Yesterday the new law allowing bars and restaurants in Illinois to have video gambling machines went into effect. State legislators passed this law back in 2009 and expect the tax revenue to be around 375 million dollars a year which will then be used to fix bridges and schools.
Not every local city in Illinois is going to allow this type of gaming and some, like Collinsville, plan to put the question to voters on the November ballot to get a feel for how residents feel about this. Here's the irony in the local gambling issue, cities with casinos like Alton and East St. Louis are wary of competition to the casinos since these businesses have been a source of good tax revenue over the years. Collinsville has Fairmount Park Race Track's competition to keep in mind.
What's ironic is that the state and presumably Gov Quinn passed the legislation allowing veterans halls, bars, restaurants to have the poker, bingo, slot video gambling machines, but Gov Quinn vetoed legislation allowing the 2 or 3 Illinois race tracks to do the same. The obvious place for the new gambling machines would be in places where gambling has always been allowed. But sorry Fairmount Park, everyone else can have this revenue but not you.
This is all very weird.