Within hours of Governor Pat Quinn saying that any revenue that is obtained from new casinos should be used to go towards the financing public schools, a Senate panel has given their endorsement for a huge gambling expansion plan.
The proposal that was approved by he Senate executive committee was accepted on a 10-4 vote. This includes the addition of 5 new casinos to the 10 casinos already run by the states, and allows slot machines at the horse racing tracks and this is the first state that has legalized gambling at home on the internet. It must be noted that not all the money will be allocated to education.
The 'iGaming' language could raise approximately $100 million towards state pensions by letting casino operators to be able to offer online betting to people over the age of 21 who has a credit card and internet conneciton.
Opponents have said that the expansion is 'too fast and too big', and the option of the proposal for home based internet gambling is too risky.
Gambling opponent, Anita Bedell, has said that she thought it not clear that federal law would let this happen. She continued that Illinois would be 'entering into muddy waters'.
State Senitor Matt Murphy, of R-Palatine felt that it seems to be 'incredibly rushed' to him.
Mr Quinn has stated that he would not support the expansion of gambling unless it contains ethical projections.
The new package has included new language that is desiged to answer Mr Quinn's concerns, this includes not allowing campaign contributions from the casino operators.
The newest package includes new language designed to answer Quinn’s concerns, including a ban on campaign contributions by casino operators.
Mr Quinn, said on Wednesday at his annual budget speech that any gaming expansion needs to be done right, that it should have tough ethical standards, no loophole for mobsters and a ban on campaign contributuons.
This measure is just the latest in long running efforts by the advocates of gambline expansion for winning support for new casinos in the following counties:
- Lake County
- and the souther suburbs of Cook County.
The plan will allow gambling in areas that are restricted such as O'Hare and the Midway airports, Chicago and will allso allow the horse tracks to be able to offer slot machines.
Executive director of Illinois Casino Gaming Association, Tom Swoik has argued that by allowing slots at the race track could steal gamblers from casino that he represents. Mr Swoik continued that he'd like to see a responsible expansion, and mentioned that the saturation point was getting very close.