A hearing at the Casino Queen in East Saint Louis Tuesday will kick off an Illinois lawmaker’s renewed efforts to expand gambling in the state.
Rep. Bob Rita of Blue Island is reviving a proposal to increase state tax revenues by allowing five new casinos in Illinois, in northern and central Illinois, and add slot machines at horse racing tracks and Chicago airports.
Rita says he’s following up on a promise he made to conduct regional hearings after the proposal he shouldered last year stalled.
The Missouri Gaming Association told regulators Wednesday that it is trying hard to keep underage patrons from getting into the state’s casinos.
Mike Winter, the association's Executive Director, told state gaming commission members that the use of fake ID's is the most common way minors try to get in – but there have also been cases where they tried to climb over walls, blend in with crowds, and in a few cases, sneak in with the help of their parents. Barrett Hatches is chairman of the Missouri Gaming Commission.
A decision by lawmakers to approve a massive expansion of gambling in Illinois has been followed by two months of delay as Gov. Pat Quinn studies the measure and decides where he stands.
Quinn has met with a revolving door of supporters and opponents, but he's given no details on what changes he'd like to see. Skeptical lawmakers continue to use a legislative maneuver to hang onto the bill until Quinn explains what he wants.