposal would cap the machines at a $2 maximum bet per play and with payouts of no more than $599. Licensed properties would have voucher redemption units where players could cash out their winnings.

An age restriction of 21 would be placed on the machines, and the bars and truck stops would be required to enforce it.

Several organisations supporting coin-operated amusement machine operators form the coalition, including the Indiana Bowling Centers Association, Indiana Amusement & Music Operators Association and the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores Association.

The organisations point across the border to Illinois to demonstrate how VGTs can boost state revenues and stimulate the local economy.

While Illinois VGT revenues fell throughout the pandemic, the sector produced a net terminal income of US$88.1m from March to May 2020.

The coalition hopes its proposal reaches the 2021 session of the Indiana General Assembly, which begins on January 11.

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