Illinois Gambling Expansion Moving Forward
There’s good news for residents of Illinois as it is looking like the proposed bill to allow for the construction of land-based casinos will be approved. At this stage, the only casinos that are permitted have to be riverboat casinos, but this new bill will change all of that. The only downside is that the state’s capital, Springfield, will not be included in the cities that get a brand-new gambling venue.
Illinois Bill Passes Senate
The gambling expansion bill, known as Senate Bill 7, passed the Illinois Senate last week, with a vote of 33-24. The bill will allow for five new land-based casinos to be built in the state. The plan is for these new casinos to be built in Rockford, Lake County, Danville, Chicago, and South Chicago. Unfortunately, Springfield is not on the list of approved gambling venues.
When the bill was introduced in the Senate, State Rep. Tim Butler from Springfield tried to get the city added to the list. However, it was not to be. Despite working overtime, it was eventually decided not to add Springfield to the bill, as it would only serve to complicate matters.
There was significant support from Springfield to be included, as it is estimated that a casino could help generate around $100 million for the capital. Unfortunately, it looks like this is unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future.
Big Changes for Illinois Gambling
As it stands right now, the law in Illinois only allows for riverboat casinos, but this looks set to change drastically. All that remains is for the new bill to pass the House and then be signed off by the Governor. The bill will require new casinos to pay a once-off fee of $50 million to the state, and then a 16% tax on all revenue generated from table games and 20% from slots. This will be a big boost for the state’s finances, which currently has around $14 billion worth of debt.