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The House Always Wins

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Illinois casinos are making more and more money, even as the economy flounders and fewer people in the state choose to gamble. Those findings come form a recent analysis by the suburban Daily Herald. The paper studied the revenues and practices at Chicago-area casinos, as well as the effects on gamblers. Take that shiny new penny slot machine—it might seem like a good deal, but it's actually programmed to keep more money over time than your average one-armed bandit. Increasing the house's advantage helps not only casino owners, but the state – which collects up to half of players' losses.

Eight Forty-Eight'sRichard Steele spoke with the Daily Herald's Joseph Ryan, whose three-part series on casinos and gambling wrapped up yesterday. Ryan says that while state government relies on gambling money, lawmakers seem to downplay the potential problems.

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