CHICAGO | The Illinois Gaming Board says video poker machines have been activated at 65 bars, restaurants and other locations throughout Illinois.

The board released a statement Tuesday announcing the long-anticipated start of video gaming. It says it's processing license applications for more than 2,200 other establishments, including fraternal organizations and truck stops. Each site must undergo a background check.

The suburbs of Dolton, Chicago Heights, Lynwood, Glenwood and Calumet City have all approved video poker gambling for their communities. The village of Lansing has postponed discussion of the matter.

The manager of Chino's Pizzeria in the Chicago suburb of Justice says the restaurant's three machines came online around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Jeff Glover says he'd just finished mopping when he saw the machines light up with actual games, instead of with an "out of service" message.

The state approved video gambling in 2009 to help fund a $31 billion construction program to fix schools, roads and other transportation projects.

Jeanette is a journalist with The Times Media Co. who has worked as both a reporter and editor. She has a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield.