ROCKFORD - Video gambling
consoles are already installed in one
"We're excited," said Becky Haddad, the owner of Mary's Place. "It's new people, new faces, people that like to gamble, people that are curious."
The establishment touted as the city's oldest bar is now home to five new slot machines. Haddad started looking into bringing video gambling to Mary's just a few months ago. Now she's one of the first in the state to actually have the machines in her bar.
"The state us doing a pilot program which they included me in and I was glad to jump on it," said Haddad.
But don't bother putting any money in those new machines; they won't be functional for another couple of weeks. The state's gaming board doesn't have its centralized computer system up and running yet. The Illinois Gaming Board says it's functional but it's testing the system with places in the pilot program like Mary's Place. They want to make sure all the kinks are worked out.
The city has to
make sure they're ready for it all too.
"The city is in the process of developing a protocol to make sure that we comply with the state requirements and get these gaming devices in their establishments up and running as soon as possible," said Jennifer Cacciapaglia, city attorney.
"Our goal is certainly to have a protocol of policies and procedures in place well within the next month so that we are able to hit the ground running so to speak once the state's ready," said Cacciapaglia.
Currently 96 places
across the state have video gambling licenses, and 11 of those are in