A group pushing for more casinos in Illinois has lined up a former state representative to carry its flag. Bill Black of Danville is now chairman of the new Illinois Revenue and Jobs Alliance. Danville is one of five cities which would get a new casino under the legislation in various stages of life in Springfield. Among the provisions which have been discussed are slot machines for horse tracks.
Click here for summary
The expansion ideas have been sold to Downstate lawmakers on agricultural grounds. “Horses eat what farmers grow,” says Black. “It used to be the horse racing parimutuel tax helped support our county fairs, helped support our county soil and water districts, helped support the Illinois Department of Agriculture; all of those rural constituencies are in financial trouble.” Under the bills which have been floated recently – one of which even passed both chambers but was never sent to the governor out of fear it would not survive a veto – the casinos would be located in Chicago, Park City (near Waukegan), Rockford, Danville, and in the South Suburbs of Chicago. Black has a response for the argument that Illinois would be saturated: that even with all the new gambling, there would still be fewer “positions” per adult than there are in Indiana.
The spring legislative session has seven weeks remaining.