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Legislation expanding gambling in Illinois passed Senate

May 20, 2017 8:02 AM

After years of discussion in Illinois, legislation that would expand gambling in the state that includes a provision for racetracks to operate slot machines passed the Illinois Senate on Thursday, reports the Daily Racing Form (DRF).

Senate Bill 7 moved through on 33-24 vote. 

The bill, additionally allows for a casino to be opened in Chicago. It now moves to the House of Representatives, which referred it to its executive committee. Thursday, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner made public comments expressing support for gambling expansion. Observers say the bill may have a difficult time in the Illinois House. 

The Senate also approved legislation allowing the Illinois Racing Board to direct $500,000 from its budget to purses at the state’s racetracks. This legislation, too, still must clear the House. The money, according to DRF, comes from funds left over when two Chicago-area harness tracks ceased operations in recent years.