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OTB Parlor Leaves Ultimate Sports Bar

Profits, pari-mutuel tax revenue from OTB not as high as originally anticipated.

After winning the from Stickney-based Hawthorne Race Course, approval from the Illinois Racing Board and, owner Steve Koulis was elated to open an OTB parlor in his bar in December 2010. 

The excitement was short lived, though.  After about a year of operation, Ultimate Sports Bar is no longer home to the OTB parlor.

Ward 3 Alderman Marty Munns said the reason the OTB didn’t last long came down to simple dollars and cents.

“They didn’t make enough profit," Munns said. "That’s how business works.  The ones that make a profit stay and the one’s that don’t, leave. 

Munns also echoed his statements from the original debate supporting the OTB there.

“I told people when the debate was going on that it would not draw people from the city to Yorkville," Munns said. "Yes, we have some horse-betters, but most of them are closer to the city.” 

Fellow Ward 3 Alderman Chris Funkhouser was not in office when the OTB opened. However, he stated that the outcome of the deal was not as lucrative as originally hoped.

“At the end of the year it had only brought in a few thousand dollars,” he said.

The OTB parlor was projected to bring in $110,000 in tax revenue by 2015 according to Hawthorne Race Course’s Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Kras. City officials estimated it brought in $15,000 to $20,000 for the city in the fiscal year starting May 1.

The revenue loss won't have a significant impact on the city, Munns said.

“It’s a loss and that’s not a good thing," Munns said. "But it’s not a huge deal in the larger scope. It will be a minimal sales tax impact for Yorkville."

Funkhouser added that Ultimate Sports Bar is being proactive about incorporating the unused space into the restaurant area. The area is called the MVP Lounge and features darts and billiards.

Howie Fagan, Community Relations Coordionator for Hawthorne Race Track had little to say about the short-lived partnership.

"All I can say is that there are some business deals that are good, and some that are bad," he said. 

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