Illinois House Revisits Casino Legislation
The Illinois House sought to revitalize legislation that would open the discussion to expand legalized gambling once again. The talks cover a plan to open one huge land-based casino in Chicago, four on river boats and to allow the state’s suffering horse race tracks to include slots machines at venues.
The proposed changes in legislation were met with criticism from Gov. Pat Quinn due to the measure’s “major ethical shortcomings.” With such legislation lacking the proper failsafe measures to protect Indiana patrons or govern the casinos in an unbiased light, it remains unlikely the bill will be passed without proper revision.
A Vote of 69-47 was two counts shy to overcome the governor’s veto of the measure. Rep. Lou Lang, the bill’s sponsor, had high hopes a one-time payment of $1.2b in addition to an annual $300m in tax revenue that the proposed bill would bring in to the state’s ailing coffers would help sway the Governor’s decision.
The Casino proposal would erect nearly 4,000 gambling posts statewide, including slots machines, seats at blackjack tables, and riverboat casinos in Danville, Rockford, Park City, and one undetermined location on Chicago’s south side. Each new river boat, including the 10 existing ones, would boast 1600 seats over the previous 1200.
Horse racing has suffered consistently in the 20 years since river boats were first introduced to the state of Illinois. The proposed bill would allow race tracks to maintain slot machines on site so long as venues maintained sufficient racing schedules.
Those voting against the plan maintain their serious doubts as to whether or not Bill SB1849 is the economic instrument is promises to be.