All systems go on video gambling at Durbin’s in Tinley Park
By Ginger Brashinger Correspondent March 23, 2014 7:14PM
Tinley Park resident Wally Quinlan gets comfortable at one of five video gambling games scheduled to be turned on the afternoon of March 21 at Durbin's Restaurant and Lounge, the first bar in Tinley Park to be licensed for State video gambling. | Ginger Brashinger/for Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 25, 2014 6:21AM
Durbin’s Restaurant and Lounge is open for video gambling business.
Durbin’s, 17265 Oak Park Ave, is the first bar to have state-licensed gaming machines in Tinley Park and a welcome addition to his business, general manager John McAuliffe said.
“It doesn’t give people an excuse to go to a different place,” McAuliffe said. “If people like to play, that’s where they’re going to go. This evens the playing field.”
The restaurant’s machines, officially “turned on” by state technicians Friday night, was one of two businesses in Tinley Park licensed in February by the state gaming board. Nick’s Barbecue, 16638 Oak Park Ave., said its machines have been installed and running for about a month.
McAuliffe, son of Durbin’s owner Tom McAuliffe, waited hours for the state to show up Friday because of a hang-up in setting up video gambling at an Oak Forest establishment.
McAuliffe said he was just happy it was going to happen, and about 8 p.m. Friday all systems were go, more than three hours after the setup was scheduled.
McAuliffe is sure it will be good for business.
“This will give people a reason to come out,” McAuliffe said, especially after a tough winter that hurt business. “It will bring a little more excitement to the place.”
Wally Quinlan, 71, of Tinley Park, a loyal Durbin’s customer since it opened in Tinley Park eight years ago, said the addition of video games won’t change his routine. Quinlan loves Durbin’s, and stops in just about every afternoon, he said, on his way home from work at Midwest Industrial Lighting in Chicago.
Most weekends, Quinlan said he’s at Durbin’s with his wife, Shirley.
“It’s close by home, the food is good and they have good TVs for sporting events,” Quinlan said.
Quinlan, who was given the honor as the first video gambling player Friday night, thinks the machines will be a nice addition.
“I think it will be a plus because people like to gamble,” Quinlan said. “The games are a lot like (Las) Vegas.”
Even those who aren’t video gamblers agree.
Judy Grennan, a Tinley Park resident for about 18 years, said she isn’t “much of a gambler” and not a video gambler at all, but she loves Durbin’s, “the waitresses and the gentlemen at the bar,” and has no objection to gambling coming to one of her favorite spots.
“For most people it’s a plus,” Grennan said. “They’re all happy to have it, and the hostess said (the machines) pay off. That’s very nice.”
McAuliffe and the village will have to wait to see how much business and tax revenue the video gambling will generate. The village will receive an annual license fee of $1,000 per machine from every establishment that sells alcohol, in addition to tax revenue, estimated by village officials to be from $180,000 to $300,000 annually.
There soon may be even more competition for customers’ gambling dollars. Eleven other businesses and two nonprofit organizations in Tinley Park have filed for licenses.
That’s no worry for Durbin’s.
“It was great to get on board,” McAuliffe said. “We’re very happy with it.”