Massive Gambling Bill Passes with a Little Help from a McHenry County Friend

And who is that friend who voted for a casino in Chicago and many other places?

State Rep. Mark Beaubien (R-Barrington Hills).

The 65-50-2 vote roll call is below:

The roll call on the massive expansion of gambling legislation, SB 744.

In McHenry County State Representatives Jack Franks and Mike Tryon voted, “No.” State Rep. Mark Beaubien voted, “Yes.”

This bill will put slot machines at O’Hare and Midway Airports, the State Fair Grounds in Springfield and Illinois racetracks. In addition there will be four new casinos:

You can bet the casinos approved by the Illinois House on Monday won't look like this one in a BP gas station in South Dakota.

  • Chicago
  • Rockford
  • Danville
  • Somewhere in the South Suburbs
  • Park City just north of Waukegan

Here’s a summary of what is in Senate Bill 744 as it left the Illinois House for Senate concurrence votes. (The State switchboard is 217-782-2000, if you wish to weigh in to McHenry County’s two state senators, Pam Althoff and Dan Duffy.)

House Amendment 1. Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Creates the Chicago Casino Development Authority Act. Provides for the creation of the Chicago Casino Development Authority, whose duties include promotion and maintenance of a casino. Creates the Illinois State Fairgrounds Racetrack Authority Act. Creates the Illinois State Fairgrounds Racetrack Authority to promote, operate, and maintain horse racing operations through a racing contractor in the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Makes corresponding changes in the State Fair Act. Amends the State Finance Act to create the State Fairgrounds Infrastructure Improvement Fund and the Future of Agriculture Fund. Amends the Illinois Horse Racing Act of 1975 and the Riverboat Gambling Act to authorize electronic gaming at race tracks (and makes conforming changes in various Acts). Further amends the Illinois Horse Racing Act of 1975. Makes various changes concerning Board members. Contains provisions concerning testing of horses at county fairs, payments from the Horse Racing Fund, and standardbred horses. Further amends the Riverboat Gambling Act. Changes the short title to the Illinois Gambling Act. Adds additional owners licenses, one of which authorizes the conduct of riverboat or land-based gambling in the City of Chicago. Makes changes in provisions concerning the admission tax and privilege tax. Makes other changes. Makes corresponding changes in other Acts. Amends the Video Gaming Act. Provides that the Illinois Gaming Board shall issue a provisional license to an applicant for licensure as a licensed establishment, licensed truck stop establishment, licensed fraternal establishment, or licensed veterans establishment if the applicant meets certain criteria. Provides that the Board shall adopt emergency rules to administer the Act within 120 days after the effective date of the amendatory Act. Effective immediately.

House Amendment 2. In the Riverboat Gambling Act, provides that beginning on the effective date of the amendatory Act and ending July 1, 2014, from the tax revenue deposited in the State Gaming Fund, $2,000,000 shall be deposited annually into the Foreclosure Prevention Program Fund.

House Amendment 3. Removes new provisions from the Illinois Horse Racing Act of 1975 concerning labor peace agreements.

House Amendment 4. In the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois, makes changes to provisions concerning the Depressed Communities Economic Development Board.

House Amendment 5. In the Illinois Horse Racing Act of 1975, provides that upon application the Board may issue a license to the Illinois State Fairgrounds Racetrack Authority authorizing the pari-mutuel system of wagering on live harness races, inter-track wagering, and simulcast wagering through a racing contractor, as that term is defined in the Illinois State Fairgrounds Racetrack Authority Act, at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Sangamon County. In a provision providing that organization licensees awarded standardbred dates shall run at least 3,500 races in total during that calendar year, provides that standardbred racing conducted in Sangamon County shall not be counted towards the total number of races. Provides that annually, from the purse account of an organization licensee racing at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, an amount equal to 14.33% shall be transferred to the thoroughbred purse accounts of each of the following: Arlington Park Racetrack, Hawthorne Racecourse, and Fairmount Park Racetrack. Provides that beginning on January 1, 2013, from the purse account of an organization licensee racing at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, an amount equal to $100,000 shall be transferred into the Illinois Racing Quarterhorse Breeders Fund. Makes other changes.

If you would like to read the entire bill with all the amendments in the right order, you can do it here.

Here’s a press release distributed by the Task Force to Oppose Gambling for Chicago:

House Passes Expansion, Including a Chicago Casino 65-50-2 House

(Chicago, IL…) The Illinois House passed SB744, the gambling expansion bill establishing casinos in Chicago, Park City (near Waukegan, Danville, Rockford and an undisclosed location in South Cook County).

The bill now returns to the Senate for concurrence.

If the Senate concurs, it will go to Governor Quinn for a decision on approval or not.

Quinn has indicated the expansion is too large.

Task Force to Oppose Gambling for Chicago issued the following statement:

“We believe the passage of SB744 is a major mistake. If the bill moves ahead with Senate and Gubernatorial approvals, the nature and culture of Chicago will change forever.

“Citizens of this city have indicated they do not favor a casino. Instead a coalition of non-Chicagoans provided the leadership to pass the bill. It is a very sad day for Chicago that the coming years will prove what a mistake this bill is for Chicago and Illinois.”


Massive Gambling Bill Passes with a Little Help from a McHenry County Friend — 4 Comments

  1. Other states offer slots at horse racetracks so IL racetracks also need that ability to to compete. Gamblers and the best horses go to the highest purses. OTB allows betting throughout the US from one location. This also means existing casinos will no longer be required to rebate racetracks for cannibalizing some of their (racetrack) gambling. There are McHenry County and other suburban horses that have left the state to race elsewhere because the purses are too small in IL.

    I prefer not to have slots O’Hare, Midway, and the State Fairgrounds.

    I am even more against new casinos in Chicago, Rockford, Danville, south suburbs, and Park City. The new casinos may cause Quinn to veto as he doesn’t want to be the Las Vegas of the Midwest. Not to mention the new casinos cannibalize on existing casinos.

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