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Video gaming machines debut in Rockford Park District locations

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With some money and luck, Riverview Icehouse visitors could win big.

Friday, the Rockford Park District held a grand opening for the ice arena’s new video gaming room.

“We hope this provides a way for our customers to have an additional form of entertainment while they’re at our facilities,” said Rockford Park District operations director Jessica Steinberg.

Visitors over 21 spun a wheel for the chance to win some prizes at the debut.

Steinberg hopes by introducing video gaming to Icehouse visitors — it can increase district revenues.

“With the declining revenue base the park district has had between fees and declining tax base, we either needed to increase revenue or decrease our footprint,” said Steinberg.

The park district says 100 percent of the proceeds made from the machines will go back into youth programming.

“People don’t have to worry about just wasting their money,” said Eugene Cichock, who played in the gaming room Friday. “It’s actually going to a good use and people can benefit from it.”

“You always want to give back,” said player Beverly Bell. “Especially to the children because the education-recreational, that’s something that’s needed.”

Every Friday in May, a new park district location will host its own grand opening party.

          May 10, 2019              Ingersoll Golf Course, 101 Daisyfield Rd., Rockford, IL
          May 17, 2019              Sinnissippi Golf Course, 2004 Arlington St., Rockford, IL
          May 24, 2019              Sandy Hollow Golf Course, 2670 Sandy Hollow Rd., Rockford, IL
          May 31, 2019              Elliot Golf Course, 888 S. Lyford Rd., Cherry Valley, IL

Players say the machines offer something else for parents to do while kids are at practices.

“Where you might be kind of antsy and ready to leave,” said Bell. “Now, there’s something to make them relax. Something for the children, something for the parents.”

“I think they’re already popular around town,” said Cichock. “So, I think they’re going to be pretty useful to people that definitely want to come and play them.”

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