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Illinois Senate OKs Gambling Expansion Bill

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Photo Of Gamblers Playing The Slots. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Photo Of Gamblers Playing The Slots. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) – State senators have signed off on a major expansion of casino gambling in Illinois.

The Illinois Senate voted 31-20 Wednesday afternoon to create licenses for four new riverboat casinos in Illinois, plus the first-ever land-based casino in Chicago. The proposal now moves to the House.

The measure, Senate Bill 737, also would allow the state’s nine existing casinos to increase the number of existing gambling positions by two-thirds by 2013.

Six horse racing tracks would be able to add slot machines.

Sen. Terry Link (D-Waukegan) said the expansion would mean $1 billion in additional tax revenue for a state suffering with a $13 billion deficit.

Opponents have said the bill expands state-sponsored gambling too much.

Gov. Pat Quinn has said he’s skeptical about such a “top-heavy” gambling expansion bill.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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