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This barely noticed gaming bill could be a whole lot bigger than advertised

Monday, Apr 22, 2019

* From the synopsis of SB516

Provides procedures for a riverboat to relocate to new a location. Removes provisions that describe the geographical locations certain riverboats shall be docked.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills), passed the Senate last week 44-5. Link has been pushing for a Waukegan casino pretty much ever since he was first elected.

The bill’s House sponsor is Rep. Marty Moylan (D-Des Plaines), who has the state’s most successful casino in his home town, where he used to be mayor.

* Hannah Meisel at the Daily Line

The impetus for the bill was to allow Penn Gaming, the owner of the Hollywood Casino Aurora, to move its facility to another part of the city, said State Rep. Marty Moylan (D-Des Plaines). But Moylan, the bill’s House sponsor, told The Daily Line that he felt the same opportunity should be afforded to all casinos in the state, and not just for a potential move across town.

“It’s an opportunity for some town or developer to move an existing license to another town and make it prosper,” Moylan said. […]

If a town and the casino’s existing owner agreed to revenue sharing terms, the Illinois Gaming Board would ultimately approve or disapprove the move based on the criteria laid out in the bill. […]

While Moylan is a Democrat, he opposes legalizing marijuana, and last month found 60 fellow House members to sign onto a resolution that calls for “slow[ing] the process of legalizing recreational marijuana in Illinois.” […]

“The governor says if we don’t like his revenue sources, we should find places to cut,” Moylan said. “Why not take casinos that are not doing good or are on the verge of bankruptcy and move them to Rockford or Waukegan? It would create jobs and the state would realize millions in revenue.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

19 Comments
  1. - Iggy - Monday, Apr 22, 19 @ 10:05 am:

    This is a great bill.

    1. the Hollywood casino in Joliet is in a terrible location, it is hard to find and there is no other night life near it.
    2. the Hollywood casino in Aurora has a parking lot that is 3 blocks from the casino. There is no security between the casino and the parking lot. people know this and they will skip Aurora and head to either Joliet or Elgin.
    3. The casinos on the Illinois side near St. Louis are miserable failures compared to their Missouri counterparts. the St. Louis casinos are more fun, have better infrastructure, and you can smoke inside. re locating those casinos to a different part of central or southern Illinois would be a win win for everyone.


  2. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Monday, Apr 22, 19 @ 10:15 am:

    No, no, no. We should slow this whole process down. Gambling comes with its own serious problems, and is a gateway pastime that can lead to worse things like betting on dog fights. Moving these casinos without serious, lengthy studies first being done regarding the impact to folks in Rockford or Waukegan is the wrong move. Just because a few other states have recently allowed casinos to pick up and move locations doesn’t mean Illinois should follow /s


  3. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 22, 19 @ 10:19 am:

    –” Moylan said. “Why not take casinos that are not doing good or are on the verge of bankruptcy and move them to Rockford or Waukegan?”

    Yeah, I’m guessing the first move would be to Chicago. Maybe more than one.


  4. - Roman - Monday, Apr 22, 19 @ 10:19 am:

    If this turns into a “big” gaming bill it might be used to plug the budget hole that would be caused by jettisoning JB’s pension short. I here more resistance from Dems to the pension funding games than to marijuana legalization.


  5. - OneMan - Monday, Apr 22, 19 @ 10:27 am:

    == 2. the Hollywood casino in Aurora has a parking lot that is 3 blocks from the casino. There is no security between the casino and the parking lot. people know this and they will skip Aurora and head to either Joliet or Elgin. ==

    Oh please, there is valet parking across the street yfrom the Aurora casino, there is parking across the river from the casino with a pedestrian bridge connecting the lot.

    Yes there is also a parking deck a couple of blocks away connected by a well it pedestrian bridge as well.

    The street in front of the Casino may be the safest and most patrolled blocks in all of Aurora.

    If people you know expect a guard every twenty feet in a well traveled pedestrian bridge I would strongly suggest they just cower at thome.

    If you want to see an arreal view, to see all this parking.
    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Hollywood+Casino+Aurora/@41.7594312,-88.3135639,289m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0×880efab03a0dd039:0×21f27b1cb0025891!8m2!3d41.7592847!4d-88.3133595

    Also if the goal of the bill is for the Aurora casino to move out of town then I would argue that Linda Holmes is an even worse State Senator than I have argued she is in the past, perhaps the worst ever if she is a co-sponsor of a bill to remove the Aurora casino.


  6. - OneMan - Monday, Apr 22, 19 @ 10:40 am:

    That all being said, moving it to either the old Fox Valley Mall (forget what they call it now) or right next to 88 could be a big win.


  7. - City Zen - Monday, Apr 22, 19 @ 11:06 am:

    ==3. The casinos on the Illinois side near St. Louis are miserable failures compared to their Missouri counterparts.==

    Not sure how you can fix that. ESL doesn’t have a pedestrian-friendly riverfront. There are no supporting businesses surrounding outside the complex.

    Side note - I never knew Metropolis had a casino until I stopped to visit the Superman Museum on a family road trip.


  8. - Hamlet's Ghost - Monday, Apr 22, 19 @ 11:13 am:

    The Chicago casino can be part of the new development to be built on top of the IC tracks between Columbus Avenue and Lake Shore Drive.


  9. - Chicagonk - Monday, Apr 22, 19 @ 11:19 am:

    The Chicago lawmakers need to hold back on any changes to the state gaming laws without movement on a casino in Chicago.


  10. - Roman - Monday, Apr 22, 19 @ 11:26 am:

    == The Chicago lawmakers need to hold back on any changes to the state gaming laws without movement on a casino in Chicago. ==

    That would be a foregone conclusion in the past. Now, I think a lot of rank-and-file Chicago-based members would be happy to take any new revenue, even if it left a city casino out of the mix. However, Madigan and Cullerton are a different story. They’ll want to get a chit with the new mayor.


  11. - Iggy - Monday, Apr 22, 19 @ 11:30 am:

    One man,

    I have been to the hollywood in Aurora 1 time. That one time we parked in the garage and we walked along the pedway it was dusk and it felt safe enough.

    fastforward to 11:30 when we are leaving. now we have to walk that same walk. We started our walk and very quickly an old woman ran up to us. she wanted to walk with us because she felt unsafe making that walk alone. And you know what, we all walked fast because it was late at night and it was uncomfortable.

    so yeah you are right, I could valet my car. Which I personally, am not a fan of.

    or I could take my business to Elgin, which is what I currently do. and I’m sure there are other residents of Kane county that agree with me.


  12. - PublicServant - Monday, Apr 22, 19 @ 12:48 pm:

    I’m with you Word. It’ll bring in millions in new revenue to the state, even with Rivers losing some business.


  13. - Pundent - Monday, Apr 22, 19 @ 1:19 pm:

    -“Why not take casinos that are not doing good or are on the verge of bankruptcy and move them to Rockford or Waukegan?”-

    How can an individual casino, owned by a publicly traded company, be on the verge of bankruptcy?

    I also don’t think these publicly owned casinos are going to pull up and move to Rockford or Waukegan because they’re suddenly feeling benevolent. Chicago on the other hand might be a different story.


  14. - Been There - Monday, Apr 22, 19 @ 1:26 pm:

    If this bill passes a bigger gaming bill is toast. I don’t blame Terry for trying but once existing boats move to Chicago, Waukegan and south suburbs the table will be set. Racetracks will get never get machines once that happens. They should oppose this bill or at least try to amend it.


  15. - John Bloom - Monday, Apr 22, 19 @ 2:03 pm:

    This bill was introduced as a “technical change.”
    Very misleading. Should be sidelined for that reason and that reason alone.


  16. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 22, 19 @ 2:08 pm:

    ===Very misleading. Should be sidelined for that reason===

    LOL

    You never heard of an amendment?


  17. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 22, 19 @ 7:01 pm:

    –How can an individual casino, owned by a publicly traded company, be on the verge of bankruptcy?–

    Skim.


  18. - WaukGirl - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 9:40 am:

    This explains the 100s of thousands of dollars the gaming industry recently poured into the Waukegan alderman campaign. Waukegan citizens do not want a casino. Just some of the city leaders.


  19. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 9:58 am:

    ===Waukegan citizens do not want a casino===

    Got any data on that or are you just speaking for everyone else?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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