Legislators have been called back to work on the budget next week, and one of the first things they are scheduled to do is consider a video gambling bill (HB 4927). Gambling is an unstable source of revenue, which cannot solve the State’s budget problems.
The Senate hurriedly passed two bills to expand video gambling. The House is ready to vote on these bills and slots at racetracks when legislators come back in session:
HB 4927 expands video gambling at truck stops 24 hours a day, 7 days a week–a policy the Illinois Gaming Board rejected due to strong public opposition. HB 4927 allows those who have been operating illegal gambling to qualify for a license unless CONVICTED or litigation is pending.
HB 4182 expands video gambling to Off Track Betting parlors that lease space from bars. This is a “foot in the door” to legalize video gambling machines at ALL OTB parlors and racetracks.
SB 3146 legalizes slots and video gambling machines at racetracks. At the all-slots casino, “you’re left with little more than the de-skilled, dehumanized extraction of money from individuals by corporations,” according to Carlo Rotella, director of American Studies at Boston College.
Gambling interests want legislators to expand gambling at a time when people are unemployed and struggling to make ends meet. Local residents will have to gamble and lose for the State to get a small “cut.” Call your legislators (217-782-2000) and ask them to OPPOSE these gambling bills.
Anita Bedell, Executive Director
Illinois Church Action on Alcohol & Addiction Problems
From the May 26-June 1, 2010 issue