The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

February 9, 2013

Benefits of video poker

Businesses see additional profits

DANVILLE — It was a decision Doug Wagoner of Hoopeston wasn’t sure about a year ago. Looking at the new video gaming laws in Illinois, the owner of Fast Lanes bowling alley in Hoopeston pondered whether he wanted to be part of the new video system being set up.

Now, with two months of the video gambling system, Wagoner is among the first in the county to see additional profits come in as a result of the new system.

“I believe they are beginning to get a little more popular,” he said last week. On that day, three people from Indiana were in the business playing the machines.

“I see people that come in and play them that didn’t play before,” Wagoner added. “We’re starting to get people that didn’t realize we had them.”

Buying into the new video gaming setup in Illinois hasn’t been a gamble for local establishment owners who have opted to install the gambling terminals in their businesses.

As of Monday, 13 establishments in Vermilion County had been licensed for video gaming systems by the Illinois Gaming Board. The two earliest were the Little Nugget, 6 S. Henning Road, and Turtle Run Golf Club, 332 E. Liberty Lane. Both received licenses on Sept. 20.

Overall, the establishments are spread throughout the county with three in Hoopeston, one each in Westville, Tilton and Catlin and seven in and around Danville.

Under terms of the Illinois Video Gaming Act, the licensed video gaming machines can be installed in establishments where liquor is served for consumption on site as well as licensed fraternal establishments, veterans’ organizations and truck stops.

Video gaming is not allowed in the villages of Rossville and Potomac, according to the state gaming board website.

Jackpot

Wagoner said he filed his application with the state in March but only after trying — with little luck — to get some of his questions answered.

“They didn’t know what the heck they were doing and you could never get an answer out of anyone,” Wagoner said. “Only after I got someone there that I talked to and knew what he was doing that I decided to go ahead with it.”

It has paid off well for him quickly. According to monthly reports issued by the Illinois Gaming Board, five establishments in Vermilion County have reported income from the video gaming terminals.

Of those, Fast Lanes recorded $563 in returns for the month of November. December was much better, however, as the three machines brought in a little more than $3,400. The returns were lower at the other two Hoopeston locations: BJ’s Pump and Buddy Egnew VFW Post 4896.

After taxes, business owners must split the final monetary total with the terminal operator.

Two businesses around Danville have recorded higher returns in their first two months. Turtle Run saw its cut in the gambling terminal returns go from $841 in November to $9,920 in December. The Little Nugget saw a bigger jump, going from $641 to $14,689.

Turtle Run owner Chris Heeren said the November total only reflects about five days of the machines operating. But the returns in December are undeniable.

“Anytime we can add a revenue stream to our existing business it’s big no matter what the number is,” he said. “It allows us to do capital improvements, to improve the facility and keep our doors open.”

Heeren said he made several capital improvements to Snapper’s prior to installing the new machines in order to create a semi-private area for the video gaming terminals. As a result, he said people are in the bar as early as 10 a.m. — when the bar opens — to play the new gambling terminals.

“The technology has improved so much and these are a little more enjoyable to play and they get to a payout,” he said, comparing the new terminals to the amusement-only machines previously featured.

Word of the potential for the machines has spread quickly. According to the Illinois Gaming Board, a total of 43 establishments are listed as pending for application approval as of Monday. The locations range from bars, restaurants and bowling alleys to various veterans and fraternal organizations. So far, just one Danville bar has had its application denied by the state gaming board.

Business decisions

Under the state’s gaming law, establishments can install as many as five video gaming terminals. Most of the locations that have reported income figures to the gaming board have five machines on their premises.

For Wagoner, how many machines to bring in was as much as dilemma as whether to apply for the license in the first place. Three machines fit well into the room separate from the bowling alley lanes and, as of right now, expanding isn’t an option for him.

I don’t plan on it at all,” he said. “The simple fact is that I’ve got three and as long as I got three people playing, I’m OK.

“I’ve only got so much room,” Wagoner said, noting he has to consider whether adding another machine or two “would justify losing a table to serve food at.”

There are five machines in the specialized area of Snapper’s. Heeren said economics made the decision an easy one for his business.

“It’s just been difficult with the economy,” he said. “We’re in a business of discretionary income. If anyone has to cut out something in their budget, it’s going to be something that’s discretionary.”

The new gambling terminals will help keep people coming in the doors.

“We’ll use anything that we can add to our business to get people out here and show them,” Heeren said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Volunteers needed for Arbor Day

    April 19, 2014

  • Extension program on lightning

    April 19, 2014

  • D118 to vote on uniform dress code DANVILLE -- The Danville District 118 school board is expected to vote Wednesday night on the implementation of a proposed student uniform standard of dress code. At its April 9 meeting, the school board reached a consensus on certain aspects of the

    April 19, 2014

  • Current uniform dress code proposal Shirts/tops: Students may wear the following types of shirts and tops: • Grades K-8: Polo or white collared shirts; two additional colors as determined by building principal • Grades 9-12: Collared polo or dress shirts, long or short sleeved in any c

    April 19, 2014

  • Police report Incidents reported to police include: Danville Monday: Retail theft at Wal-Mart, 4101 N. Vermilion St. Tuesday: Burglary to residence in the first block of Camelot Drive. Wednesday: Domestic battery in the 400 block of Jackson. Thursday: Criminal tre

    April 19, 2014

  • Fire calls Firefighters responded to the following calls: Thursday, 1-1:14 p.m. -- Medical call in the 1000 block of Clay. Thursday, 1:15-1:31 p.m. -- Outdoor fire in the 900 block of Robinson Street. Thursday, 1:29-1:34 p.m. -- Medical call in 700 block of Wal

    April 19, 2014

  • DACC eyes Follett to run school's campus bookstore DANVILLE -- The Danville Area Community College board of trustees is expected to vote Tuesday whether to contract with an outside company to manage and operate the college's bookstore. The goal of developing alternative solutions to reduce the high c

    April 19, 2014

  • greatamericancleanup1.jpg Spring cleaning This year's Great American Cleanup and Downtown Planting Day will include more areas downtown. The 2014 Great American Cleanup will be May 3. The cleanup will again take place in downtown Danville and the Douglas Discovery Garden. Volunteers are need

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police investigate shooting report

    DANVILLE — City police investigated reports of a shooting in the 1000 block of Moore Street about 6:30 p.m.

    Preliminary reports had as many as three people with gunshot wounds. Ambulances were called to assist two of the people with wounds to the leg and one with a chest wound.

    The investigation continued Friday evening.

    April 18, 2014

  • ‘Les Mis’ movie shown

    April 18, 2014

E-edition
AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism
NCAA basketball
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
Must Read