Best city for running a profitable pool hall ?

Sam1914

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May 6, 2018
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I notice Illinois allows for video gaming which I’m sure can help a room create some income . What other places create good opportunities for room owners to make good money due to a better set of local laws or other reasons ?
 

gulfportdoc

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Jun 25, 2004
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11,894
From
Gulfport, Mississippi
I notice Illinois allows for video gaming which I’m sure can help a room create some income . What other places create good opportunities for room owners to make good money due to a better set of local laws or other reasons ?
New Orleans' Jefferson Parish allows video poker machines in the poolrooms. Not sure how many other parishes in the State do. But that's a tremendous source of income.
 

Sam1914

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May 6, 2018
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New Orleans' Jefferson Parish allows video poker machines in the poolrooms. Not sure how many other parishes in the State do. But that's a tremendous source of income.
Didnt know that . I saw red shoes in Chicago has machines also I believe they are more like slot machines . Where I am from rooms are closing all over and without places to play we cant promote any game .
 

Sam1914

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May 6, 2018
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When Doc Hurbert & 3 partners bought Chris's in Chicago, NO liquor/beer & wine, NO machines, minimum food, only 56 tables.

For the first 6-8 years it grossed over $1,000,000.00 per year!
56 tables holy shit lol
 

Keith E.

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Nov 13, 2015
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Didnt know that . I saw red shoes in Chicago has machines also I believe they are more like slot machines . Where I am from rooms are closing all over and without places to play we cant promote any game .

Do you plan on opening a pool room?

Keith
 

MattRosendaul

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Sep 16, 2005
Messages
34
Having owned and managed a room back in Michigan for many years (closed end of 2001), I can tell you it’s a real tough gig for all the reasons already listed here. The space requirement pushes you to a low rent district, and you need to have a lot of other complimentary revenue streams. A couple key points:

1. Don’t think of it as a pool room. Pool rooms have a bad reputation and you’ll be battling that rap full time. You need to focus on entertainment/recreation/restaurant. You make the bulk of your money on average people who want to spend a night out and drop $20 a piece maybe for a couple hours of fun and drinks as a couple or with friends. Your competition is bowling alleys, golf courses, movie theatres, breweries with a band and a food truck, etc. we made the bulk of our money on table time, but a very close second was Mountain Dew fountain pop.

2. After catering to the open player public, then concentrate on player development and building a core of regular and serious players who will carry you through the slow times (summer), buy from the pro-shop, pay for lessons, and play in leagues and tournaments. I had lunch with the owner of a bowling alley one time and he said that the bulk of their income was from league play which they had 7 days a week. They had seniors, women, juniors, beginners, scotch doubles, every configuration you could imagine. After that meeting, I started more leagues and saw immediate results. Catering to these players also requires top notch equipment in superior shape.

I have a lot of other advice I can give if you really want to start a room and are putting together a plan. In fact, I might still have a copy of my pool room business plan and pro forma financial statements somewhere in the archive.
 

MattRosendaul

Verified Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2005
Messages
34
Having owned and managed a room back in Michigan for many years (closed end of 2001), I can tell you it’s a real tough gig for all the reasons already listed here. The space requirement pushes you to a low rent district, and you need to have a lot of other complimentary revenue streams. A couple key points:

1. Don’t think of it as a pool room. Pool rooms have a bad reputation and you’ll be battling that rap full time. You need to focus on entertainment/recreation/restaurant. You make the bulk of your money on average people who want to spend a night out and drop $20 a piece maybe for a couple hours of fun and drinks as a couple or with friends. Your competition is bowling alleys, golf courses, movie theatres, breweries with a band and a food truck, etc. we made the bulk of our money on table time, but a very close second was Mountain Dew fountain pop.

2. After catering to the open player public, then concentrate on player development and building a core of regular and serious players who will carry you through the slow times (summer), buy from the pro-shop, pay for lessons, and play in leagues and tournaments. I had lunch with the owner of a bowling alley one time and he said that the bulk of their income was from league play which they had 7 days a week. They had seniors, women, juniors, beginners, scotch doubles, every configuration you could imagine. After that meeting, I started more leagues and saw immediate results. Catering to these players also requires top notch equipment in superior shape.

I have a lot of other advice I can give if you really want to start a room and are putting together a plan. In fact, I might still have a copy of my pool room business plan and pro forma financial statements somewhere in the archive.
As a side note, John at Red Shoes would be another great resource for what works and what doesn’t. Another note BTW, Chris’ Billiards in Chicago is Mecca for pool players. At some point everyone needs to go.
 

J.R.

Verified Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
Messages
518
From
Chicago, Illinois
I notice Illinois allows for video gaming which I’m sure can help a room create some income . What other places create good opportunities for room owners to make good money due to a better set of local laws or other reasons ?
Video gaming is legal in Illinois as long as the municipality (local government) allows it. Currently, Chicago does not allow State video gaming but many other cities, towns, and villages throughout Illinois allow it. One of the requirements for any establishment to have State video gaming in their place of business is a State of Illinois liquor license.

On one hand, Red Shoes Billiards in Alsip, Illinois has a State of Illinois liquor license and has 6 (maximum allowed) State machines. On the other hand, even if video gambling was legal in Chicago, Chris's Billiards could not have video gaming because it does not have a State of Illinois liquor license. Nevertheless, Chris's Billiards does have another form of video gaming which are known as "sweepstakes" machines. These machines, according to local and state courts, are considered "sweepstakes" machines because any person can redeem their winnings with other prizes like furniture type items. However, the payouts on the "sweepstakes" machines is never a table, chair, or lamp but the almighty dollar.
 
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