Gambling expansion revived in Illinois House but stalls in committee
A massive gambling expansion bill stalled in a House committee Monday further clouding chances the bill can win approval before Thursday’s scheduled adjournment.
The lead sponsor of Senate Bill 7, Rep. Robert Rita, D-Blue Island, said he’ll keep working on the bill despite time running out on the session.
“I want to analyze it and figure out where we can massage something, in terms of the testimony today,” Rita said. “I’m going to continue to work on this. I’m not going to close the door now.”
What was heard at the committee was a lot of testimony from opponents who said the expansion contained in the latest proposal will further cannibalize gaming in Illinois which will ultimately hurt revenue. Jay Keller, a representative of Penn National Gaming, which operates casinos in Illinois, said the bill will authorize 22,000 new gaming positions which, added to what Illinois already has, would give the state the equivalent of 52 casinos.
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