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Owner slots new facility in Rock Falls

ROCK FALLS – Suzi’s Video Poker and Slots is coming to the city.

The gambling establishment will be at 1019 First Ave., between Fresh Looks and U.S. Cellular.

In addition to Rock Falls, owner Suzi McAfoos has opened specialty gambling facilities in Coal Valley, Silvis, Princeton, Galesburg, Kewanee, LaSalle, Streator, and two in Ottawa. McAfoos plans to open a facility in Peru in September.

The gambling terminals have been put in the Rock Falls building, and the owner would like to have things up and running next week.

“I am hoping to be open on Aug. 5 at the Rock Falls location,” McAfoos said.

Although beer and wine will be sold, Suzi’s markets itself as a quieter gambling alternative to a bar. Lounges with couches and TVs are set up for customers who are waiting for gambling terminals to become available. Gamers receive complimentary coffee and soda.

“I want my customers to feel like they are at home,” McAfoos said. “It’s a fun, bright and cheery place.” 

Hours at the Rock Falls Suzi’s will be noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Illinois law requires that video gambling establishments have a liquor license. Each license allows a maximum of five gambling terminals. The Illinois Gaming Board must also approve all video gambling sites.

Video gambling in Illinois went live in October 2012, more than 3 years after it received legislative approval. It was proposed as a revenue source for municipalities to make capital improvements.

The state receives 25 percent of video gambling profits, while municipalities get 5 percent. The remainder is split between the machine operator and business owners.

The Rock Falls council on May 15, 2012, voted to allow video gambling machines in bars and restaurants. At that time, the city estimated it would bring in between $20,000 and $25,000. In fiscal year 2014, the city’s share from video gambling proceeds was $57,880.41. In May and June, the first 2 months of fiscal year 2015, the city has brought in $13,241.65.

Rock Falls had 54 machines licensed at the end of June.

While the cities’ proceeds fall short of the state’s original estimates, the extra revenue comes in handy.

“It might not seem like a lot of money to some, but to us it’s a windfall,” City Administrator Robbin Blackert said. “It allowed us to get new police cars during the past year.”

Suzi's Video Poker and Slots

Hours at the Rock Falls Suzi's, 1019 First Ave., will be noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.

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