May 31, 2011
[JCUA is a member of the Task Force to Oppose Casino Gambling in Chicago, a group that has existed for 20 years– opposing every attempt to bring gambling to the city.]
On Monday, May 30, in a vote of 65-50, the Illinois House approved legislation that puts Chicago, and the rest of the state at risk of the biggest gambling expansion in more than two decades.
The bill may be up for a vote today (May 31) in the Senate. If passed, the bill goes to Gov. Pat Quinn who has shown support for bringing a casino to the city.
Please call your state senators now (217-782-2000) and let them know how detrimental the legislation would be to Illinois.
Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), the bill’s sponsor, said a gambling expansion would “be a dramatic help for the economic engine of Illinois” by creating new jobs and revenue when the stark truth is that having a casino would increase gambling addictions, crime and loss of income.
SB 744 would do the following and much more:
- Creates the Chicago Casino Development Authority to promote and maintain a casino in the City of Chicago
- Legalizes slot machines at airports in Chicago
- Legalizes 4 additional casinos in Danville, Rockford, Park City, and the South Suburbs
- Legalizes slot machines and video gambling machines at 6 racetracks
Call your senators now (217-782-2000) and ask them to vote NO to SB 744.
July 16, 2010
Video gambling has been banned in the City of Chicago for about 40 years and community leaders say it should stay that way. JCUA, along with other members of the Don’t Gamble with Chicago Coalition, held a press conference today (July 16) to emphasize the importance of keeping the video gambling ban in place.
Gov. Quinn’s hotly debated capital bill made it possible for cities to set up video gambling machines in local bars and other places licensed to serve liquor. Cities that choose to participate keep five percent of the revenue produced by the machines. Proponents of the bill claim video gambling would mean more money for construction jobs building roads and schools, and are lobbying the City Council in attempts to lift the gambling ban.
At today’s press conference, coalition members shared a different and more troubling outcome to lifting the ban. Easier access to these machines, they say, would result in an increase in gambling addictions, crime and loss of income. Gambling would also result in millions of dollars leaving the city each year.
Lifting the ban goes against JCUA’s mission of empowering Chicago communities in their pursuit of social and economic justice. Jane Ramsey, executive director of JCUA, had this to say at a February press conference on the issue:
“This only works by people losing—by individuals losing, by families losing. After all, there are no profits unless there are great losses.”
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