Here at Accel Entertainment, we mostly focus on video gaming in Illinois. However, the Prairie State is not the only place where people can play slot machines outside of casinos. We’ve assembled this state-by-state guide to show how other states are similar or different than Illinois.
In Illinois, there are four types of establishments that can operate video gaming: Retail establishments with on-premise liquor license, licensed fraternal establishments, licensed veterans establishments and licensed truck stop establishments. There are some non-traditional establishments as well, but they still need to fall under that broad category. There are over 6,700 establishments with video gaming in Illinois, which is by far the largest of any state.
Louisiana is very similar to Illinois when it comes to video gaming. Louisiana allows machines in truck stops, restaurants, bars, OTBs and hotels, which is very similar to Illinois. However, these gambling machines are limited solely to video poker, whereas in Illinois the video gaming terminals (VGTs) can offer other types of games as well.
Oregon could be considered the “OG” when it comes to video gaming. The state introduced video lottery terminals (VLTs) in 1992 and added Vegas-style slot machines to those terminals in 2005. Oregon was the top state in video gaming revenue until 2015 when they were surpassed by the state of Illinois. There are nearly 4,000 locations with VLTs in Oregon.
Pennsylvania has a more limited scope version of Illinois’ video gaming, and the state only began handing out video gaming licenses in 2019. Right now, Pennsylvania only allows video gaming in truck stops that meet certain criteria (you can check out our website to find the exact criteria). But the VGTs in Pennsylvania truck stops will be similar to those in Illinois, there will just be a lot less locations than Illinois currently has.
Like Oregon, South Dakota allows VLTs that contain poker, keno, blackjack and bingo. But South Dakota doesn’t have nearly as many locations as Oregon since they only allow VLTs in bars or taverns. Currently the state has around 1,347 licensed establishments with video gaming.
West Virginia also has a similar model to Illinois with a more limited scope. Bars, restaurants and fraternal organizations in West Virginia can have up to 10 VLTs in their establishments. In comparison, most Illinois establishments are only allowed to have up to six machines. West Virginia currently has around 1,470 licensed locations with video gaming in them.
Georgia is probably the most unique when it comes to video gaming. Gas stations and convenience stores are allowed to operate “coin-operated amusement machines” also known as COAMs. These COAMs are video slots, the same as you’ll find in other states with video gaming. However, if a person wins while playing these machines they do not receive cash from a redemption terminal. Instead, they can either win lottery tickets or store credit they can use to purchase items in the specific location they’re playing in. There are more than 5,000 licensed establishments in Georgia with these COAMs.
While you can play slot machines in all these states, you can only find the most AE locations here in Illinois. Check out our other blogs to see why you should look for the AE when looking for video gaming.