Govenor Quinn, you repeatedly said the gambling expansion bill was too top-heavy and said it would make Illinois the Las Vegas of the Midwest. Yet, Legislators kept adding to the bill to get enough votes to pass SB 744.
We agree that the gambling bill is excessive, and we applaud you for asking if signing this bill is in the public interest.
Many families are already struggling financially. Families need the money they have for necessities such as food, rent, car payments, gasoline, and clothing. Making gambling more accessible and acceptable will increase gambling addiction and harm children.
Bankruptcy, crime, marital problems, child neglect, and suicide are unintended consequences of more gambling. People who have never been in trouble with the law have been sent to prison because of crimes they committed to fuel a gambling addiction. Illinois residents have already lost their homes family farms at riverboat casinos.
Tripling the amount of casino gambling will come at a high cost to individuals and devastate families. We agree that people will be harmed.
During these difficult economic times, Legislators want people to gamble and lose their money in Illinois. Local residents, not tourists, will be tempted to gamble at casinos, racetracks, and major airports in Chicago.
We agree that gambling is an unstable source of revenue. We ask you to veto SB 744 to safeguard the public.
Anita Bedell, Executive Director
Illinois Church Action on Alcohol & Addiction Problems