Governor Quinn is considering whether or not to sign Senate Bill 744 which would expand gambling in IL. SB744 is being called the “gaming bill”. Personally, I think it should be called the “jobs bill”. Currently, the horse racing industry is responsible for more than 30,000 jobs statewide. SB744 would breathe new life into horse racing in IL, preserve the 30,000 jobs already there, and stimulate many new jobs-this, in a state that is in dire need of each and every one of those jobs.
SB744 would allow slots at the racetracks and also add 5 casinos in IL. At the present time, IL ranks 25th in slots per person nation wide and the signing of SB744 would move us to 20th. For those who view it as excessive, I can’t imagine a scenario where a business would be discouraged to open in a particular location because there is already another like business in the vicinity. It is a simple matter of supply and demand, and healthy competition keeps things in check. Just look at the rows of fast food restaurants located side by side.
The revenue generated by SB744 would be phenomenal and have a tremendous ripple effect throughout the state. This money would help the following entities on a yearly basis- education, 4-H programs, $5 million to county fairs, $10 million to soil and water conservation, $4 million to U of I extension programs, $1 million to forestry, $2.5 million to state historic sites and $2.5 million to state parks.
We live in a highly agricultural state and we need to support the people who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Farmers who raise hay, grain and straw, fencing dealers, blacksmiths, veterinarians, horse breeders, horse owners, implement dealers, people who work at the casinos, park rangers etc. – they all need SB744 to be signed by Governor Quinn. 30,000 plus jobs are far too many jobs to be taken for granted in this difficult economic time in IL. I invite you to join me in calling Governor Quinn’s office and asking for his support of SB744. He can be reached at:
- Springfield office: (217) 782-0244
- Chicago office: (312) 814-2121
Too many jobs are at stake!