Governor Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel met last week with representatives of the horse racing industry and the state’s casinos to try to work out a compromise in regards to a gambling bill. The groups have been negotiating since last month and it’s possible that they may reach an agreement in which does not allow slot machines at racetracks.
Racetrack officials still want slots, but they are discussing other options that could still provide the racing industry with a stable source of revenue.
“If there is another way the racing industry could be assisted, then we would not be opposed to that. But it depends on what way that is. We are already going to be impacted by additional facilities,” said Tom Swoik, executive director of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association, who is also against the opening of new casinos.
Concerns about adding more casinos include the negative effects on existing casinos and creating an “excessive” gambling climate in the state.
Legislators are currently preparing for the spring session and it will be these lawmakers who eventually decide whether gambling in Illinois will expand.