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Lawmaker: Gambling Expansion A Good Bet

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File photo of a slot machine. (CBS)

File photo of a slot machine. (CBS)

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CHICAGO (WBBM) — Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says the odds are good for an expansion of gambling in the state, including a Chicago casino and slot machines at the racetracks.

Cullerton says there’s a lot of support for more gambling and the estimated $1 billion a year in revenue it could bring

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“I think it has a better chance than it has in the past. I think people know that we don’t have any money. People don’t want to raise their taxes; they want cuts. And this is voluntary. If they don’t want to gamble, they don’t have to,” he said.

Cullerton says Indiana has casinos just over the border and makes “millions and millions” from Illinois residents.

As for Gov. Pat Quinn’s plan to hike the state income tax from 3 percent to 4 percent, it won’t be taken up in the Senate unless the House decides to do so, Cullerton says.

It would require support from Republicans, he said, who have shown no interest in raising taxes.

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