SPRINGFIELD - More video gambling is what state lawmakers are considering with SB 3144, which would double the number of video gambling machines at truck stops. The bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Dave Syverson and Sam McCann, as well as Democrats Steve Stadelman and Bill Haine, is waiting to be heard in the Senate Executive Committee.
People are losing more money on video gambling machines at truck stops than at other locations offering gambling, the Illinois Churches in Action says.
"In less than one year Springfield area gamblers lost over $1.45 Million at two Chronister Oil truck stops. Losses at two Road Rangers near Springfield were over $2.27 Million in 16 months. Doubling the number of machines will make gambling more accessible and will increase gambling problems."
And more video gambling machines at truck stops would pose a public safety hazard, critics say. "Truck drivers need to sleep between runs. Gamblers lose track of time and will gamble longer than planned," Illinois Churches in Action says. "People who gamble for long hours, losing money in the machines, pose a danger to other truck drivers and people driving the Interstate highways through Illinois."
In addition to video gambling being doubled at truck stops, a public hearing is scheduled for April 16th on another gambling expansion bill that will include a Chicago casino. The hearing will be at 9:00 am at the Michael Bilandic building, Room C-600, at 160 N. LaSalle in Chicago.