New liquor licenses allow Carbondale gambling expansion - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

New liquor licenses allow Carbondale gambling expansion

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - The addition of five new “B-3” liquor licenses will allow new gambling establishments to open in Carbondale.

Video gaming itself is relatively new to the region, having been legalized in Illinois in 2012. In the past three years, many businesses have added the machines, but businesses devoted to gambling have remained uncharted waters for Carbondale until now.

The city recently increased the allowance of B-1 and B-2 licenses (Which certify traditional alcohol-selling businesses such as restaurants or bars,) within city limits from 16 to 20.

“in a very short period of time, those new slots were filled by businesses who wanted to open up one of these stand-alone gaming shops.” Said Carbondale Mayor John ‘Mike' Henry. The gambling shops require a liquor license to operate, and before the city added the five slots it has now, there was no such thing as a B-3 license in Carbondale which is specifically designed to allow these establishments.

Applications are in the works for one stand-alone gaming shop called “Reel Lucky” on the west end of town near Key West bar and grill, one called “Little Vegas” in Eastgate shopping center, and another named “Lacey's Place” between Moe's Southwest Grill and Fujiyama's Steakhouse on the west side of town.

One is already open.

“Lucky 13” has been open since May 5th, and is found across from Fat Bottomed Betty's on the east side.

Carbondale resident Josh Stegle was playing the machines on Monday, and says the business has a ‘mellow' atmosphere, when compared to other businesses that typically hold liquor licenses.

"I don't really like the bar crowd too much, so it's better for me personally." Stegle said, "you don't have to deal with the people drinking and it's just a quieter environment."

“these places will probably sell as much alcohol as they do coffee or tea.” Sorrel explained, “Which is one of the reasons for the separate distinction. They're looking at different ways of not only expanding their own business, but kind of creating their own niche, where they want to get that special little draw."

Carbondale leaders expect the new establishments to add roughly $100,000 in revenue next year, added to the city's $52 million budget.

Mayor Henry says there have been no discussions of increasing the number of licenses, and says his interest in doing so any time soon is minimal.

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