Tucson, AZ --- That’s when the Jan. 3-11 “lame duck” session of the legislature begins, and the Illinois House will approve or disapprove of the gaming expansion bill already passed by the Senate.
That legislation, SB 737, calls for racinos including slots at the state’s six horse tracks, a land-based casino in Chicago, and new riverboat casinos around the state.
Springfield forecasters say it would take two years for the new riverboats, but Stu Brubaker of the Illinois Harness Horsemen’s Association says racinos could be in operation within six months of 737 passing the House and being signed by Gov. Pat Quinn, not an enthusiast for the legislation.
The prime mover of the bill, Senator Terry Link, a Democrat from Waukegan, north of Chicago, warned against over-optimism of the added gaming solving all of Illinois’ economic problems.
“We’ve been very clear about it,” he was quoted in the Northwest Herald. “We’re not counting on revenue for this budget year.”