Gambling expansion has been revived in Springfield as lawmakers desperately look for ways to generate revenue. The measure passed in the House but does make some provisional changes to appease Governor Quinn, who originally said he would veto any legislation that included slots at racetracks.
Supporters say it will help keep gambling money in Illinois. Opponents like State Representative Dwight Kay of Glen Carbon say that may be the case, but at what cost?
There are no slots on the state fairgrounds but the grounds will receive ten million dollars for repairs. Slots at other racetracks are included in the bill but with a proposal on the table to increase cigarette taxes, Quinn may have to make a compromise on gaming. Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka recently went on the record saying she'd endorse the cigarette tax if Quinn supported gaming, including slots. The new proposal is expected to bring in about one and a half billion dollars a year.