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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 7, July 2011, Posted On: 6/21/2011

IL Gov. Floats 'Opt-In' Plan For VLTs

Marcus Webb
Pat Quinn, SB 744, Illinois casino bill, Illinois gambling bill, slot machines, amusement business, amusement machine, amusement machine operator, Illinois Video Gaming Act, video lottery terminal, VLT, video poker machine, Illinois Coin Machine Operators Association

SPRINGFIELD, IL -- Gov. Pat Quinn has informed lawmakers that he is considering changing the Video Gaming Act of 2009 from an "opt-out" status for individual jurisdictions to an "opt-in" requirement for cities, counties and towns to permit licensed, operator-run video poker.

According to a story in the Chicago Sun-Times, Quinn floated the idea in a closed-door meeting with legislators on June 16.

Quinn was an enthusiastic backer of the Video Gaming Act when it passed but has backed away from it somewhat after 80 communities rejected video gaming. The Illinois Coin Machine Operators Association had lobbied for legalization and regulation of VLTs for 20 years.

Enactment of the Video Gaming Act is suspended, pending a verdict from the state Supreme Court. The high court heard arguments on May 17 that the VGA was improperly passed as part of a package of unrelated bills. If the court affirms those arguments, the Illinois Assembly might have to amend the VGA or pass it again as standalone legislation. | SEE STORY

Quinn has not yet signed or vetoed a casino bill that passed the Assembly in May of this year. If it becomes law, the measure will allow five new casinos in the state, potentially dealing a lethal blow to VLTs. | SEE STORY

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