SPRINGFIELD, IL (IRN) – The sponsor of gambling legislation in the Illinois Senate is betting this will be the year the state approves new casinos.

State Sen. Terry Link (D-Waukegan) says his bill will be on a “rapid pace” toward a vote in February. He says it will address the governor’s concerns about regulation and oversight.

While not ruling out anything, Link said it would be similar to his previous proposal of five new casinos: one each for Chicago, the north suburbs, the south suburbs, Rockford, and Danville, as well as slot machines at horse tracks. The Illinois State Fairgrounds would not get slot machines.

How much gambling should there be in Illinois? “I’m not worried about (possible) saturation,” says Link. “It’s like any free enterprise project that goes on in the state. The only person I’m concerned about is the state of Illinois. Are we going to be making more money than we were making before?”

Link says he hopes the new makeup of the just-inaugurated General Assembly will see the issues in a different way than earlier lawmakers did.


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