The Illinois Senate didn’t take up its version of a gambling expansion. The House version of the bill to add five new casinos plus slots at race tracks failed by just two votes – potentially paving the way for mirror legislation in the Senate to hit the floor. Problem is, Thursday was the last day of the fall Veto Session, and though lawmakers will be back for overtime on Nov. 29, one day isn’t enough to introduce and pass a bill through a chamber.
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Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) says the only thing separating lawmakers and the governor is slots at tracks. “If it’s one or two votes away, maybe [the governor] might say ‘well maybe I’d better watch out, there might be an override.” Or if it’s only 30 votes, or 58 votes in the House, maybe those guys will say ‘maybe we’d better sit down with the governor.’ I’m in favor of achieving the goal one way or the other,” says Cullerton. The governor wants to give racetracks money from the new casinos by way of impact fees, but he’s against increased gambling through slots at the tracks, saying they’d essentially be new casinos.