After two days of very intense debate, Illinois is about to become the Midwest gambling capital following the Illinois House of Representatives approving state licenses to six more casinos. As reported, the state’s House of Representatives approved a legislation thanks to which this Midwestern state is about to license additional gambling activities including gambling activities for the state’s metropolis, Chicago.
Currently, the state serves as home to ten gambling venues. Thanks to this piece of legislation, the state’s riverboat casinos portfolio will expand to include more similar land-based, floating gambling facilities. This is especially important for Lake County and Williamson County which are the state’s gambling focal points. The statement also details that the measures imposed could lead to the introduction of a land-based gambling facility in Chicago as well as other floating facilities especially in the area of Danville, Rockford.
It is also reported that due to this most recent legislation, the biggest Chicago casino would become at least three times larger when compared to its biggest rival with more than four thousand gaming positions. However, for this to happen, the casino’s profits have to be split equally between the casino’s operator, the city and the state.
The Measure Modifying the Sportsbook Legislation
In addition to allowing more riverboat casinos to offer their services, the measure would also allow the state’s land-based sportsbook facilities to provide their services within casinos, sporting venues as well as horseracing tracks. If this happens, interested players would be able to enjoy all sorts of sportsbetting activities at different facilities including Chicago’s Soldier Field which has around 61,000-seats.
This would also mean that online sportsbetting activities would require several regulatory licensed which cost around $20 million each. Moreover, the legislation if passed would also authorize other facilities in the state such as truck stops to provide video gaming consoles and machines while travelers at Midway International Airport and O’Hare International Airport would be able to try their luck on slot machines while waiting for their flight.
Initially Opposed Idea Becoming a Reality
Before the measure was posed, Lori Lightfoot who is the Mayor of Chicago had opposed these ideas especially the idea of introducing a land-based casino to citizens in her city. However, the Mayor of Chicago had changed her initial stance before the voting too place just after her meeting with the Illinois House of Representatives Minority Leader Jim Durkin and the state’s Governor Jay Pritzker.
As reported, Lori Lightfoot announced in the newspapers that she changed her initial stance regarding the issue after she came to an agreement that all sportsbetting licenses issued for the city would be fully regulated and carefully supervised. In her statement, Lori Lightfoot also added that these latest enhancements will allow the city to maximize its current revenue capabilities which would allow a new land-based casino to ensure the best life quality for all neighborhoods within its area.
The state’s Governor Jay Pritzker has supported the idea of gambling activities expansion for a long time. Following the latest events regarding the gambling legislation in the country, Pritzker stated that by expanding the industry and by legalizing sportsbetting activities, the city will create more than 10,000 jobs. He added that this is especially important for Rockford residents who have been hungry for employment for many years.