Sun-Times Editorial: A better gaming bill

Today the Chicago Sun-Times issued an editorial in favor of the SB 1739, the gaming bill that passed through the Illinois Senate yesterday. Excerpts from that editorial are included below, with a link to the full article.

…It’s important the Legislature not take its eye off its most pressing priority — pension reform — to deal with gaming expansion. But that said, the House should do what it takes to get this gambling bill done, too.

The improvements in this bill include:

† Unworkable deadlines that would have made it too difficult for the Illinois Gaming Board to do its oversight job adequately have been eliminated.

† Internet gambling, which was not fully vetted, has been dropped from the bill.

† Ethics measures, including a ban on campaign contributions by casino operators, have been strengthened.

† A provision that new revenues from a Chicago casino be dedicated to school construction and modernization has been added.

The bill also would create a separate inspector general for the Chicago casino. Our concern in this regard, as the legislation moves forward, is that the new inspector general position not co-op the powers of the existing — and highly vigilant — Gaming Board…

…Senate sponsor Terry Link (D-Waukegan) predicts the gambling expansion will eventually generate $268.9 million annually for the state. Much of that money now goes to neighboring states. We need it here.
To read the rest of the editorial, please click here.

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