Illinois Gaming Bill Fails to Clear Committee

An Illinois House of Representatives committee May 25 failed to approve legislation that would have expanded casino gambling and awarded slot machines to racetracks in the state.

Rep. Lou Lang, a racetrack slots proponent and sponsor of the bill, said the measure is about jobs and preserving agribusiness through the horse racing and breeding industry, according to published reports in Illinois.

The bill called for four new casinos; slots at two airports in Chicago; and slots at racetracks, including Quad City Downs, a former harness track that now serves as an off-track betting facility, and the Illinois State Fairgrounds, which hosts a short harness meet each summer.

Gambling expansion has been debated in Illinois for years, but legislators haven’t pulled the trigger. Also, Gov. Pat Quinn isn’t high on expanded gambling.

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