For the third consecutive year, the amount of money played at video gambling terminals in Monroe County increased.
According to data from the Illinois Gaming Board, people played over $70.4 million in the county in 2019.
In 2018, that number was approximately $56.5 million.
Local municipalities received $279,759.72 last year from all the money played. That number was $222,345.61 in 2018.
State law allows municipalities and county boards to pass ordinances approving video gambling terminals in their jurisdictions.
Five percent of the net terminal income – the amount gambled minus what is paid out – goes to the local municipality.
Thirty-three percent of that money goes to the government’s coffers, with the state getting 28 percent.
That tax went up 3 percent last year to help pay for Illinois’ capital plan. It will go up another 1 percent next year.
The remaining income is split evenly between the company that operates the terminals and the establishment which houses them.
Waterloo once again saw the most money bet of any local municipality.
About $34.5 million was played at the 66 terminals in 14 establishments in the city, with just over $31.6 million paid out.
The establishments with the most money played were Ruby’s with $6.6 million, Debbie’s (formerly Marilyn’s Wine Time) with $4.5 million, Willie’s West End with $3.4 million, Huck’s with 3.3 million and Randy’s Double R Bar with $3.2 million.
All figures in the millions for amounts played at a given establishment throughout this story are approximate.
Those business netted Waterloo $27,138.75, $20,809.61, $16,609.40, $12,305.26 and $13,340, respectively.
All other establishments had less than $3 million played. In decreasing order of amount played, those businesses are Fast Stop, Circle K, Fourth Street Bar & Grill, Washy’s Saloon (formerly Bobeck’s), Mr. BBQ, Outsiders Bar, JV’s Downtown Bar & Grill, Imo’s and 424 West Gaming House.
Waterloo received $141,365.96 overall.
That money funded over $56,000 of facade grants, the creation of the public parking lot at the corner of Fourth and Main streets, downtown beautification work provided by Human Support Services, parking lot rental at the corner of Mill and S. Market streets, Christmas decorations, historic plaques and signage, planters and small expenditures like paying for flags and the Santa Float.
“We’re looking forward to doing a first responder memorial using some of the money from that,” Waterloo Mayor Tom Smith added. “I think we’ve done a good job with enhancing Waterloo.”
Columbia saw the next most gambled in Monroe County.
Just over $27 million was played at the city’s 44 terminals in 10 establishments in 2019. That resulted in almost $25 million being paid out.
About $20.4 million was played in 2018.
The businesses with the most played were Top Shooters with $5.7 million, Tiny’s with $5.1 million, Bully’s Smokehouse with $3.7 million, Columbia City Saloon with $3.3 million, Ace’s Wild with $3.1 million and Pair of Dice with $3 million.
Those establishments generated $23,172.71, $18,459.50, $13,617.49, 12,300.99, $12,658.53 and $12,663.13 for Columbia, respectively.
All other places saw less than $1.2 million played. Those businesses are Washy’s Pub (formerly Merz on Main), Who Dat’s and the Columbia American Legion.
All told, Columbia got $103,938.83 from gambling revenue in 2019.
Columbia City Administer Douglas Brimm said that revenue is earmarked by ordinance to benefit the city’s parks.
“This past year, various equipment/fixtures were purchased, including new picnic tables,” Brimm said. “This upcoming year, we plan to replace the Lion Pavilion in Bolm-Schuhkraft Park and reseal the tennis courts. The next major outlay planned for this revenue stream is the development of Creekside Park, which is adjacent to Rueck Road.”
The third most gambling took place at machines located in unincorporated areas of the county.
More than $6.4 million was played at those 23 terminals in six establishments. About $5.9 million was paid out.
In order of amount played, those businesses are Midwest Petroleum near Red Bud with $2.9 million, Route 3 Bar & Grill with $1.5 million, Crazy Trail Saloon & Grill in Burksville with $1.3 million, Freeda’s on Main in Renault with $497,372.31, Power Haus with $6,438.17 and Dreamland Palace with $5,744.14.
Those establishments generated $11,668.62, $5,989.82, $5,494.70, $1,448.18, $11.32 and $16.50 for the county’s general revenue fund, respectively.
The smaller towns of Valmeyer, Maeystown and Hecker also saw revenue generated from video gaming.
Valmeyer’s The Corner Pub saw $571,097.66 played, netting $2,129.09 for the village. Those four terminals paid out $528,516.80.
Maeystown’s Hank & Lilly’s Creekside (formerly Mason’s Restaurant & Bar) had $330,801.41 played, generating $807.62 for the town. Those five terminals paid out $314,649.36.
Finally, Hecker’s Back Street Wine & Dine saw $1,613,469.90 gambled, which resulted in the town getting $6,889.08. Those five terminals paid out $1,475,688.69.