If some of members of the Illinois General Assembly have their way, the "Prairie State" will soon become the "Gambling State," paving the way for nearly 90,000 gambling positions in Illinois, challenging Nevada and every other state in the country for the amount of gambling available.
Additionally the bill, which does not provide any additional regulatory personnel, will certainly lead to Crime Syndicate infiltration and political corruption, according to a report from the well-respected Chicago Crime Commission.
"I would caution the members of the Illinois General Assembly to think long and hard before they vote for the legislation. It is beyond my comprehension that the Illinois Senate has passed this bill. I would strongly encourage a sober review by the Illinois House and urge them to reject this dangerous legislation," according to Arthur J. Bilek, Executive Vice President of the Chicago Crime Commission.
"If passed, this legislation, more than any other in my memory, would change the complexion and perception of the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois...and not in a positive way," he continued.
The Gaming Act bill provides for a massive expansion of gambling across the entire state of Illinois, including 15 land-based casinos and 6 race track-based video gambling casinos called "Racinos" in addition to the estimated 50,000 video poker machines already approved by the General Assembly last year.
"The almost unbelievable number of new gambling activities provided by the bill will enable the always ingenious Crime Syndicate to seek out myriad ways to enrich itself by getting into the legal gambling game," Bilek added. "The investigative arm of the Gaming Board will be overwhelmed by the large number of new gambling activities," he said.
The bill mandates the Gaming Board to approve or deny licensees within 60 days of applications. With the number of new casinos, the number of new gambling positions and the dozens of changes and amendments to the existing gambling statutes, it will be virtually impossible for the Board to maintain the present integrity of Illinois gambling. "Interestingly, the bill is silent on adding or funding new investigators or staff for the Gaming Board," Bilek commented.
To date, the Crime Syndicate has been kept out of legal gambling in Illinois through the unflinching efforts of the current Illinois Gaming Board.
"Pure and simple the bill is a set-up for disaster. If passed, law enforcement can expect the entrance of the Crime Syndicate into legalized gambling through a variety of ruses and deceptions," Bilek warned. "Federal prosecutors should plan for a constant stream of federal corruption indictments against government officials, gambling operators and members of the Crime Syndicate," he added.
Specifics in the legislation include:
- A giant casino in Chicago with 4,000 gambling positions, run by a separate, independent government entity called the Chicago Development Authority and not by the Illinois Gaming Board
- .Four new casinos – Park City, Rockford, Danville and south suburban Cook County.
- Six "Racinos" with video poker and electronic slot machines at the six race tracks in Illinois. The three tracks outside of Cook County would be allowed 900 gambling positions. Each of the three tracks in Cook County would be allowed 1,200 gambling positions.
- A provision that allows all casinos to be land-based.
- Dozens of other changes and amendments that advance the proliferation of gambling activities in Illinois.
Thanks to Jim Kouri