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Casino boat near chicagoTrucks stops will be permitted to hold 10 machines.
Whitney Curtis, special to ProPublica Illinois ProPublica Illinois is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism with moral force.
An 816-page bill introduced and passed by the General Assembly over the weekend will, if fully realized, transform Illinois into the gambling capital of the Midwest.
Within two years, Illinois could have more than 7,000 video gambling establishments, 5,000 lotterylike sports betting kiosk locations, 16 casinos, five racinos and online sports gambling accessible on millions of mobile phones.
Illinois hasand found it is one of two states deemed ill-prepared to see more another recession.
The other is New Jersey.
It will take years to determine if this historic bet pays casino boat near chicago />But if past outcomes offer any hint, the results are likely to fall far short of what lawmakers are promising.
Lawmakers also skimped on funding for regulatory click at this page social costs.
Meanwhile, a handful of video gambling operators reaped massive profits, in part because the state has one of the lowest tax rates on video gambling in the country.
In the latest gambling expansion bill, which casino boat near chicago its last legislative hurdle Sunday and is expected to be signed by Gov.
Despite anlawmakers raised the casino near boyne falls michigan by 3% starting July 1, with an additional 1% kicking in a year later.
The rate is currently 30%, with 25% going to the state and 5% to local governments.
But Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and West Virginia all have rates at 50% or higher.
After a ProPublica Illinois-WBEZ story last week revealed that severalmost abstained from voting on the gambling expansion bill over the weekend.
Before the Senate vote late Sunday afternoon, Minority Leader Bill Brady, a Republican from Bloomington, informed his colleagues that he had a conflict of interest and would not vote on the bill.
He also said he had recused himself from the closed-door negotiations that produced the legislation.
Also abstaining from the vote was Sen.
Thomas Cullerton, a Democrat from Villa Park who is a sales agent for a video gambling operator.
Antonio Muñoz, a Chicago Democrat and the assistant majority leader, presided over the session and voted to approve the expansion bill even though his son is a sales agent for a video gambling operator run by former Democratic Sen.
The elder Muñoz responded with a statement that did not directly address his involvement in the vote.
Lawmakers also made the board less transparent.
Tucked inside the sprawling bill is a paragraph that gives the gaming board broad authority to close its meetings under the Open Meetings Act.
Judges in two recent lawsuits found the board violated the Open Meetings Act by going into closed session improperly.
ProPublica Illinois has filed a lawsuit after being denied recordings of one of those meetings.
That lawsuit is pending.
Lawmakers also dramatically increased the amount of money set aside to fight gambling addiction.
This year, ProPublica Illinois and WBEZ found that — 28th out of 40 states.
Unlike casino boat near chicago number of other states with legalized gambling, Illinois has never measured the prevalence of gambling addiction, what experts consider a crucial first step in fighting what the American Https://montanabuys.com/casino/blackpool-football-club-casino.html Association now recognizes as.
The gambling expansion bill also calls for a self-exclusion program for sports betting, which will allow problem gamblers to bar themselves from placing bets on games.
The state has a similar program in place for casinos.
But it still lacks a self-exclusion list for the nearly 7,000 video gambling locations, which legislators could have added to the expansion bill but did not.
While addiction counselors welcome the budget increase, they say they are wary of the massive gambling expansion that will accompany it.
Studies show that as the number of gambling opportunities increases, so does the rate of addiction.
And if all the gambling options in the expansion come to fruition, the amount and variety of gambling in Illinois will be unprecedented.
Yet even before lawmakers approved an estimated 23,000 new gambling positions, ProPublica Illinois and WBEZ had found that video gambling has cannibalized casino revenue.
The expansion bill increases the maximum number of gambling positions at casinos to 2,000.
Three have fewer than 1,000 positions.
In recent years, Illinois has seen a healthy increase in revenue from gambling.
But that has come amid one of the largest economic expansions in U.
During the 2008 financial crisis, before the state had video gambling machines, casinos saw steep declines in revenue.
A string of struggling areas across the state are banking on casinos after the legislation added licenses for Waukegan, Rockford, Danville, Williamson County and the south suburbs of Chicago.
Yet many of those areas are already inundated with video gambling machines.
By the end of April, Waukegan had 54 establishments with 262 video slot and poker machines peppered throughout the city.
Adding a 2,000-position casino to the town will increase the number of gambling positions nearly eightfold.
Yet the city already has 100 establishments with 477 video gambling machines.
And under the expansion, bars, restaurants, fraternal organizations and gambling parlors will be allowed to have six machines, up from five.
Trucks stops will be permitted to hold 10 machines.
Rockford, for example, has the second-highest number of video slot and poker machines in the state, and the draw of casino boat near chicago new casino could drain gambling dollars from locations there.
Jason Grotto covers issues related to municipal finance, including pensions, debt and taxation.
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