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News Summary

Illinois Senate backs casino expansion

Publication Date: 9/19/2007
  • Author:Kevin McDermott
  • Publication:St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The Illinois Senate passed a gaming expansion bill late Tuesday that would create three new casinos and allow existing boats to host more gamblers in order to raise money for a $12 billion statewide construction program.

Although the move could ultimately mean more gaming tables for the Casino Queen and the Argosy Casino at Alton, gamers still won't be able to smoke at those tables. An attempt to exempt the casinos from next year's statewide smoking ban was gutted from the bill at the last minute, out of fear by sponsors that controversy over it could sink the whole package.

Even without the smoking exemption, the measure may not ultimately stay afloat. It still faces debate in the Illinois House, where gaming expansion remains a controversial topic.