The 21st Show

Gambling Expansion Across Illinois

Video gaming in Aurora, Illinois

Video gaming terminals at Mike and Denise's Pizzeria in Aurora, Ill. (Jenna Dooley/WNIJ)

We’re a couple of weeks into 2020, which means we’re in the middle of a massive gambling expansion across Illinois.

Six new casinos are permitted, dotting the state from Chicago to Carterville in southern Williamson County. Sports betting will come to stadiums across the state, and neighborhood establishments will be allowed more video gambling machines as well.

Casino trade publications say Illinois will become a "gambling mecca" in the next few years, but mental health professionals say that also means a rise in irresponsible gambling and abuse.

Elizabeth Thielen is the Past President of the Illinois Council on Problem Gambling and senior director of Nicasa Behavioral Health Services she joined us.

A reminder, if anything we talked about sounds familiar to you or a loved one, please call 1-800-GAMBLER.

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