How to be Licensed


Work with Empire
  • Empire helps you navigate the IGB licensing requirements, and determine the layout of your gaming area.
  • Our team will ensure that you have the most optimal setup for your customers while satisfying regulatory and technical requirements.
  • Having a Terminal Operator on your side who knows the ropes when it comes to compliance, gaming and the go-live process can help make the entire licensing process much smoother.


Apply for an IGB
  • Make sure you are located in a municipality that allows video gaming.  
  • Unless you qualify as a truck stop, your establishment must have an on-premises liquor license in order to become a licensed gaming establishment.
  • The online application for an IGB license has 10 parts in all. Certain personal documents will have to be signed, scanned, and uploaded for inclusion in the submission.
  • When you submit your application, you’ll be consenting to an extensive background check for you (if you’re an owner or key manager, along with any other co-owners and, potentially, many management employees).
  • The background check can result in disqualification of your application if it reveals, among several factors, an extensive criminal record, certain types of convictions, or questionable business associations of any of the owners or key employees being reviewed.
  • You must be honest and answer application questions with all important information to the best of your knowledge. If it’s discovered that you gave any wrong statements on your application, you could be denied a license, and potentially be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.


Get Fingerprinted
  • Following submission of the application the next step will be for all required individuals to get fingerprinted. All owners and key employees who are listed in the IGB application need to be fingerprinted. The IGB won’t move any other part of the application process forward until this step is complete, so it’s best to take care of it quickly .


IGB and Municipality
  • After you submit your IGB license application, the investigatory process can take anywhere from several weeks to several months. Once your IGB gaming license has been approved, you’ll have to pay a $100 licensing fee. While your IGB license application is pending, you should look into whether there are any additional licensing requirements in your municipality and/or county. Local governments may charge additional fees or require paperwork or a separate application. We will assist you in this process.


On Site Inspection by
an IGB Agent
  • This review determines whether the video gaming area within your establishment will be able to meet basic regulatory and technical criteria. For Instance, a video gaming location cannot be within 1,000 feet of a horse racing facility or casino,or within 100 feet of a school or house of worship. Additionally, you’ll need to make sure that machines are restricted to patrons who are 21 years of age or older, so if your business allows entrance to people under that age, you’ll have to create a segregated, dedicated space for video gaming terminals (VGTs), and entrance of that area must be monitored by at least one employee who is at least 21 years old.


Install the Games
  • Up to 6 Illinois Video Gaming Terminals (10 if Large Truck Stop) 1 Redemption Terminal with ATM capabilities
  • Delivered and Installed by Empire
  • From the best manufacturers: Novomatic, Scientific Games, IGT, Aristocrat, and Inspired.


Go Live!
  • On the go-live date (1-3 weeks after receiving a state license) an IGB Agent will perform a “coin test” to ensure your machines function properly. A technician and Manager From Empire will be on hand as well to complete final performance checks and go through any remaining paperwork. Once all of that's completed, your customers can start playing the VGTs.