Video gambling turned on in Illinois
By Tony Graf firstname.lastname@example.org October 9, 2012 9:24PM
Owner Alfonso Izquierdo is happy to see the video poker machines go live at Izzy's in Joliet, Illinois, Tuesday, October 9, 2012. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun Times Media
Area video poker licensees
Brandt’s Tavern, 1607 N. Division St., Morris
Bum’s Tavern, 790 N. Sixth St., Carbon Hill
Clayton’s Tap, 122 W. Washington St., Morris
Crest Hill Lanes and Pub, 905 Theodore St., Crest Hill
The Other Bar, 55 S. Daley St., Diamond
Fritz’s Saloon, 225 S. State St., Manhattan
Channahon Lanes, 25306 W. Eames St., Channahon
Hot Pan, 2302 Essington Road, Joliet
Ignorant Bliss, 1338 Main St., Crete
Izzy’s, 507 Theodore St., Joliet
Peotone Bowl & Lounge, 210 N. Second St., Peotone
B&B Riverfront Bar & Grill, 724 Railroad St., Joliet
The Korner Keg & Kitchen, 285 E. Main St., Braidwood
Custers’ Keg, 21060 Route 113, Custer Park
Larsen’s Corner, 1329 W. Jefferson St., Joliet
Vito’s on Broadway, 1823 N. Broadway, Crest Hill
McBride’s Pub & Grille, 7162 Caton Farm Road, Joliet
Bogie’s Sports Bar, 615 Liberty St., Morris
Stella’s on State Street, 823 S. State St., Lockport
Riverfront Lanes, 402 S. Water St., Wilmington
The Rustic Inn, 108 N. Water St., Wilmington
Thirty Buck, 753 Ruby St., Joliet
Tuffy’s Lounge, 1099 S. Water St., Wilmington
Watson’s Diner & Pub, 115 E. Mississippi St., Elwood
Crows Nest, 1400 N. Center St., Joliet
Source: Illinois Gaming Board
Updated: November 11, 2012 6:20AM
JOLIET — At least one Joliet-area bar has turned on its video gambling machines, while others remain waiting, now that video gambling is up and running at sites throughout the state.
After three weeks of testing, the machines were turned on Tuesday at 65 licensed locations in Illinois, according to the Illinois Gaming Board. In all, 278 terminals began operating, and patrons were allowed to begin placing wagers on a variety of games.
The state approved video gambling in 2009 to help finance a $31 billion public works program, including schools, roads and other transportation projects.
In Joliet, Izzy’s bar on Theodore Street has five machines going, with two poker games and 10 line games.
“This was a long time coming,” said Alfonso “Izzy” Izquierdo, owner of the bar, adding that it took around four months from the time of application to Tuesday’s start.
The Herald-News surveyed a dozen other video poker licensees in Will and Grundy counties on Tuesday. None had a machine operating.
For a month, Izquierdo had the machines in his bar but could not use them because they were being tested. Also, the process in which winning tickets are redeemed was not ready, he said.
“It was a slow-moving process,” Izquierdo said. “Maybe it was because everything was new. Maybe it was because they were just approving the machines, they were just approving the redemption.”
When patrons win at the machines at Izzy’s, they receive a ticket, which they must redeem for money at Izzy’s.
Izquierdo said he does not believe video gambling will hurt Joliet’s two casinos.
“The boats have got too much variety,” he said of the casinos. “They’ve got poker. They’ve got roulette and craps and different games. The bars are not going to hurt them.”
Izquierdo opened up Izzy’s 13 years ago Tuesday so the start of video gambling coincides with its anniversary. Izquierdo now can advertise, put up banners and use Facebook to announce his gambling machines, he said.
On Tuesday, patrons played “Frost & Fire Sevens,” a line game, along with the poker games. The machines are in a cordoned-off area of the bar, marked with a sign: “Must be 21 or older to play machines.”
The video gambling law allows installation of as many as five machines per licensed establishment where liquor is served for consumption on the premises as well as in veterans post, fraternal organizations and truck stops.
All licenses are issued by the gaming board, and having a liquor license does not guarantee that a business will get a video gambling license, according to the board.
The gaming board is processing video gambling license applications from 2,223 establishments, 127 fraternal organizations, 198 veterans posts and 66 truck stops. In recent weeks, there has been a surge of applications.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.