24/7 casino operations for Illinois
The Illinois Gaming Board is considering a proposal to introduce round-the-clock casino gambling in the US state as part of a move to boost its flagging gaming industry.
The CBS network reported that a casino industry representative issued a report to the board that showed that both gaming revenues and taxes paid to the state had dropped by 35% over the last five years.
Casinos in Illinois are currently required to close for at least two hours per day.
Tom Swoike of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association said that round-the-clock operations would help to generate about $5 million (€3.8 million) more annually in tax income for the state.
“Twenty-four-hour gaming already exists in the state at the truck stops,” he added. “The state does not receive as much revenue from the truck stops as they do from the casinos because we pay at a higher tax rate.”
Those opposed to the proposal believe the current two-hour closure window is the only way to help get addicted gamblers out of casinos and have suggested that video gaming machines at truck stops should also be turned off for the same two-hour period.
Anita Bedell of Illinois Church Action told the board that problem gamblers will just stay at tables unless they are forced out of the casinos.
An Illinois Gaming Board spokesman said a decision would be made on the proposal by the end of the year.