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Gaming

  • casinoROCKFORD – Following outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s call for a Chicago-based casino, State Senator and Illinois Senate Gaming Committee Chairman Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford), announced his commitment to ensuring a state gaming expansion includes a facility in Rockford.

    “Additional gaming is an opportunity to create jobs and fund improvements to schools and our crumbling infrastructure,” Stadelman said. “The General Assembly needs to consider what’s best for the whole state, not just Chicago.”

    In a recent speech to the Chicago City Council, Mayor Emanuel revealed he has been negotiating a plan to include a casino in Chicago with legislative leaders. Under Emanuel’s proposal, the revenue generated from the facility would be used to pay off the city’s pension debt.

    Stadelman also encouraged lawmakers to act quickly due to a casino potentially being built in nearby Beloit, Wisconsin.

    “For years the Rockford community has lost out on the jobs and revenue created by a casino,” Stadelman said. “It’s time to build a diverse coalition of interests to ensure these resources benefit our community – not Wisconsin.”

  • bennett 040218Quick work needed to pass a package to boost economy, add funds to schools

    DANVILLE – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) today renewed his commitment to ensuring that any state gaming expansion include a facility in Danville, not just Chicago as suggested by its mayor, Rahm Emmanuel.

    “A Chicago casino cannot be a stand-alone proposal,” Bennett said. “Vermilion county is ideal ground for a facility to create jobs, fund local schools and become a draw for patrons from across the state border. I remain determined to including our region in a final gaming plan.” 

    In an address to the Chicago City Council last Wednesday, Emanuel disclosed that he has been talking with top legislative negotiators to craft a 2019 plan to include a casino for the south side of Chicago.

    Under Emanuel’s plan, the revenue generated from the facility would help pay down the city’s pension debt that has accumulated after decades of underfunding. Bennett said gaming revenue from a Vermilion county casino should be dedicated to funding local schools, not retirement fixes for Chicago.

    “In Springfield, we’re going to have to bring diverse voices together to quickly develop a gaming package that includes directing revenue where each region wants or needs it most,” Bennett said. “Our area schools need the investment that can come from a new facility, and that’s my priority.”

    Bennett stressed the need to act quickly to his Senate colleagues since gaming efforts are ramping up in Indiana. 

    “For a long time, the ink has dried on construction plans for Vermilion County,” Bennett said. “But Indiana’s competitive focus on gaming should be a signal to all of us to act quickly. There are great opportunities for economic growth in the area, if we can get to work with speed.”

  • Sen. Napoleon Harris IIICHICAGO – Illinois casinos could soon offer in-person or online betting on professional, amateur or collegiate sports under a measure spearheaded by State Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey).

    Senate Bill 3432 can only go into effect if the federal sports wagering ban is lifted, and it would require a $10,000 licensing fee and a $5,000 license renewal fee for interactive sports wagering platforms. It also outlines consumer protections and integrity requirements for sports wagering operators, including record-keeping and annual reporting to the Gaming Board.

    “Our state continues to struggle financially, and we have an opportunity to gain much-needed revenue for education, human services and infrastructure should the federal sports wagering ban be struck down,” Harris, a former NFL linebacker, said. “We know that sports fans enjoy betting, and the state should offer a secure and legal way to do so.”

  • Sen. Steve Stadelman

    CHICAGO – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) chaired a hearing of the Senate Gaming Committee today discussing the possibility of legalizing sports betting in Illinois.

    There is currently a federal ban on sports betting, but the Supreme Court is considering a decision to overturn it. Today’s hearing was intended to discuss the regulatory framework that would need to be put in place to legalize sports betting at the state level.

    “We know people are already participating in sports betting illegally,” Stadelman said. “If the federal ban is overturned, this is an opportunity for us to create a regulated, legal market in Illinois that brings in revenue and keeps us competitive with our neighboring states.”

    National and international experts delivered testimony at the hearing on how to best implement a sports betting system in Illinois.

  • link 051717SPRINGFIELD – On Wednesday, State Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) passed legislation that would expand gaming revenues in the state to help put Illinois’ fiscal house back in order.

    “We need to be looking at all avenues to shore up our fiscal house,” Link said. “A part of that solution should be gaming expansion.”

  • stadelman 022817SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) voted today for a measure that will authorize a new casino in Rockford. The measure, part of the Senate’s grand bargain, passed 31-26. 

    “I’m tired of seeing buses of Rockford residents going to casinos in Wisconsin and Iowa,” Stadelman said. “Those entertainment dollars should be spent in Illinois to help pay for our schools, roads and other improvement projects.”

    In addition to Rockford, the legislation authorizes new casinos in Chicago, Lake County, South Suburban Chicago, Danville and unincorporated Williamson County.

    Stadelman supported similar gambling expansion plans in 2012 and 2013, which were approved by lawmakers but vetoed by Gov. Pat Quinn.

  • link 020217SPRINGFIELD – On Tuesday, State Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) passed legislation that would expand gaming revenues in the state to help put Illinois’ fiscal house back in order.

    Senate Bill 7, sponsored by Link, would authorize the building of six new casinos throughout the State of Illinois, including locations in Chicago and Lake County. The proposal will increase revenues for the state and local communities and would also create thousands of part-time and full-time jobs at casinos and racinos across the state.

    “It's no secret that our number one issue is our difficult financial situation,” Link said. “We need to find multiple ways to shore up our fiscal house and by expanding gaming we can do just that.”

    The legislation also would allow current riverboats or casinos to expand from 1,200 machines per location to 1,600 machines.

    “We lose gaming revenues daily to Indiana and Wisconsin because of the lack of opportunity,” Link said. “We should take every step we can to keep that money in Illinois so it can be spent on services provided to Illinois residents.”