Video gaming has helped smaller communities gain revenue - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Video gaming has helped smaller communities gain revenue

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BARRY, Ill. (WGEM) -

It's been five years since Pike County Illinois allowed video gaming in local bars, gas stations and restaurants. According to state numbers, more than $83,000 was split between 6 towns in the county this year.

Just in the last year, Barry city officials said they've received over $23,000 from video gaming revenue in the city. Which provides much needed stability for businesses and the city.

Tiny's Place in Barry has four gaming machines. Owner Cindy Galinis said they've been a big hit.

"A lot of time they'll just come in and drink, have a few drinks, order a pizza and play games, and enjoy themselves," Galinis said.

Money from the machines has allowed them to stay competitive with other prices in the bar.

"It keeps us going. I haven't raised my prices with the last three raises of alcohol," Galinis said.

Last year city administrator Jeff Hogge said they got around the money from the machines is helping keep the city's pool alive.

"It's helped keep it going, helped us do some updates to it, just general maintenance, all the things that were a little difficult for us to do in the past," Hogge added.

Hogge said more amenities like a pool, keep people in the town.

"The city of Barry has a lot of amenities to it that a lot of small towns do not, the swimming pool being one of them," Hogge said. "To keep that, it helps keep the residents to where they want to stay here."

But with over 20 machines in the small town, Galinis said they've seen a decline in revenue because of over saturation.

"Before everybody else got gaming video, I was doing really well with it," Galinis added. "But now that other places have video gaming, it's really went down."

Hogge said early on there were some concerns with gaming in the county, but now they've become an important part to the city's budget.

"But it seems like we've seen no real issues with them at all," Hogge said. "It seems like everybody kind of enjoys it."
 

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