SPRINGFIELD, IL (KMOX) – A law which would expand gaming in Illinois is a step closer to passage in the General Assembly.
Former state lawmaker Bill Black, who now heads up the Illinois Revenue and Jobs Alliance, said the measure would generate some much needed revenue and create more jobs. “Anybody in Missouri probably looks across the river and says ‘holy cow, Illinois is going to sink in debt.’ We need the revenue, we need the jobs.”
Senate Bill 1739 would establish a new land-based casino in Chicago plus four others around the state and would allow slot machines at horse racing tracks.
“It will help the horse racing industry and the casinos are in areas where we know they will be successful. The state will get more money, the localities will get more money,” Black argued.
The new casinos would be built in Danville, Lake County, Rockford and the Chicago area. Opponents say the plan will backfire because existing gaming revenue, which is already on the decline, will be spread too thin with the addition of more gambling sites.
SB 1739 has passed a Senate committee. It includes a measure which would disallow gaming licensees from making political contributions in the state, a crucial provision in the eyes of Governor Pat Quinn who previously vetoed a gaming bill which did not include a contribution ban.