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Illinois To Consider Allowing Riverboat Casinos To Stay Open 24 Hours

State Has Looked At Proposal In The Past, But Never Approved

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The Illinois Casino Gaming Association wants the state to allow 24-hour gambling at the state’s riverboat casinos, according to reports.

The Illinois Gaming Board will talk about the idea at its meeting on Sept. 19.

State gaming regulators considered the idea a handful of years ago, but rejected it.

Right now, casinos in the state must close for at least two hours.

“With the video gaming that’s going on now, for example truck stops are allowed to stay open 24 hours a day,” Tom Swoik, a representative for a handful of Illinois’ ten riverboats, told WNIJ. “So people can play video gaming at truck stops 24 hours a day, why not at the casinos?”

Illinois legalized such gambling facilities in 1990.

The state’s riverboat casinos most recently brought in about $1.639 billion in gross gaming revenue during a calendar year, according to data from the American Gaming Association.

Some in the state are looking to bring land-based, full-scale, Las Vegas-style casinos to the state. One of them could be in Chicago, at least that’s what major Rahm Emanuel wants.

However, Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn has had concerns about how such casinos would be regulated. He has vetoed a casino bill before.

The state also briefly flirted with legalizing online gambling, but will likely bring up that issue again at a later point in time. Only Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have legal web poker.