Illinois Senate Doubles Bets on Slots

A typical gas station in South Dakota.

Long-time readers will remember my surprise at seeing casinos at virtually every gas station and even in the next room to an in-door McDonald’s in South Dakota.

When Illinois legalized slot machines, it did not require that all establishments hosting them use the word “casino” on their signs.

Now the slot machine people in Illinois have passed a bill markedly expanding the ability to fleece people out of money that could be spent on goods and services.

Here is the Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addition Problems report on what happened in the Illinois Senate the last two days of May:

Video gambling expansion
SB 209 was introduced in the Senate Gaming Committee at 8:30 a.m. on May 30th and called for a vote at 10:30 p.m. on May 31st, the last day of session.

The bill

    • doubles the maximum bet on video gambling from $2 to $4
    • increases the jackpot from $500 to $1,199
    • legalizes progressive jackpots up to $10,000
    • authorized establishments to give incentives for video gambling, and
    • allows terminal operators to reimburse establishments for 50% of advertising. 

Sen. Dave Syverson had requested an amendment for the bill not to go into effect unless SB 7 became law.  However, sponsor Sen. Terry Link withdrew the amendment and called for a

The sponsor said there was NO opposition to the bill, which was not true.

ICAAAP testified in committee to oppose SB 209.

Senators had not read the bill, yet SB 209 passed with 37 YES, 13 NO, and 2 PRESENT.

The Senate roll call on House bill 209 is below.  McHenry County State Senators Karen McConnaughay and Dan McConchie voted against the bill.  Pam Althoff did not vote.


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