Illinois State Senator Ira I. Silverstein (D–Chicago) gave his support today to a gaming expansion measure that passed the Senate. Silverstein has been a vocal advocate for increased gaming opportunities in Illinois and released the following statement after today’s vote:
“Illinois is losing revenue opportunities to surrounding states that offer bigger casinos and more gaming experiences so I am glad to see the proposal making a step forward. Estimated revenues are in the hundreds of thousands and in a time where Illinois unemployment is still considerably high, the thousands of jobs created through this expansion will give a boost to our economy. Other local businesses such as hotels and restaurants will also benefit from the casino expansions so all around this is a great opportunity for our state.”
Senate Bill 1739 includes:
- Four new riverboats/casinos in Rockford, Danville, South Suburbs and Lake County.
- Chicago Casino will have 4,000 new positions.
- 1,200 racino positions licensed by the Gaming Board in Cook County and 900 for outside Cook County race tracks.
- New ethics requirements include Executive Inspector General for Gaming, Gaming Board oversight of Chicago casino equal to all other gaming facilities, and political contribution ban for gaming licensees.
- Revenues will be distributed by upfront license fees to include funding increased headcount at the Gaming Board, pay the back log of old bills, local shares to host communities, and the remaining tax revenues will go to the Education Assistance Fund.