Don’t Gamble with Chicago

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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2 Responses to Don’t Gamble with Chicago

  1. sandra adell says:

    Every community in this city stands to lose and lose big if video gambling is introduced in our neighborhoods. As someone who struggled with an addiction to slot machine gambling, I can say from my personal experience that more harm than good will come of this. I hope we can encourage others who’ve struggled with gambling addictions to make their voices heard.

    Sandra Adell, Author: CONFESSIONS OF A SLOT MACHINE QUEEN: A MEMOIR. See also my blog, “A Black Woman’s Reflections on Casino Gambling”

  2. Nathan says:

    In order to learn more about Illinois’ $31 billion initiative and the jobs it will create, please visit Video gambling is the single largest funding source of this jobs program, and without it, the program will have to be seriously scaled back, cutting billions of dollars of investment and endangering thousands of jobs that unemployed workers and their families desperately need.

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