A significant expansion of casino gambling is back in play in the Illinois General Assembly. A proposal to authorize six new casinos got Senate approval this past week. It was one of the few victories in a week dedicated to getting a compromised budget plan through the Senate.
A Chicago casino would be approved for the first time. Others would be spread around the state. The state has 10 highly profitable casinos. But the legislation recognizes competition would cut into existing riverboats' profit. So it would cut the tax rate on casino revenue significantly.
One analysis found the addition of six casinos, added seats on existing boats, and slot machines at horse racing tracks and Chicago airports would increase tax profits by only $87 million a year.