In addition to granting a casino license to the City of Chicago, the bill approved by a vote of 65-50 will bring additional casinos and riverboats to Rockford, Danville, Park City and another site in south suburban Chicago. The bill also allows the existing Illinois casinos and racetracks to expand their gaming facilities and offers, and the installation of slot machines at several racetracks and at Chicago’s two airports.
The bill sponsor, Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), said the expansion plan, which represents the largest expansion of gambling in Illinois since the arrival of riverboat casinos, would generate $1.5 billion upfront in licensing fees that could be used to pay down more than $6 billion in overdue bills. Fees from the casinos and racetracks would also generate an annual estimate of $500 million in gambling to go toward education and public construction projects.
The plan now moves to the Senate for approval, however, is not clear if the Senate will vote the plan during the spring legislative session scheduled to end Tuesday.