Cell phone store with slot-style machines reported
by BRIAN NADIG
Slot-style machines could recently be seen inside a cell phone store that has opened at 4466 N. Milwaukee Ave.
A spokesman for the city Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection said that inspectors were unable to gain entry to the business and have referred the matter to the Chicago Police Department Vice Control Section.
The 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District also has asked vice control to look into the matter, according to a district spokesman.
The city issued a limited business license for Lucky’s Wireless earlier this year to allow the sale of cell phones and accessories but visible through the store’s windows are eight slot-style machines.
In Chicago it is not unusual for businesses to offer what they call “sweepstakes” machines, which are similar to traditional slot machines.
A Nadig Newspapers employee was at the store recently and a worker had said that residents can play the machines with cash and the store pays out cash winnings or a credit towards cell phone accessories. The store has sent out mailers to residents in the neighborhood offering a $10 matchplay.
The hours are from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
The Illinois Gaming Board considers sweepstakes to be a gambling device.
In recent years, sweepstakes can be seen in laundromats, gas stations, convenience stores and other businesses on the Northwest Side, but the gaming board only enforces gambling laws in municipalities where gambling is legal, often leaving local or county law enforcement to deal with the matter.
In Chicago, gambling-style devices which offer anything of value to players are not allowed, and machines which are for entertainment purposes only must have a tax stamp issued by the city, according to the business affairs department. In addition, businesses are restricted to three amusement devices unless they have public place of amusement license, which permits four or more devices.
In many suburbs, slot machines have been legal in bars since 2012. A recently approved bill calling for the expansion of gambling in the state could lead to a casino opening in Chicago.