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    New Illinois Law Allows Mini Casinos at Truck Stops

    Video gaming machines can be placed at facilities that are at least three acres, have a convenience store and offer a separate island for fueling diesel trucks.

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- A little-noticed provision in Illinois’ new video gambling law could turn some truck stops into mini casinos. The law, which legalized video poker at bars and veterans halls to help raise money for statewide construction projects, would allow the machines to be placed at trucking facilities under certain conditions.

    The games could bring in a windfall of cash for cities such as Effingham, Mount Vernon and Troy, Ill., all of which have a high concentration of truck stops because they are located at the crossroads of major interstate highways, The Pantagraph reported.

    The new law states that it applies to all truck stops that are at least three acres, have a convenience store and offer a separate island for fueling diesel trucks.

    Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores has five locations in Illinois: Williamsville, Ina, Utica, Roscoe and LeRoy. In a company statement, company spokeswoman Christina Dukeman said: "If there are new laws regarding video gambling in Illinois, Love's will determine interest level, if any, in offering that option at those locations, and will conduct any research and applicable licensing requirements at that time."

    The Dixie Travel Plaza in McLean, which serves truckers hauling up and down I-55, is among scores of truck stops that already offer the machines as entertainment for their customers. Manager Tina Kletz, however, said she's just now researching the law to see how it might affect her business. "It could mean added revenue," she said.

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