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Are Casinos the Answer to the State’s Money Problems?


The gambling lobby must feel the odds are in its favor, as it plans to propose a bill that would create five new casinos and introduce slot machines at racetracks like Arlington, the Daily Herald reports. Similar efforts got nowhere under Gov. Quinn, and Illinois casino stats are less than positive (they brought in $86.7M less in 2014 than in ’13), but supporters hope Gov. Rauner sees casinos’ value in improving the State’s balance sheet.

The most successful casino: Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, of course. Neil Bluhm’s baby brought in over $425M in ’14. Another winner of late has been gaming cafes like Betty’s Bistro and Penny’s Place, expanding at Starbucks-style speed within suburban shopping centers in municipalities that allow gaming.