The Southern Editorial Board Backs Lou Lang’s Bill to Add Slots at Illinois Horse-Race Tracks

(Skokie, IL) — The Southern newspaper editorial board yesterday ran an editorial endorsing House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang‘s legislation to add slot machines at Illinois horse-race tracks to boost the industry’s declining fortunes due to out of state track competitors which have slots.

Our View: Slot machines should be allowed at horse racing venues in Chicagoland to keep gambling revenue in Illinois and to revive a threatened horse racing industry.

Gambling generates significant revenue for the state of Illinois and host communities, but there are legitimate questions about the resulting financial and social costs of legal wagering – bankruptcies, foreclosures, broken families and ruined careers for problem gamblers.

Is it worth the cost? That’s a debatable point and, for that reason, this newspaper generally hasn’t championed plans for expanded gambling in Illinois. But there is a piece of legislation pending in Springfield that would both expand gambling opportunities, though not to a great extent, and is worth supporting.

House Bill 3107 would allow horse race tracks in the Chicago area to have slot machines. A similar bill failed last year, but the same sponsor, state Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, is trying again. Lang believes the plan would create up to 1,500 jobs and rake in up to $400 million for the state.

Read the rest of editorial here …

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