ROCKFORD - Dozens of video
gambling machines are officially online across the
Michael English was
says he's been waiting for the machines to be turned on. He was playing virtual shuffleboard at Mary's
Place in downtown
"As soon as they're online I'll probably be down here everyday like I am now," joked English.
The company that owns the machines in Mary's Place came in a little after five o'clock Tuesday evening to finally fill the payout machine and turn the video terminals on.
"I'm ready to go," said Becky Haddad, owner of Mary's Place. "I mean we've been staring at them for a couple of months now, so we're ready to play."
Richard Grap went to Mary's just to test out the machines, and was the first one to play them. Turns out the first player became the first big winner too. Grap put in a $20 bill and won $170.
"These just make it exciting," said Grap. "People want to come to the bar, have a cold one and play the slots."
But are people
looking for that showy
"They had the machines before that were for amusement only and they played them a lot, so I think they'll play these a lot too," said Grap.
"There's probably 3 - 5 calls a day wanting to know if the machines are on," said Haddad.
English plopped himself in front of a video gambling terminal not soon after they were turned on, and he says he'll be back tomorrow so he can, "get a big payout."
Max bet you can place at a time on the machines is two dollars and the highest payout on the machine is $500.
Will the city be getting its big tax payout? Only time and the amount of losing gamblers will tell.