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Illinois Gaming Market

Fees Associated with Opening an Illinois Video Gaming Business

January 30, 2019

The variety of fees and paperwork associated with obtaining an Illinois Gaming Board (“IGB”) License may leave you feeling overwhelmed or confused. This blog will help you understand some of the fees associated with this process.

Business Registration

If you haven’t already, you’ll first need to register your business with the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State’s website will provide some clarity regarding the steps and fees related to registering your business.

Dram Shop Liability Insurance Fee

“Dram shop” liability insurance is required in Illinois for all establishments that serve or furnish alcohol. (A dram shop refers to any commercial establishment that sells liquor). This insurance protects the establishment from being liable for accidents caused by customers who became intoxicated inside the establishment. This coverage is required before you can obtain a liquor license. The cost of Dram Shop Insurance will vary by location and municipality. This insurance, also known as Liquor Liability Insurance, can be obtained from an Insurance Company.

Liquor License Fee

Download 7 Steps to Becoming a Licensed Illinois Video Gaming EstablishmentAny establishment looking to add gaming (aside from truck stops ), must obtain a local Liquor License. The cost of the Liquor License does vary by Municipality, so check to see what the fee is for your community. Through either a search of your municipality’s website or a phone call, you will be able to identify what kind of municipal liquor license you will need in order to apply for a Retailer license with the State.

The next step is to apply for a State of Illinois Retail liquor license. The cost of a State of Illinois Retail liquor license is $750.00. You must have your local liquor license, Sales Tax number/Illinois Business Tax (IBT) number, and Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) before you can receive your State Retail liquor license.

Permit Fee by Municipality

Some municipalities may impose a “permit fee” for each Video Gaming Terminal (“VGT”) (Slot Machine) or for your establishment in general.  These fees vary by Municipality.  For example, the City of Rockford’s “permit fee” is $25.00 per VGT per year, whereas Orland Park charges an annual fee of $1,000 per VGT per year, along with an initial application fee of $2,500. Orland Park’s annual renewal fee costs $1,000

Illinois Gaming Board Fee

After your IGB application is submitted and you’ve gone through the IGB Background Check, the IGB will send you a notice if your Establishment has been issued a video gaming license. This notice will also contain instructions for how to pay the $100.00 annual license fee to the IGB.


While some fees are universal across all video gaming applications, many municipality-specific fees and applications tend to complicate the process.  Don’t let a little extra work prevent your business from missing out on the profits associated with video gaming.  The 2017 year-end net terminal income was $1.3 billion according to the IGB. There was also an 11.1% increase in businesses, totaling 6,359 locations. The terminals were averaging $131.81 per machine, per day, up 3.9% from 2016.

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