Sounds awesome if u ask me, as a guy who struggles w/ boredom sitting out n not betting races for more than 15-20 minute it's nice to be able to have something to do in between races, not to mention blowing off steam by hitting the shit out of a cpl golf balls
Bolingbrook OKs OTB parlor in Golf Dome
By Laura Katauskas Staff Reporter | Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 2:01 pm
While Bolingbrook passed on video gambling, area residents will have a new form of entertainment just in time for the Kentucky Derby.
After careful consideration, Mayor Roger Claar and trustees approved measures to allow for Hawthorne Race Course to bring in an Off Track Betting establishment on site of the newly renovated Bolingbrook Golf Dome, formerly known as the Ditka Dome.
In a unique partnership, Hawthorne Estates will construct the OTB within the McQ's bar establishment at 730 Bolingbrook Drive. Hawthorne will lease a 2,000-square-foot space located in the northwest corner of the building that would accommodate approximately 60 patrons. Their hours of operation would be no later than McQ's; Sunday through Thursday, open until midnight and Friday and Saturday, open until 2 a.m.
Hoping to capitalize off each other's business, both Hawthorne's CFO Jeff Kras, and McQ's owner Jim McWethy boast of a relationship that will complement one another.
“My goal is to have the best golf dome, and that McQ's be the best sports bar. This OTB is the perfect complement,” said McWethy.
In addition, the Illinois Horse Racing Act dictates that 1 percent of the wages earned from the establishment goes to the host city and county. Kras estimates based on demographics and population, the village could stand to receive at least $200,000 annually.
Before the village board's approval, the matter went through a public hearing and was approved by the Bolingbrook Plan Commission. Claar and trustees said the matter was not taken lightly, noting that some consider gaming in a negative light.
“I've heard people say they don't want this kind of revenue, but I don't see it that way,” said Claar. “We don't have a blind eye to the critics, but there is a demand for public services and that costs money. The’ other way to raise revenue is to raise taxes. We have a need to find resources, and this is a nice fit and it was the consensus of the board to move forward.”
Calling it a ‘thinking man's sport,’ Kras said the establishment draws a middle-class, professional crowd and that in the history of its other locations, no major incidences have occurred and contrary to belief, there is no higher incidence of crime in the area.
The Hawthorne Race Course is governed by the Illinois Racing Board, requiring an annual license, and is allowed to open up to six OTB locations and has similar operations in Chicago, Mokena, Prospect Heights, Glendale Heights and Joliet.
Kras said the OTB establishments are more upscale venues akin to entertainment venues like ESPN Zone; complete with high-back leather chairs and 50 to 60 high-definition televisions.
“We treat this as a first-class operation, and our employees are well-trained,” said Kras.
Hawthorne plans a soft opening in April and hopes to be in full swing for May's Kentucky Derby.