SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS/WBBM) — One issue that died in the lame-duck legislative session was a proposed expansion of gambling.
As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports, the plan would have added five new casinos – including one in the city of Chicago. It also would have allowed the Arlington Park racetrack to install slot machines.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports
The bill also would have brought slot machines to areas restricted to ticketed passengers in both O’Hare and Midway international airports.
The bill passed the Illinois State Senate last year, but was never even called for debate on the state House floor.
Senate sponsor Terry Link (D-Lake Bluff) is disappointed, saying the plan could have added $1 billion in revenue to the state.
But opponents say existing casinos are already taking in less money, and adding competition would only divert those revenues even further.
Gambling revenues in Illinois are at their lowest level in 10 years.
The plan would have sent $900 million to pay for old bills, and another $400 million would have gone to major construction in the state.