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Illinois Casino Bill Would Bring Casino To Chicago

Legislation Could Grow State's Gambling Market By 20 Percent


A new bill in Illinois seeks to greatly expand gambling in order to help shore up the state’s budget. The cash-strapped state is searching for new tax revenue.

Casino licenses would be awarded to Chicago and some of its suburbs, as well as the cities of Rockford and Danville. There would also be a casino in Williamson County.

Under the bill, the tax rate for slot machine revenue would be 20 percent, while table games would be taxed at 16 percent.

According to a state analysis, Illinois could grow its gambling market by about $550 million if the legislation is enacted. Illinois already has a $2.5 billion gambling market. Gaming win in the state was up more than seven percent last year.

The bill would also allow existing gambling facilities to expand their offerings and airports to have slot machines like their Las Vegas counterparts.

Internet gaming was part of the bill when it was introduced, but that is no longer part of the equation, according to the text of the legislation. Daily fantasy sports regulation was considered last year and even passed the Senate. However, it didn’t end up passing the House because the state’s casino industry wants other forms of online gambling as well.

The casino bill has been amended several times since it hit the table in January.

A key tenet of the bill is regulation and preventing corruption.

“While authorization of casino gambling in Chicago will enhance investment, development, and tourism in Illinois, it is recognized that it will do so successfully only if public confidence and trust in the credibility and integrity of the gambling operations and the regulatory process is maintained.”

“Therefore, the provisions of this Act are designed to allow the Illinois Gaming Board to strictly regulate the facilities, persons, associations, and practices related to gambling operations pursuant to the police powers of the State, including comprehensive law enforcement supervision. Consistent with the Gaming Board’s authority, the Gaming Board alone shall regulate any Chicago casino, just as it now regulates every other casino in Illinois.”

The measure, intended to keep gaming dollars from flowing into Indiana, is sponsored by State Senators Terry Link, Dave Syverson, Mattie Hunter and Donne Trotter. It would only become law if it’s included in a group of bills that pass to help fix the state’s finances.

Tags: Illinois,   Chicago