Ill. House Votes to Add Five Casinos
The Illinois House is bucking recent history by approving a major expansion of legalized gambling.
The House voted 65-50 Monday to approve five new casinos, including one in Danville. The others would go to Chicago, Rockford, Lake County and somewhere in the south suburbs.
The measure now goes to the Senate.
State Representative Lou Lang (D-Skokie) said the legislation would bring the state one and a half billion dollars in startup fees and $500 million or more a year in ongoing revenue.
Governor Pat Quinn has said he dislikes such a huge expansion.
But Lang said the additional casinos would bring in money to pay overdue bills.
"The most important part of this has nothing to do with gaming at all, the most important part of this is putting people to work and helping pay the bills of the state of Illinois," Lang said. "That is an important goal."
The proposal also allows horse race tracks to add slot machines, and it'd permit both slots and racing at the state fairgrounds in Springfield.