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Illinois Governor Signs Law To Help People With Felonies Work In Casinos

Bill Applies To Non-Gaming Positions


Governor JB Pritzker has signed legislation that will allow individuals with certain felony convictions the opportunity to apply for non-gaming positions at Illinois casinos, mainly in the hospitality industry.

The Illinois Gaming Board worked with UNITE HERE Local 1 and Senate Bill 1462’s sponsors Senator Robert Peters and Representative Kam Buckner to draft the bill.

“Here in the Land of Lincoln, we believe that people deserve second chances—and that includes the formerly incarcerated and those who have been convicted of a felony,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “As we transform our justice system away from incarceration and towards rehabilitation, we are creating opportunities for Illinoisans who’ve made mistakes to secure gainful employment and build better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities.”

Currently under state law, people who have a felony conviction are ineligible to work at a casino in both gaming and non-gaming positions.

SB 1462 removes automatic disqualification for non-gaming positions and allows the IGB to consider individual facts and circumstances about past criminal convictions when making a licensing decision for casino occupational license applicants.

The jobs affected by SB 1462 are for non-gaming positions such as restaurant staff, maintenance, and housekeeping.

“Individuals impacted by the justice system often have a hard time seeking worthwhile employment opportunities when transitioning back into society,” said State Sen. Robert Peters (D-Chicago). “These individuals have served their time and should be able to move on with their lives. There are many non-gaming related jobs within casinos, such as hospitality-related positions. Connecting this vulnerable community with these good paying union jobs will empower folks to become financially secure and stimulate the growth of safe communities.”

“I applaud the efforts of Governor Pritzker and the bill’s sponsors to enact Senate Bill 1462 into law,” said IGB Administrator Marcus Fruchter. “This law preserves the IGB’s necessary ability to protect the integrity of Illinois gaming while providing an opportunity for gainful employment in non-gaming casino positions to applicants with prior convictions.”

Tags: Illinois