Local bar cashing in from video gambling


Local bars and restaurants are trying to reap the benefits of video gambling and it's the sound of success for customers and Woody's in Decatur.

"It's bringing in new people, new faces to the bar.  Let's everybody see what's going on," said Bar Manager Andy Cooling.

New faces, new money and new hours.  Just two days of video gaming has brought in an extra couple hundred dollars to Woody's and the local hangout is now open from six a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday.

"We had to hire up a couple extra, or an extra person to come in in the mornings for us," Cooling said.

He added that with the expected revenue hike, Woody's plans on renovating some of the bar and the parking lot.

Across town a new bar called Mom's Place has opened right next door to Pop's Place.  It's been quiet since it opened Monday but that may soon change.

"Basically we're just hoping that the state comes through with the machines quickly so that we can see what happens," said Myra Hames Bar Manager of Mom's Place.

Bar owners applied for machines back in April and any day now it's waiting for an on-site inspection.  Then, soon after that it could be approved for the games.

"Hopefully a lot of money is going to be made not only by the bar but but also the state gets money, the city gets money, it's good for everyone," Hames said.

Thirty-five percent of that money goes to bar owners.  The city, state and game operators also get a portion of what's made.

According to the Illinois Gambling Board, as of Monday, 38 Decatur spots are pending approval for gaming machines.

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