New Illinois Governor discusses gambling expansion

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The governor that started his term on Monday has discussed a possible gaming expansion in the state.

The newly elected Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has already initiated discussion on the expansion of casinos in the state. He said that gambling expansion will boost the state’s revenues.

Pritzker seems to have identified gambling expansion as one of the ways to balance the state budget and help pay for a capital bill is through gaming expansion. He also said that now that the Supreme Court has struck down PASPA, the federal act that prevented states from offering sports betting, Illinois has a bigger chance to pass a bill.

“We could implement that in the state as one example. There certainly are opportunities for us to expand casino gaming in the state,” Pritzker said. “So those are a couple of ways for us to expand gaming. Balancing the budget is very important, it’s not just about those revenue enhancements. It’s also about bringing efficiencies to state government.”

Moreover, he said that new casinos could be located near the state border in order to prevent that money from leaving the state. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has recently called for a casino in his city: “I don’t disagree with you there’s been some cannibalisation within the state and there’s a limited amount of dollars that could exist in the state, but I also know this has to do with geography. Where you put a casino matters to how many dollars might flow from places they haven’t seen dollars flow before… We ought to be thinking about how do we keep the dollars here that are being expended in other states.”