Video Gambling Wins Big

By: Shannon Smith Email
By: Shannon Smith Email

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A Rockford bar has made more money on its video poker machines than most any other bar in the state. Opsahl's is ranked number two in Illinois.

Lawanna Perry hopes to win big money. Like many others, Perry comes to Opsahl's Pizza to try her luck.

“It’s more like the older type of people that come here, not the young people, the rowdy people. You can come in here and relax,” said Perry.

At Opsahl’s alone, gamblers deposited more than $800,000 into machines since September.

They have lost about $56,000 of it. Opsahl's keeps 30%, almost $17,000. Opsahl’s was a testing site. Owner Bill Opsahl says he thinks the name attracts players.

"We’ve been around for a long time, people know we're here and a little advertising doesn't hurt," said Opsahl.

Opsahl even extended gaming hours from midnight to 2 a-m. He believes residents gamble here because they can feel safe while playing the machines.

"Older ladies can come in, single women can come in and play and not have any problems," said Opsahl.

Opsahl says he hopes to add more video gaming machines to his other location, the number one earner in the state, the American Legion in Urbana, with more than $900,000.

Rockford will get almost $5,000 from video gaming machines throughout the city. City leaders tell us the money could be used to buy more equipment, like fire trucks and ambulances.


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