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Community Opt Out Isn't a Worry For Capital Plan

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Evanston is the latest Illinois community to ban video poker. State lawmakers legalized the gambling machines to help pay for a $31 billion statewide construction plan.

State legislators approved video gambling with the idea the plan could generate about $300 million in revenue. The plan also allows communities to opt out of the deal. Last night Evanston did just that. Others are also considering a ban.

Susan Hofer is with the Illinois Department of Revenue.

HOFER: We estimate that even if a large amount of communities opt out of video gambling that we will be able to meet our estimate of $300 million once the system is up and running.

Hofer says the state already has about 20,000 licensed machines for entertainment purposes only. That’s what the state looked at to estimate the revenue it could collect.

Governor Pat Quinn has said he’s not worried about municipalities passing bans. He says if most communities block the machines, his administration will have to come up with a different plan.

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