Illinois House proposal could pave way for video gambling in Chicago

Illinois House proposal could pave way for video gambling in Chicago

Article brief provided by Chicago Tribune
  • Dan Petrella , Chicago Tribune
April 1, 2024 4:00 PM
  • Dan Petrella , Chicago Tribune

A Springfield ally of Mayor Brandon Johnson has introduced a measure that could help pave the way for Chicago to legalize the kind of video poker and slot machines that have proliferated at bars and restaurants across the state over the past decade.

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The proposal from Democratic state Rep. Kam Buckner of Chicago comes as City Hall continues to seek new revenue streams to help stabilize its nearly $17 billion budget and pay for Johnson’s progressive policy proposals.

In addition to helping address the city’s revenue needs, the Illinois House measure also aims to address racial disparities within the state’s video gambling industry by finding a way for Chicago businesses to swap the legally murky sweepstakes machines that can be found at bars, gas stations and even laundromats around Chicago for state-licensed — and taxed — betting devices.