Illinois Casinos Push for 24 Hour Opening
The Casino Gaming Association is Illinois is pushing for the state’s casinos to be allowed to operate 24/7.
The Illinois Casino Gaming Association, which represents the state’s 10 casinos is asking the State Gaming Board to allow casinos to remain open 24/6, at present casinos may only stay open for 22 hours a day.
The idea is to help raise revenue and create more jobs; however, many are arguing that the availability of 24 hour gambling will result in more problem gambling.
The states surrounding Illinois all have 24 hour casinos and the head of the Casino Gaming Association, Tom Swoik, says that Illinois needs to change its rules in order to stay competitive, “They just leave our casinos and go elsewhere, to Indiana or to places that have video gaming.” Furthermore, Swoik says that there is “no research to support that adding these hours would lead to increased gambling addiction.”
However, members of the community such as Phil Blackwell, a pastor at the First United Methodist Church of Chicago, strongly disagree. He compared casino closing times to that of bars and also pointed out that bartenders are able to stop serving people who have drunk too much while in casinos “there’s no impulse for anybody to stop anyone from gambling too much.”
The Illinois Gaming Board will discuss the issue on September 19th.