12/02/2010 12:04PM

Illinois Senate approves slot machines at racetracks


The Illinois Senate has passed a bill that would legalize slot machines at the state’s six racetracks, including Hawthorne Park and Arlington Park, but the bill faces an uncertain future in the state’s House and guarded opposition from Gov. Pat Quinn.

In addition to allowing 1,200 slot machines each at state tracks, the bill would authorize four more riverboat casinos in Illinois and a land-based casino in Chicago. The legislation would also allow the state’s nine existing casinos to add 800 more slot machines each over the next two years.

The Senate passed the bill on Wednesday by a vote of 31-20, but the House recessed the same day and is not expected back until the beginning of 2011. The House is expected to hold several more lame-duck sessions before the swearing-in of the state’s new legislators. After the new legislators take office, bills will have to be reintroduced to pass.

Even if the bill passes the House, Gov. Pat Quinn has said that he cannot support a massive expansion of gambling in the state, despite a $15 billion budget deficit.