There’s confusion amongst local governments over whether the state can withhold video gaming payments, even without a state budget in place.
Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office says the state doesn’t have the authority to send cities and towns their share of gaming money. In a statement, Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said the lack of payment is “because (House) Speaker (Michael) Madigan and the legislators he controls failed to pass a balanced budget.
But does this apply only to money from gaming which has taken place since the new fiscal year began July 1? That’s a question Illinois Municipal League Executive Director Brad Cole would like to have answered.
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“That’s part of the issue that we’re trying to clarify,” Cole said. “There is some misperception about it right now. We’ve been informed by some communities that they have not received their funds, others have received their funds, and I think as we brought this issue to the comptroller’s office for their clarification, and to the Gaming Board, they’re trying to figure it out.”
Cole says the effect this may have on municipalities will vary. Some cities bring in tens of thousands of dollars every month from video gaming, while in other areas of the state, it’s not allowed.
The governor’s office says owners of video gaming machines will continue to get their share of the money.