Slot Machines at Racetracks
 
Slot Machines at Racetracks
Written By David E. Smith   |   05.10.11

State Representative Lou Lang (D-Skokie) is the lead sponsor of HB 3107 — a bill which will legalize video slot machines at six racetracks in Illinois — creating “racinos.” This bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Roger Eddy (R-Hutsonville) and Anthony DeLuca (D-Crete). Expanding gambling by legalizing video slot machine at racetracks will negatively affect local communities and increase gambling problems.

Take ACTION: Send your lawmakers a message to encourage them to oppose HB 3107 or any other bill to yet again expand gambling in the Land of Lincoln.

Background

Video gambling is rightly called the “crack cocaine” of gambling. There’s no skill required and studies have found that it takes approximately one year to become severely addicted, versus 4 years of other forms of gambling.

The State of Illinois has a serious revenue shortfall — but some lawmakers think that another expansion of the gambling industry will help to alleviate the political spending problems of our state. However, in order for the State to realize additional gambling revenue, the gambling industry must profit by creating thousands of losers.

As I’ve said before, it is morally indefensible for the State to approve, license and promote an industry that thrives on the exploitation of the citizens it’s sworn to serve. Creating thousands of citizen losers to increase an ill-gotten revenue stream is terrible public policy.

Gambling is no economic panacea. Gambling addictions, which increase dramatically with the creation of each new casino or racino, would contribute to the homeless problem, increases in bankruptcy, crime, suicide, domestic abuse, alcohol abuse and broken families.

It cannot be overstated — the costs of gambling far outweigh the perceived financial benefits.

David  E. Smith
Dave Smith is Illinois Family Institute’s executive director.  He and his wife of 25 years are blessed to be the parents of eight children. David has 20-plus-years of experience in...
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