State Senate Passes Gambling Bill

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Published on May 2 2013 3:05 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The third time might be the charm when it comes to bringing more casinos to Illinois.

The State Senate has passed a bill that would approve five new facilities plus allow slot machines at racetracks and Chicago airports.

Governor Quinn has put a red stamp on the last two gaming bills that hit his desk, but the newest version of the bill adds funding for education and bans campaign contributions from gaming interests.  Those provisions should ease the governor's concerns.

The bill still needs to clear the Illinois House before it reaches Quinn.

Harness horse racers say the gambling bill could put them back on the playing field when it comes to racing in the state.

Tony Somone of the Illinois Harness Horseman's Association says the bill looks out for the racing industry by pumping money into its purses.  They'll get an average of about 15% of the cash that racetracks make on slots.

Somone said the revenue could be the thing that draws people to Illinois races and breathes life into the industry as a whole.