Friday, April 01, 2005

More Gambling In Illinois

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has proposed to double the number of slot machines and table games at Illinois casinos in a bid to raise $300 million in new revenue for the state’s school systems.

The Chicago Sun Times reports that:
More money from gambling would help boost per-pupil spending by $240, bringing it up to $5,204 per student in the fall. Blagojevich earlier this year proposed only a $45 per-pupil increase that education officials statewide quickly dismissed as insufficient.

The governor insisted that more gambling at existing casinos isn't the same as building new casinos -- an assertion gambling opponents dispute. He made it clear he would veto any plans for new casinos, including one in Chicago that [Chicago] Mayor Daley has coveted.

Illinois state law now caps casinos at 1,200 positions apiece. Currently about 11,000 positions are utilized. Illinois is the only state to cap the number of slots and seats at table games that casinos can have.

The authors of the Yellow line continue to support increased investment in education, but is it really wise to gamble that this plan will be successful?


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