The new slot machine legislation going into effect on New Year’s Day goes under the label of “sweepstakes.”
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.
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:
Local State Senator Karen McConnaughay voted in favor, while fellow Republicans Dan Duffy and Pam Althoff did not cast votes on the measure.
The 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…”http://www.latimes.com/topic/
ct-video-poker-sweepstakes- met-20131230,0,7383910,full. story#axzz2p3k1YEQADoesn’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.