Apparently our Illinois state lawmakers are not satisfied with the current saturation level of gambling opportunities in Illinois. Nor are they apparently satisfied with the fact that they have already approved gambling expansion to a point where Illinois now has the potential of having more gambling positions than the state of Nevada.
In its final weeks of session, the Illinois General Assembly passed yet two more bills to expand gambling. Obviously, the predatory gambling industry, working with a complicit Illinois legislature, will not be satisfied until every opportunity to exploit the poor, the needy and those prone to gambling addictions are in every community and neighborhood throughout the state.
Take ACTION: Our last effort to stop this bill is to appeal to Governor Patrick Quinn who promised not to expand gambling when he originally ran for Lieutenant Governor. Click HERE to send Gov. Quinn an email or a fax to ask him to veto these bills.
You can also contact the Governor by phone at 800-642-3112.
House Bill 4927, which was amended and then sponsored by State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) and State Sen. Terry Link (D-Waukegan) in the Senate, allows video slot machines in truck stops. To see how your State Senator voted on this bill, click HERE. To see how your State Representative voted on this bill, click HERE.
Senate Bill 744, which was sponsored by State Senators Terry Link (D-Waukegan), Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) and Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago), eliminates the provision that video gambling machines could not be located within 1,000 feet of an existing Off Track Betting (OTB) parlor, racetrack, or casino. This will allow even more alcohol retail establishments to qualify for a video slot machine license, and a larger number of video gambling machines could be legalized.
According to our friends at ILCAAAP, this bill legalizes video gambling machines in Off Track Betting parlors that lease space in sports bars. Over half of the current OTB parlors are leasing space in bars.
By law, the Illinois Racing Board can issue 12 more licenses for OTB parlors. If SB 744 is signed into law, the race tracks will seek to open these OTB parlors and locate them within 100 feet of colleges, day care centers, and pre-schools. Then they will come back and ask the legislature to pass legislation so every OTB parlor in the state can have video slot machines to be “fair”.
Please take a few minutes today to do this simple call to action. In this election year and with a tough anti-incumbent attitude prevelent in the state, Gov. Quinn would be wise to listen to the people of Illinois. There is simply no demand to further expand gambling from the voters.