Illinois gambling expansion plan on hold

January 4, 2011

by Amanda Vinicky

(Photo by Joe Balynas via Flickr)
A casino located in Joliet, Illinois

A vote on a massive gambling expansion is on hold at the Illinois Capitol. The plan includes building five more casinos in the state and allowing slot machines at horse race tracks. Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie is the bill's House sponsor.

He said none of the main components of the measure will change, but improvements are in the works. 

"In a file cabinet in my office I've got about 40 versions of gaming bills I've drafted over the years," Land said. "I think I know what a good gaming bill looks like and I'm going to turn this into one."

Lang said he wants to make it easier for existing casinos to expand. Casino owners say the plan will over-saturate a market they say is already struggling. The Senate has okayed the plan, but the chamber will have to sign on to any changes before a new General Assembly is sworn in next week.

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