How’s That Huge Gambling Bill Going in Illinois? Stalled in the Illinois House at the Moment

Someone called me the other day to ask, Hey…how is the gambling bill that would expand gambling in Illinois to include casinos in Danville and four other cities (including Chicago)…how is it going?

Well, it’s on hold.

But the legislation, which was approved by the Illinois Senate last month, is not dead and the “large bullet points” in the legislation won’t be removed from the bill, said its sponsor, Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie.

Lang didn’t want to talk specifics. But the proposed amendments appear to affect mostly racetracks and existing casinos.

“The new riverboat licenses, slot machines at racetracks, a land-based casino in the city of Chicago, those are in the bill. None of those are being changed,” Lang said.

“But it’s a 400-page bill. There’s a lot of room in there for change. You’re going to see some fairly significant changes, but none of those changes will impact the number of licenses proposed or the slot machines at racetracks.”

Lang said the bill could be back before the House Executive Committee ishortly.

Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhauer, who came to Springfield on Monday with St. Joseph Mayor B.J. Hackler to lobby lawmakers for the gambling bill, said he was disappointed but would be back. “Patience,” he said, “is a virtue.”

Eisenhauer said he’d return to Springfield this morning to promote the legislation.

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