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Gambling Expansion....My Take

The State of Illinois is in a pinch. They are facing record budget deficits in the midst of a revenue-poor economy. One recent reaction has been to propose an expansion of gaming in many varieties. Some say more casino licenses need to be issued. Others are calling for the expansion of video slots or bar/restaurant gaming machines.

The previous City Council sold this new casino (our 10th license) as an opportunity to generate large amounts of revenue. Infrastructure improvements, debt relief, city sticker elimination....all were discussed as reasons for attracting this new casino. That was the deal. The residents bear with the headache and stigma and in exchange their town makes real investments. Let me be clear....any expansion in Illinois gaming -- more casinos or otherwise -- will have an negative impact on our casino's ability to generate the projected gaming revenue. It's a zero-sum game: every dollar spent on an a video slot at Arlington Park will be one (potential) dollar not spent at the Des Plaines Casino. As a community, we need to oppose any future expansion, as our sacrifice in hosting the 10th casino will only bear fruit if the commodity stay's scarce.

Here's a news article from yesterday's Daily Herald: Daily Herald Article 06/01/09

Today's Daily Herald sums up my comments from the meeting: Daily Herald Article 06/02/09

Have some thoughts on the topic? Take a look at The Discussion ...let's talk about it.

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