Illinois Gov. Proposes State Line Casinos

By Ben Hamill - January 17 2019
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Illinois Gov. Proposes State Line Casinos

The newly appointed governor of Illinois has made no bones about the fact that he wants to see more gambling in his state. In a recent interview with a local media outlet, Gov. J.B. Pritzker highlighted his goals to construct brand new casinos at every state border to maximize the establishments’ potentials.

The goal, according to Pritzker, is to balance the state budget with intelligent use of casino revenues. In his interview, the governor said that there are many opportunities for his administration to expand on gaming services in the state, listing the above idea as one of many.

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Pritzker Focussed on Location

Pritzker would prefer to build the venues near the state border to serve as a sort of firewall that would prevent money from leaving the state and reaching competition establishments. This, of course, is quite the opposite of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plans to have a casino based in the state’s largest city.

However, the new governor says that where the venues are placed matters when it comes to how much cash might flow in from new sources. He believes that his state and its governors need to be considering how to keep local dollars from moving across borders and being spent elsewhere.

J.B. Pritzker was appointed as the 43rd Governor of Illinois on January 14, 2019, replacing his predecessor Bruce Raunder (a Republican) in the role. This is his first elected position, but he has certainly made attempts at similar positions before. Pritzker ran for the US House of Representatives back in 1998, and unfortunately lost in the primary elections.

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Progress Expected in the New Year

The official comes from an exceptionally wealthy family, with the legendary Hyatt hotel chain being just one of the many holdings they manage. He is also the third wealthiest politician to ever have been placed in office, which means that when it comes to financial matters, his expertise might come in handy.

With his support, the state’s attempts to expand regulated gambling services are also starting to look like they might be more fruitful. Last year, the House of Representatives tried to pass into law a gaming expansion bill that would regulate both iGaming and sports betting, but sadly, the bill was not approved.

There were also discussions of plans for another online gaming bill to be proposed this year, although it is still early days and whether or not this will happen remains to be seen. As Democrat Bob Rita proposed both legislative pieces, perhaps having a supportive governor on his side of the political coin could be the key to getting one – or both – bills passed at last.

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