Slots That Aren’t Defined as Slots Might Be Coming Our Way

The new slot machine legislation going into effect on New Year’s Day goes under the label of “sweepstakes.”

A front-page article on Monday's Chicago Tribune tells of a slot machine loophole law that takes affect New Year's Day.

A front-page article on Monday’s Chicago Tribune tells of a slot machine loophole law that takes affect New Year’s Day.

The Tribune’s Joseph Ryan has written a major story on what most legislators probably thought was a  minor bill.

Let’s test that perception.

Minor bills usually pass with very high vote totals, so let’s take a look at who voted for this expansion of gambling.

Here’s the House roll call on the bill sponsored by Lou Lang and Ed Sullivan.  It passed 98-18.

The House roll call on House Bill 1140, the so-called "sweepstakes" legislation that will allow unlicensed slot machines.

The House roll call on House Bill 1140, the so-called “sweepstakes” legislation that will allow unlicensed slot machines.

Voting in favor among those representing McHenry County were David McSweeney, Tim Schmitz, Mike Tryon and Barb Wheeler.  In other words, all Republicans voted for the bill.

Democrat Jack Franks voted, “No.”  Interestingly, Speaker Mike Madigan voted against his leadership team mate’s bill.

Sponsored by >Antonio Muñoz, the Senate 37-10 roll call follows:

The Senate roll call on the "sweepstakes" slot machine bill, House Bill 1140.

The Senate roll call on the “sweepstakes” slot machine bill, House Bill 1140.

Local State Senator Karen McConnaughay voted in favor, while fellow Republicans Dan Duffy and Pam Althoff did not cast votes on the measure.

Gambling Sweepstakes Trib 12-30-13 paperThe Illinois Gaming Board thinks the machines are illegal.

McHenry Grade School Board member John O’Neill started this article off with this observation:

The state is in over its head. They don’t know what the hell they are doing but are being led around by the the nose by the Gambling Interests (The Casino Law Group).
“…A Gaming Board representative didn’t oppose the legislation but told lawmakers, “‘We don’t fully understand it,’ and raised concerns about legalizing gray machines…”
Doesn’t it seem like, as long as the money keeps rolling in, the Gambling Interests can pretty much do whatever they want?
“…The Casino Law Group has contributed $3,500 to Lang’s (state Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie) campaign fund, most of it this year. The firm also contributed $5,000 this year to House Speaker Michael Madigan’s campaign fund…”

Here’s how the Senate Republican staff summarized the bill:

Electric Charity Raffle Games (HB 1140/PA 98-0111): This legislation attempts to clarify that electronic charity raffle games are not considered a video game under the Video Gaming Act.

In some towns, players pay bartenders to add credit onto the game machines and then cash out the winnings—designated charities receive a percentage of the money.

Currently these machines are legal under the Illinois Raffles Act.


Comments

Slots That Aren’t Defined as Slots Might Be Coming Our Way — 3 Comments

  1. Legislators routinely approve damaging legislation citing “technical change” or language cleanup or minor change or something of the sort, not citing the real reason for the legislation.

    I guess in their defense they are presented with hundreds of bills per year they have to vote on.

    Maybe they should vote on less bills per year, so they can research the ones they do vote on.

    Just this year TRS ERO was renewed for 3 years with little fanfare allowing the program to continue (it would have expired if not renewed).

    ERO allows teachers and administrators to retire EARLIER than their already EARLY retirement.

    And the reason cited for allowing teachers and administrators to retire early?

    They can be replaced by lower priced workers.

    Really?

    Because while the school district may save a few bucks, taxpayers as a whole lose, because now we have to pay for the salary and benefits of the replacement workers plus the pension and benefits of the retired worker.

    And if school districts hadn’t provided such generous salary increases, the salaries wouldn’t be so high in the first place.

    Plus, the employer contributes significantly more to ERO than the employee.

    There were a few “reforms” in ERO but bottom line is why should taxpayers fund an earlier retirement than they are eligible for through social security?

    Remember the State of Illinois was charged by the SEC for securities fraud for misleading investors regarding issuing pension bonds.

    There’s 2 boneheaded moves (TRS ERO and securities fraud) and a potential 3rd (sweepstakes gambling).

    Well I’m not sure all the details of the gambling legislation.

    But it doesn’t look good on the surface.

    Plus legislators make a change to video gambling and let horse racing die by not allowing slots at racetracks as is the norm in most other states, so now the horses and thus horse related jobs are leaving because the purses (winnings) are too small in Illinois compared to other states.

  2. Simple solution to: “I guess in their defense they are presented with hundreds of bills per year they have to vote on.”

    If you have not read the bill and understand it, vote NO.

    There is no excuse for not representing me properly!

    My recourse is to vote out those who do not.

    It is precisely this type of vote that gives people a reason to vote for Jack Franks.

    Shame on Mike, Barb, Tim and Dave.

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