Gambling absent from budget day

Gambling absent from budget day

Posted by Mike Riopell on Wed, 02/22/2012 - 16:16

By now, you largely know a lot about Gov. Pat Quinn's budget plan, but here's a note about something that wasn't in his proposal.

Even before Quinn's speech today, the horse racing industry was once again trying to highlight gambling expansion - and slot machines at tracks like Arlington Park in particular - as a way to help buoy the state's sinking finances.

From a statement signed by Arlington Park, other Illinois tracks and the Illinois Harness Horsemen Association:

The alternatives being discussed include making drastic cuts in human services that would adversely impact our most vulnerable residents.

Many Illinois lawmakers and the public agree that generating new revenue opportunities - at no cost to taxpayers - by saying "yes" to slots at the racetracks will create new Illinois jobs and ensure the economic future of our children and our state.

No one is arguing a big gambling plan would solve all the state's budget problems. But supporters say the state is desperate for money, and any more would be helpful.

What do you think?

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