Ethan Simmons is a reporter at The News-Gazette covering the University of Illinois. His email is esimmons@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@ethancsimmons).

lindy lus

Lindy Lu’s on the corner of University and Race in Urbana.

How much are area towns benefiting from video gambling?

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhauer wasn’t shy about the benefits that video-gambling revenue brings to his city.

Of the $5.68 million in income that Rantoul terminals made in 2021, 5 percent of it — more than $284,000 — went into the municipality’s general fund.

“You’re talking about three more police officers on the street, more programming we can offer in recreation,” Eisenhauer said. “It’s what we call a ‘tax of choice.’ Nobody requires you to go in and play video gaming.”

Through April of this year, Rantoul gambling terminals have raked in $94,000 for the village.

“Without those dollars, the choice is less programs and police officers on the street, or to turn around and tax the residents," he said. "Here, residents are taxing themselves in choosing to spend their money that way, which takes that burden off of the typical property owner."

Here’s a breakdown of how much has been bet and won at the top three video-gambling spots in 10 East Central Illinois municipalities from January to April 2022, sorted by the amount of tax revenue heading to each local government.

In Illinois, the net income of each video-gambling terminal is taxed at 34 percent, of which 29 percent goes to the state and 5 percent goes to the municipality.

The difference between the amount of money bet at each terminal and the amount won is known as net wagering activity.

2022 first-quarter video-gambling revenue

Business Address Total Bet Total Won Net Wagering Activity
CHAMPAIGN: $403550.72 in tax revenue
Mach 1 902 W. Bloomington Rd. $10043328.57 $9156118.42 $887210.15
Dotty’s 501 S. Mattis Ave. $4714164.36 $4341972.44 $372191.92
Circle K 4202 W. Springfield Ave. $4247365.66 $3865370.57 $381995.09
DANVILLE: $189,419.64 in revenue
Business Address Total bet Total won NWA
Marathon 3401 E. Main St. $4733382.71 $4273441.37 $459941.34
Jack Flash 510 N. Gilbert St. $3638188.10 $3326766.58 $311421.52
Dale’s 1217 E. Fairchild St. $3072977.54 $2790018.56 $282958.98
URBANA: $176039.96 in tax revenue
Lindy Lu's Place 202 W. University Ave. $4261184.77 $3897983.23 $363201.54
Ruby's IV 510 N. Cunningham Ave. $3668760.81 $3388499.55 $280261.26
Emma's Eatery 114 Vine St. $3585130.45 $3299323.61 $285806.84
RANTOUL: $94108.32 in tax revenue
Vegas Place 187 E. Grove Ave. $5373721.93 $4889991.67 $483730.26
Circle K 220 S. Murray Rd. $4144705.10 $3711222.78 $433482.32
Caroline’s Lucky Stop 425 S. Murray Rd. $3384950.41 $3116680.58 $268269.83
TUSCOLA: $56740.90 in tax revenue
Lambo's 1000 E. Southline Rd. $4417607.36 $4044933.23 $372674.13
Fuel Mart 1207 E. Southline Rd. $3763126.96 $3469355.28 $293771.68
Road Ranger 1112 E. Southline Rd. $1884969.40 $1724648.16 $160321.24
MONTICELLO: $47420.46 in tax revenue
Debbie’s 404 W. Center St. $2837515.21 $2601730.47 $235784.74
Friend$ 313 W. Main St. $1727549.65 $1614008.40 $113541.25
Circle K 802 Iron Horse Place $1717050.08 $1561971.51 $155078.57
GIBSON CITY: $39123.69 in tax revenue
Country Kettle 810 S. Sangamon Ave. $2867451.01 $2639609.71 $227841.30
American Legion Post 568 203 N. Sangamon Ave. $2050472.98 $1859904.25 $190568.73
Gibson Variety Liquor 115 & 119 W 8th St. $1348209.70 $1236023.11 $112186.59
MAHOMET: $23265.18 in tax revenue
Circle K 506 S Prairie View Rd. $2843352.67 $2549652.51 $293700.16
Lake of the Woods Bar & Liquors 204 S Prairie View Rd. $1246031.28 $1141833.76 $104197.52
Project 47 101 N. Lombard St. $717589.31 $663826.61 $53762.70
TOLONO: $21048.32 in tax revenue
Lu & Denny's 105 N. Long St. $2020964.70 $1827678.01 $193286.69
Traxside 4 E. Holden St. $1203901.17 $1107200.79 $96700.38
Jack's Tavern 106 E. Main St. $867314.93 $784494.43 $82820.50
PAXTON: $20849.15 in tax revenue
Business Address Total bet Total won NWA
Ruby Belle's 763 E. Pells St. $1888823.30 $1708596.82 $180226.48
Arcade Café 132 N. Market St. $1148763.09 $1042995.21 $105767.88
The Public House 130 S. Market St. $777731.20 $708044.66 $69686.54

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