House Executive Committee bills – HB 1536 and HB 2311 both expand video gambling by legalizing the machines at Social Clubs. This would allow thousands of additional establishments to have 5 video gambling machines each. One of the arguments gambling interests gave for legalizing video gambling was to limit the number of gambling machines in Illinois! http://www.ilga.gov/house/committees/members.asp?CommitteeID=1186&GA=98
HB 1570 removes the requirement that video gambling not be within 1,000 feet of an Off Track Betting Parlor and would legalize video gambling at OTB parlors. There are currently 26 OTB parlors operating in Illinois, but an additional 11 licenses could be issued. If the machines are legalized at the OTB parlors, the racetracks will put even more pressure on the Legislature to legalize slots and video gambling machines at the tracks.
Senate Executive Committee bills – SB 1738 legalizes electronic cards or vouchers to be used instead of cash in video gambling machines. SB 1738 includes language to legalize video gambling in OTB parlors and stop the Gaming Board from disclosing information about video gambling establishments. http://www.ilga.gov/senate/committees/members.asp?CommitteeID=1206
SB 1870 is an expansion of charitable gambling to allow “player-backed games” that don’t require bonding. SB 1870 provides that a municipality may provide the same premises for conducting charitable game nights EVERY Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, (156 games nights rather than 16 nights a year. A consultant hired by the licensed organization may attend the event and provide advice and on-site training!
House State Government Admin – HB1306 seeks to make video gambling information about individual establishments that is now public, confidential–not available through a FOIA request and hidden from public view. Why would video gambling interests want to hide the amount of money that is lost in each establishment? http://www.ilga.gov/house/committees/members.asp?CommitteeID=1198&GA=98
Senate Revenue Committee – SB 1541 creates a new Lottery Scratch-Off ticket for local charities with budgets under $500,000 that focus on youth development. The bill creates a special fund for the Attorney General to use to award the grants. Voters approved the Lottery to fund education! http://www.ilga.gov/senate/committees/members.asp?CommitteeID=1212
For Immediate Action
1. Click on the links above to see if your Legislators serve on these committees. Call or e-mail your State Representative http://www.ilga.gov/house/ and State Senator http://www.ilga.gov/senate/ to ask them to Vote NO on the above gambling expansion bills.
2. PRAY and ask your faith community to pray for the Legislators and the Governor.
3. Forward to 10 others.