Legal video gambling comes to Monroe County

Pictured, a wall is built inside JV’s Downtown Bar & Grill in preparation for the installation of video gambling machines sometime in January.

Although hundreds of machines have gone live in Illinois bars, truck stops and fraternal halls since the state began its roll-out of video gambling in September, it wasn’t until last month that a Monroe County establishment joined in on the action.

TopShooters, located at 531 Old State Route 3 in Columbia, received approval from the Illinois Gaming Board on Nov. 15, and has had the maximum allowed number of video gambling machines (five) up and running since Dec. 6.

“It’s been really good for us so far,” TopShooters owner Tim Wheeler told the Republic-Times last week. “We’ve had some new customers come in to give them a try.”

And it appears Monroe County will welcome more machines later this month. JV’s Downtown Bar & Grill in Waterloo was among 100 or more applicants receiving approval on Dec. 20.

JV’s owner Jeff Vogt said his establishment should have three machines available to patrons within a few weeks.

Other area taverns receiving approval on Dec. 20 were Bob’s Tavern in Dupo and Mueth’s Tavern in Smithton. They join No-Jack’s in Smithton and Triple Lakes Tavern near Dupo, which received approval for machines months ago.

Lawmakers approved the Illinois Video Gaming Act in 2009, in an attempt to help generate revenue for the cash-strapped state. But the roll-out was slowed due to legal challenges and final regulatory approvals.

Dealers get 35 percent of the video gambling revenue, while the establishments get 35 percent. The state receives 25 percent of the revenue, while cities or counties receive five percent.
Waterloo and Columbia have each approved video gambling, as has Monroe County.

The gambling machine pays players out itself. Those playing receive a printed card that can be cashed at a special ATM inside the establishment.

The gaming board meets monthly to approve submitted applications.

Among the area establishments listed as pending applicants for video gambling machines include Bully’s Smokehouse, Who Dat’s and Mokka Kaffeehaus in Columbia; BoBeck’s Sports Bar & Grill, Outsiders Tavern, Mystic Oak Golf Course, Acorns Golf Links, Willie’s West End and Lou & Michelle’s in Waterloo; Karban’s Knotty Pines in Paderborn; Lisa’s Market Street Grille and Rocher Pub in Prairie du Rocher; The Ruma Mill in Ruma; Farmer’s Inn Restaurant & Bar between Columbia and Millstadt; Columbus Club, Reinhardt’s Restaurant & Lounge, Margarita’s and Millstadt VFW Post 7980 in Millstadt; Wolf’s Tavern in New Athens; Sporto’s Pub & Grill in Red Bud; Robert Scott’s Grill & Cafe and Ela’s Gasthaus in Smithton; and Good Tymes Saloon, Judy’s Corner and Lady Di’s in Dupo.

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