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Gamblers Beat The Odds At Crete Bar

Mike Parker Mike Parker
Mike Parker has been a general assignment reporter for CBS 2 Chicago...
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CRETE, Ill. (CBS) — Where’s the best place in Illinois to play those recently legalized video gambling games? CBS2’s Mike Parker found it.

Welcome to Jason’s Pub in south suburban Crete. It appears to be the luckiest bar in Illinois.

The reason: Those four video gambling terminals. Out of some 800 Illinois bars that have them, the gadgets here paid off better in January than they’re supposed to. Most terminals pay back 90 to 93 percent of the amount bet. Last month at Jason’s players bet $35,954. They got back $36,378, more than 100 percent. The house lost $424.00.

Owner Jim Kowalkowski agrees, he’s losing money on the deal. “That’s going to turn around, eventually I hope…at least my customers will be happy.”

We found one player who thinks he may be single-handedly responsible for beating the odds. Mike Kinney says “Sometimes you put in 50 and lose it. There’s other times I put in 10 bucks and walked out with 300. And I’ve done that probably three times.”

Kinney didn’t do it while we watched. After playing, he laughed as he saw the voucher for his winnings. It totaled 17 cents.

Sooner or later the law of probability will catch up with Jason’s Pub. That place will join the other video gambling joints in Illinois. At those establishments, a little more than a million dollars was bet in January. Gamblers lost 90,000.