When the Sugar Grove American Legion pushed for the village to allow video gambling machines in its facility, officials there said the very existence of the building was at stake.
The machines have been installed since April, and Bob Beetham, the legion’s finance officer, said “it’s helping us.”
“It’s to get more people in,” he said. “They like to play the machines.”
Such machines are allowed in Maple Park, Sugar Grove, North Aurora and Elburn, as well as in unincorporated areas of Kane County. And several locations do have video gambling in western Kane County.
Numbers are available to measure the machines’ success. For instance, in the period from April to September, the machines at the Sugar Grove American Legion netted $54,274.53.
Among other locations, Winner’s Circle Bar & Grill in Maple Park brought in a net of $86,776.55 from December 2012 to September; the Blackberry Bar and Grill in Elburn netted $189,852.25 from October 2012 to September; and Calamity Jane’s near Sugar Grove netted $106,011.69 from March through September.
And the Illinois Gaming Board continues to approve new licenses. In August, Run-A-Way in North Aurora received a license. In September, machines were cleared for the Turf Room and Oak Street Restaurant in North Aurora. And just this month, Maple Park Pub and Grill got its license, as well as Stanley’s Ale House in South Elgin.
Jay Spoden, the president of Sugar Grove-based Tiger Amusements, handles the installation of the machines in the area. He said to expect Schmidt’s Towne Tap in Elburn to be cleared to get machines soon.
Spoden said the numbers show there is an appetite for the machines, and that they are working to draw in customers.
“It’s been excellent for everybody,” he said. “More people are going out to local places.”
By the numbers
The performance of video gambling machines in the area:
Blackberry Bar and Grill
1S731 Route 47, Blackberry Township
October 2012 to September 2013
Funds in: $595,425
Funds out: $405,572
Net terminal income: $189,852
State share: $47,464
Municipality share: 9,494
9S593 Route 47, Sugar Grove Township
March to September 2013
Funds in: $302,496
Funds out: $196,484
Net terminal income: $106,011
State share: $26,502
Municipality share: $5,300
50w226 Old State Road, Virgil Township
December 2012 to September 2013
Funds in: $343,680
Funds out: $256,903
Net terminal income: $86,776
State share: $21,694
Municipality share: $4,339
Sugar Grove American Legion
65 First St., Sugar Grove
April to September 2013
Funds in: $182,257
Funds out: $127,982
Net terminal income: $54,274
State share: $13,568
Municipality share: $2,713