SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois House passed yet another massive expansion of gambling Monday, allowing slot machines at racetracks and airports, five more casinos -- including one in Chicago, Lake County, the south suburbs -- and all for the sake of paying down unpaid bills, State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Chicago) told House members.
Towns with already struggling casinos weren't supportive of the new licenses and expected the competition the drain potential gamblers resulting in less revenue and staff layoffs.
SB 744 passed the Illinois House in a close 60 to 55 vote, with Republicans and Democrats both supporting and opposing. The bill, sponsored by Democrat senators Terry Link and Donne Trotter and Republican Dave Syverson, is likely to be heard for concurrence in the IL Senate Tuesday.
The state's recent expansion of video poker gambling in liquor-selling restaurants is still in the regulation process, as the Gaming Commission works its way through mounting obstacles.