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Illinois legalizes Gambling Machines, Many Local Governments Place Ban

Casino News - August 12th, 2009 - Written by Glen

Over the summer, many trends in gambling laws have been seen. Some states are expanding, others are curtailing. Illinois was one of the states who had added new gambling options to their repertoire, though the rules and regulations had not been released in full. One pretext under the new law was that the local jurisdictions within the state had the authority to place their own ban on the video lottery terminals (VLTs), and many counties are beginning to exercise their right to exclude themselves from the new plan.

The first county that had placed the ban was Peoria County. Over 180,000 residents would be affected by this ban, and may have to travel to a separate county should they want to play on these VLTs. Before the ban would actually go into effect, a study had been called on the positives and negatives of the ban. This study has not yet been released.

Next in line was Cook County. Cook County has been cracking down on many illegal gambling operations involving these same types of machines that will become legal by the end of the summer months. Over the past several years, several business owners had been indicted on charges of making illegal pay outs through machines that they had claimed to be "for entertainment purposes." One of these business owners ended up selling their establishment due to these charges.

Most recently, DuPage County's Board had actually succeeded in banning the VLT's. While the other counties are beating around the bush, DuPage had actually placed a ban on the VLTs within the unincorporated areas. The ban would allegedly cost nearly $400,000 in legal fees. While some areas within the county will have machines, others will not, and business owners in hte unincorporated areas are already up in arms, as they feel they will see a decline in business as patrons flock to the machines. Local anti-gambling activists continue to hark upon the potential dangers of gambling, in defense of the ban.

The VLTs were legalized to help fund a major project that Governor Quinn had begun. This project would include, but would not be limited to, schools, roads, mass transit, and other projects within the state. The VLTs are expected to generate hundreds of millions of dollars, all to be put toward Quinn's plan for a better future. Residents will have to wait it out, as the issue is far from resolved.

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