Open Letter

I began my service to Illinois more than 25 years ago. Though I’ve since retired from the General Assembly, I continue to uphold my commitment to the great men and women of our state. Economic hardship has befallen these people, and I am dedicated to seeing that they get the relief they need. There’s a solution out there now that will put people to work and generate much needed income. That’s why I’m chairing an organization called the Illinois Revenue and Jobs Alliance (IRJA). We want you to unite with us and support the hardworking people of Illinois. 

Currently, IRJA is made up of unions, local governments, chambers of commerce, agriculture associations and the horse racing industry. Together, we champion the passage of Senate Bill 1849 (Link-Lang), a piece of legislation that will create more than 20,000 jobs for Illinois while saving at least a like amount of agri-business jobs. Estimates also indicate that SB 1849 will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in income and revenue. SB 1849 is a solution to the economic difficulties that countless Illinoisans face. Please unite with us to advocate for its approval.

Specifically, Senate Bill 1849 authorizes: 

  • One Chicago land-based casino and four new riverboat casinos being located in South Suburban Cook County, Winnebago County (Rockford), Lake County (Park City) and Vermilion County (Danville) 
  • The state’s six race tracks to operate slot machines on their properties (racinos). The tracks are Arlington, Maywood and Hawthorne (all in Cook County), Quad City Downs (Rock Island County), Balmoral (Will County) and Fairmount (Madison County). 
  • The 10 existing riverboat casinos the ability to increase the number of their gaming positions from 1,200 to 1,600.

According to estimates, if Senate Bill 1849 were to become law, the State will realize annually “new” tax revenue between $195 million and $440 million by the year 2016. These projections show that the racinos alone will generate from $76 million to $92 million of the foregoing annual estimates. From the years 2012 through 2016, it is estimated that Senate Bill 1849 will generate a total of $3.7 billion in license fees and taxes for the state. 

Forecasts also show that over 9,700 permanent full-time gaming related jobs will be created (2,700 of which will be at the racinos) resulting in $322 million in annual wages. And over 4,500 construction related jobs, generating an estimated $473 million in annual wages will come to fruition (over 1,000 of these jobs being performed at the race tracks).  

Illinois’ dire economic climate calls for the passage and immediate implementation of Senate Bill 1849. Unite with us and help bring prosperity back to Illinois. 



Bill Black (General Assembly Rep. 1986-2010)


Alliance members