Gambling proponents say a measure to allow five new casinos, allow more slot machines at existing casinos and put slots at racetracks in Illinois is going to pass, and it’s going to pass this week. Advocates on both sides of the issue have increased their visibility and advertising over the past few weeks as the House is gearing up for a vote. State Sen. Terry Link (D-Waukegan) sponsored the Senate version.
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“I think that you will possibly be seeing something within the next day or two,” Link says. “So keep track of what’s going on.” The House’s sponsor admits S.B. 1849 lost steam earlier this year when he actually lost votes, but he says those concerns are “no longer there.” Meanwhile, the Senate president wants to increase the state’s online gambling presence. He’s proposed a new Division of Internet Gaming within the Illinois Lottery, which would capture new revenues as the so-called “iGaming” marketplace expands and gains new customers. “We know a lot of people, and especially younger people, that sit at home and stay on their computers with Facebook, Twittering, Googling and doing other things for eight to 10 hours a day, who then may be getting interested in internet gaming,” he says.