Chicago casino legislation gets gubernatorial consent

Illinois Governor Jay Robert Pritzker reportedly put his signature to legislation yesterday that will allow the city of Chicago to host a casino complete with slots and a wide range of gaming tables.

According to a report from the local Daily Herald newspaper, the Democratic governor signed Senate Bill 516 at a special Tuesday ceremony after the measure was ratified by both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly in May. This purportedly followed a lengthy process that had sought to make the envisioned venue’s tax obligations reasonable enough to help attract a potential operator.

Variable duties:

The Daily Herald reported that any new Chicago casino will now be subject to a sliding tax regime that is to see it hand over 22.5% to 77.4% of its adjusted gross annual gaming revenues from gaming tables with slots subjected to a similar system that will begin at 15% before topping out at 35%. The newspaper detailed that such an arrangement could see the state of Illinois earn up to $1.2 billion every year that is to be used to help fund Pritzker’s vaunted ‘Rebuild Illinois’ capital improvements program.

Additional assistance:

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot reportedly told the Daily Herald that her city is to also receive a share of these tax proceeds, which are to be utilized to assist with the funding of its police and firefighter pension programs. The newspaper explained that the legislation moreover sets aside a portion of these revenues to assist with the enhancement of the criminal justice system of Cook County.

Reportedly read a statement from Pritzker…

“Working with the General Assembly and Mayor Lightfoot, we accomplished what eluded so many others and now this momentous legislation tackles key priorities for the state of Illinois; helping to ensure that Chicago can pay for first responders’ pensions and alleviate the burden on property taxpayers along with investing in universities and hospitals throughout the state. Thousands of Illinoisans will be working on these projects, earning a good living that will support their families as we do the important work of rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and investing in the future.”

Fair fun:

The Daily Herald reported that Senate Bill 516 additionally authorizes the Illinois Department of Agriculture to run video gambling machines at the Illinois State Fair and DuQuoin State Fair under three-year contracts for the benefit of local capital improvement and harness racing programs.