Crime Commission backs banning of 'sweepstakes machines'

March 23, 2014 (CHICAGO)

The machines have been quietly popping up in bars around the city and suburbs.

Although they're called sweepstakes or coupon machines the Illinois Gaming Board says the machines fit the definition of gaming devices.

When players win, they receive a discount coupon that can be used for gifts from a company website.

They also get points from an electronic sweepstakes raffle.

"There are already indications that the Chicago crime syndicate is hidden behind the control of these machines, and with that comes the potential for corruption of public officials to look the other way," said Arthur Bilek, Chicago Crime Commission Executive Vice President.

Lawmakers in favor of legislation outlawing the machines point out none of the proceeds from these machines will go to the state of Illinois because they're currently unregulated.

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