Cunningham032013 js 0172Illinois State Senator Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) voted to expand gaming in the state. The measure will send new dollars from casino expansion to public education to offset, and possibly eliminate, the proposed cuts from the governor’s projected budget. Sen. Cunningham made this statement after the Senate vote:
“This bill will help stop the flow of dollars from Illinois residents to the casinos in Indiana and provide Chicago and the South Suburbs with a new source of revenue for schools and infrastructure improvement. It will also ensure that important safeguards are in place to help the state Gaming Board shield casinos from political and criminal corruption.”

Key components of Senate Bill 1739:

  1. Chicago Casino
    • 4,000 positions: land- or water-based and at airports
    • Run by a licensed operator subject to management contract
  2. Ethics
    • New Executive Inspector General for Gaming
    • Gaming Board oversight of Chicago casino is equal to all other gaming facilities
    • Political contribution ban for gaming licensees
  3. Slots at race tracks
    • 1,200 positions in Cook County/ 900 for non-Cook
    • Racinos must be licensed by Gaming Board
  4. 4 new riverboats/casinos
    • Rockford
    • Danville
    • South suburbs: either Bloom, Bremen, Calumet, Rich, Thornton or Worth Township
    • Lake County: either Park City, Waukegan or North Chicago
  5. Tax rate reduction
    • Separate tax rate for slots vs. table games
    • New tax rates take effect in the fiscal year following the opening of the Chicago casino, but not before July 1, 2015
  6. Distribution of Revenues
    • Upfront license fees to fund increased headcount at the Gaming Board, remainder to old bills
    • Local shares to host communities
    • A portion of the tax revenue will go to various funds for example a small portion will go to the State Fairgrounds Capitol Improvement fund as well as DHS will get revenues to pay for compulsive gambling treatment
    • The remaining tax revenues will go to the Education Assistance Fund
  7. Minority Participation
    • Contracting goals for all licensees
    • Hiring goals for all licensees
    • Reporting requirements for all licensees
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