Gambling expansion considered in Illinois

Whilst state negotiators put together a budgetary framework, they considered gambling expansion  as a way to generate revenue.

US.- When state budget negotiators put together a framework for a balanced spending plan, they included gambling expansion on the list of things that could generate US$5.4 billion in revenue.

Local legislators and city officials have pushed for a Rockford casino for a long time, but never got the legislation needed. Whilst there may be talk about casino expansion again this year, it will first require a budget deal.

The gambling expansion is still a potential option for Illinois; however, it has proved difficult to pass such legislation even if it may bring new revenue. Former Gov. Pat Quinn twice vetoed bills that expanded gambling. Gov. Bruce Rauner last week expressed concern about more gambling, even though he did not rule out expansion.

“I’m not a fan of gaming. I think it is a tax on people who cannot afford the tax,” said Rauner. “It’s here. It ain’t going away. I’m supportive of a grand bargain, and that could be inclusive of a lot of things.”

Sen. Donne Trotter, D-Chicago, said, regarding the various revenue options: “Also on the table is that old standby of looking at the possibility to expand gaming here in the state of Illinois.”

“If and when there is a grand bargain or any type of budget resolution, I expect there would be a good opportunity to have gaming expansion included and that would include a casino Rockford,” said Sen. Steve Stadelman, D-Rockford.