Illinois gamblers are taking to the newly-operating video poker machines in bars and clubs around the state. An Illinois Gaming Board report says more than $50 million went into the machines, with players winning more than $46 million. It’s a profit of $3.8 million. The state’s share is almost $1 million, and local government receives almost $200,000.
The sponsor of gambling legislation in the Illinois House, State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), says the Gaming Board is not acting quickly enough to award licenses. “If they hadn’t been so difficult in determining what communities are in and what communities are out, we’d be even farther in the process,” he said.
Lang hopes a new casino bill can pass the legislature before a new General Assembly convenes Jan. 9. Versions of a bill over the past couple of years have included a city-owned casino in Chicago, plus four other casinos in Illinois.