Illinois Boosting the Budget With Gambling Expansion

Publish: 11.03.2017

The unstable financial situation in which the state of Illinois is at present, could be improved in the near future with the latest draft bill.

The adoption of this bill would allow the building of six new casinos in the Prairie State with the main goal of such move to improve the state’s budget.

Gambling Is the Answer

Apart from the gambling expansion, the State would lower the taxes and allow addition of slot machines at airports and racetracks.

All eyes are on the latest bill, since its introduction could resolve the accumulated financial problems. “Grand bargain”, as it is called, has the support of the Senate, but that’s just the first step towards the actual realization.

What That Would Mean in Practice

If everything goes as planned, a total of six new casinos will be built in Chicago, Lake County, Rockford, Danville and Williamson County. In addition, airports and racetracks will be allowed to add slot machines to their premises.

The new bill will lower the current tax rate from 50% to 20% for slot machines, and 16% for table games, and the maximum number of seats per casino will be increased to 400.

In terms of finance, Illinois could generate up to $1 billion from licence fees with an increase in revenue of over $500 million. Not to mention new workplaces the six new casinos would bring.

Not Everyone Agrees

There are many who think the gambling expansion is not the best way to deal with the financial issues. Among them is Anita Bedell from Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems, who claims the cost outweighs the profit, since the state will have to invest more money in dealing with problem gambling and crime.

She also thinks the State should have considered legalizing online gambling, because of its popularity and bigger competitiveness.

Unfortunately, this is not among the plans of the Illinois legislators at this time, which means Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey will remain the only US states where online gambling is legal.