Connect with us
SIS

Gambling in the USA

Illinois Politicians should take decision on Controversial Video Gambling Bill

Niji Narayan

Published

on

Photo credits: http://nprillinois.org
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Within the state of Illinois there is a ban on video gambling in more than a hundred communities, but veterans’ organisations may soon be exempt from this restriction. A bill was passed last week by state senators at the end of the month; the House is expected to take it. Politicians will decide on a legislation that would allow properties owned by the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars to offer this form of gambling even if it is banned by local law.

Some posts of the two veterans’ organisations have already video gambling but many municipalities and counties across the state have a ban on it. Currently, local communities have the authority to make such decisions on their own but the idea behind Senate Bill 3166 is to allow veterans’ organisations to generate an additional revenue by installing gambling machines. The bill was seen by many as a controversial piece of legislation as if approved, it would infringe on the right of municipalities to govern. Supported by state senators, it would allow the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) to apply for a license from the state gaming board.

Nearly half of all VFW posts statewide have video gambling and they use the revenue from machines to fund their programmes planned to support not only the members of the organisation but also the community. Although the VFW Illinois has not taken an official stance on the problem, its adjutant/quartermaster Mike DeRoss told the local WBGZ Radio that the additional revenue may prove to be beneficial for the local communities. He also pointed out that there is a lot of competition in the state with various bars and eateries that offer gaming. Meanwhile, some veterans’ organisations posts see a rapid decline in membership and some lawmakers believe that video gambling may stabilise them financially. According to State Sen. Terry Link, a Vernon Hills Democrat, the gaming machines in struggling posts would help veterans with their funding.

Some local leaders, on the other hand, have opposed the bill, saying that it is an intrusion of local control. Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik explained that communities should have the right to decide on important issues such as gambling. It can have devastating social impacts and affect the local community in a negative way, she added. Several organisations have opposed the legislation, too. These include the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference and the Illinois Municipal League, which represents local governments.

Exemption Could Financially Save Veterans’ Facilities

Bill 3166 was passed last week by the Illinois Senate with an overwhelming support of 41-5 and the House is expected to review it this month. If accepted, the proposal would allow video gambling at veterans’ organisations, including at the posts in Arlington Heights, for instance, where this type of gambling is prohibited. However, the Arlington International Racecourse will not be able to install gaming machines, although the venue has pushed for expanded gambling for years. The Arlington Heights American Legion Post 208 would, in this case, be the only facility in the town to offer video gambling. This means that the veterans’ property would not have competition and would generate good revenue.

Indeed, the bill supported by senators could save many veterans’ posts from closing. Official data from the Illinois Gaming Board shows that last year, Lake Zurich American Legion Post 964 received $76,578 from video gambling while Elgin American Legion Post 57 took in $46,574. The results were even more impressive for the Huntley American Legion Post 673, which generated $116,710 from video gambling. The additional revenue would help it complete major facility renovations.

 

Source: CasinoNewsDaily

Advertisement
NSoft at ICE2020

Global Gaming Industry Newsletter – Weekly Digest (sent every Wednesday)

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from European Gaming Media and Events:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here. Read more about European Gaming Media and Event's Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Subscribe to our News via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to our news and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Latest by author

Trending

Notice for AdBlock users

We are constantly showing banners about important news regarding events and product launches. Please turn AdBlock off in order to see these areas.