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Governor Thinks County Should Hold Off On Video Gambling Tax

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Video Poker machine. (CBS)

Video Poker machine. (CBS)

Mike Krauser Mike Krauser
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Gov. Pat Quinn said Tuesday an idea to tax each slot machine and video gambling machine in Cook County ought to wait until he sits down with the legislative leaders to talk gambling expansion.

WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports Preckwinkle’s office has said it is considering a plan to require an $800 annual sticker for every gambling machine that pays out — such as slot machines, or video poker machines.

The governor said Tuesday that idea should wait until there is more debate at the state level about plans to expand legalized gambling throughout the state.

Quinn has never been a fan of legislative proposals to expand casino gambling, and has twice thwarted legislation to allow more casinos in Illinois, including one in Chicago.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser Reports

Asked about Preckwinle’s idea to impose an $800-per-machine tax on video gambling in Cook County, and the impact it would have on money the state gets from video gambling, Quinn said, “we have to take a look at it.”

Quinn said any discussions of changes to local gambling laws ought to wait until after the November election, to allow for further discussions with the legislature about attempts to expand casino gambling.

“We’ll be meeting from November 27th to the 9th of January, and I think a lot of things dealing with the issue of gambling have to come down at that time,” he said. “I think what we really are going to be debating in Springfield is any proposal to have expanded gambling anywhere in the state, so I think that any kind of local thing probably has to depend on what happens at the state.”

The governor has said he wants more government oversight included in any expansion of casino gambling, especially involving the Chicago casino sought by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

This summer, he vetoed a gambling bill that would have allowed five more casinos in Illinois, including one in Chicago; and that would have permitted slot machines at racetracks. The state’s existing 10 casinos also could have added more gaming positions under the proposal.

Quinn also wants a ban on campaign contributions from gambling interests to Illinois politicians. He also wants more money from gambling expansion to go toward schools.

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