Skimming the Gambing Expansion Bill

It’s been a long time since I looked at a couple of hundred page bill, but I decided to look at the one expanding gambling, House Bill 4194. I didn’t look at the headline stuff–where most of the money would go. I looked at the gambling side.

Besides the fact that the law will no longer has “riverboat” in its title, the most significant thing I found that would likely affect McHenry County is that it appears that betting would be allowed at county fairs. (Page 255.)

At least there’s $7,500 a year available for each county fair to be used for a totalizator system for conducting pari-mutual wagering.

A financial institution’s branch would no longer have to be 1,000 feet from a casino. It just can’t be inside.

Something called “electronic gaming” is added to horse racing and casinos to be considered part of the “gaming industry.” (Page 149.)

And, what’s it mean?

“’Electronic gaming’ means slot machine gambling, video games of chance, and electronic games as defined in the Illinois Gambling Act, that is conducted at a race track pursuant to an electronic gaming license.” (Page 152.)

Wagers may be placed via any method or at any location authorized under this Act.” (Page 151.)

Here’s an interesting definition. Is it talking about the current off-track betting parlors?

“Advance deposit wagering. ‘Advance deposit wagering’ means a method of pari-mutuel wagering in which an individual may establish an account, deposit money into the account, and use the account balance to pay for pari-mutuel wagering authorized by this Act. An advance deposit wager may be placed in person at a wagering facility or from any other location via a telephone-type device or any other electronic means.”

Probably not or we would have read about it in the newspapers.

Any race track cutting back racing dates more than 10% loses its electronic gaming license. (Page 172)

The Illinois Thoroughbred Breeders Fund is taken out from under the requirement to be appropriated by the General Assembly. (Page 254, among other places.)

And what’s this all about?

“’Electronic poker’ is not considered a gambling game as defined by this Act.” (Page 278.)

In addition to any allocated gaming spots, each race track can have another 100 electronic poker machines. (Page 354.)

Looks like competitive bidding as a way to decides who gets a license will be gone:

”If, after reviewing each application for a new or re-issued gaming license, the Board determines that it is in the best interest of the people of the State of Illinois for the the highest prospective total revenue to the State would be derived from State to conduct gambling operations conduct of the gambling operation in lieu of issuing or re-issuing the gaming license…” (Page 337.)

”Competitive Bidding. When the Board issues or re-issues an owners license authorized under Section 7 or determines that it will re-issue an owners license pursuant to an open and competitive bidding process, as set forth in Section 7.1… (Page 341.)

Competitive bidding was an idea that State Senator Peter Fitzgerald brought back from Greece.

Chicago is given eminent domain authority to acquire property by condemnation.

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