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DJ's Sports Bar is first Westmont establishment to debut video gaming machines

WESTMONT – It took more than 10 months, but the first video game gambling machines have gone live in Westmont.

DJ's Sports Bar, 222 E. Chicago Ave., debuted five machines on Tuesday.

The Westmont Village Board gave local establishments the green light to install and operate the gaming machines last December, but a lengthy process that included a formal approval from the Illinois Gaming Board delayed the debut.

DJ's Sports Bar owner Tracy Valerio was given formal approval from the IGB last month.

"It's more of something to keep my customers entertained while they wait for friends," Valerio said. "And maybe a way to bring new people in."

Walsh's Bar and Grill, 202 W. Naperville Road, is expected to be the next establishment to offer video gaming. Owner Tim Walsh was given formal approval from the IGB last month as well.

Village Manager Ron Searl said the delay was partly because of the high demand across the state as well as strict regulations.

"[The IGB] is back-logged in getting the machines out," Searl said.

Westmont joined nearby towns Oakbrook Terrace and Lemont to give the green light to the video game gambling machines last December.

Under state law, only businesses that hold liquor licenses would be allowed to operate the machines, including taverns, restaurants or fraternal organizations.

The Village of Westmont is in line to bring in revenue from the machines, up to $2,500 annually per machine Westmont Police Chief Tom Mulhearn said.

Under the law, the state takes 30 percent of the revenue generated from each machine, with one-sixth of that going back to the local municipalities. The profits after that are split 50-50 between the machine operator and the owner of the establishment where the machines are located.

EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Clarendon Hills had authorized video game gambling.

Mulhearn added that the police department will be monitoring the operation of the machines, including conducting enforcement checks to ensure only those 21 and older are using them.

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