Franklin hits jobs jackpot - WSMV Channel 4

Franklin hits jobs jackpot

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FRANKLIN, TN (WSMV) -

Most forms of gambling are illegal in Tennessee, but a business that banks on the casino industry is joining a popular television network in finding homes in our state.

Video Gaming Technologies is just one example of how the city of Franklin is hitting the jackpot when it comes to jobs.

"We lease our product to a casino and share in winnings of those machines," said CEO Doug Edwards.

The company produces gaming machines for casinos in nine states across the United States and Mexico. Among its most popular products is video bingo, which is an increasingly popular form of gambling in many areas.

"We've got 120 openings currently, and more than that are coming in next 12 months," Edwards said.

Right now VGT only has its corporate offices in Williamson County, but it's making room for more, by planning to hire more than 100 engineers and IT staff.

Company officials said hundreds more jobs could soon come because the state of Illinois just approved gaming. They estimate Illinois to be a 50,000-machine market once it opens, so that will be equivalent to 10 Las Vegas casinos.

So why produce video gaming machines in a place that doesn't gamble?

It's the same reason MTV just moved its financial offices from New York City all the way to a corporate building in Cool Springs.

"This is a great place for companies to find talent. It's also a great place for companies to save costs," said Williamson County Economic Director Matt Largen.

Largen said nearby colleges are often providing the staff these companies are looking for.

But call VGT's fast growth a stroke of luck. Just a few years ago, VGT couldn't produce its machines here because of state laws.

But in recent years, Tennessee has loosened many of those gambling laws.

"And who knows? Maybe someday we'll even see more gaming in the state of Tennessee," Edwards said.

For more information on jobs available at Video Gaming Technologies, visit: http://vgt.net.

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