Seven Illinois Supreme Court justices voted unanimously Monday to support a multi-billion dollar jobs program that will be funded by increased taxes on services and products and the addition of as many as 30,000 slot machines in many of the state’s restaurants and bars.
The construction program was strongly supported by Gov. Pat Quinn, despite his well documented strong aversion to increased gambling in his state. But if Illinois has served as an example for other states looking to pass legislation, the key is breaking up the proposal into several pieces to obtain support vote by vote.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the Illinois gambling expansion proposal was deliberately constructed in separate parts for clarity and ease of voting, it seems that strategy is beginning to pay off.
Approval has already been given from The Supreme Court for video gambling. Video gambling would have hit a major snag had the Supreme Court ruled the construction program unconstitutional. Now video gambling is set to have an increasing presence in Illinois bars.
There are still hurdles in the way of full gambling expansion in the state but supporters of the casino bill have made it clear that if Quinn begins picking and choosing from the various proposals and projects in the bill that he is bound to lose backers from the snubbed districts.
As for the video gambling ruling, it still requires approval from the Illinois Gaming Board. But with the backing of the Supreme Court ruling, it could place more pressure on the Gaming Board to give it’s stamp of approval, particularly with millions of dollars in tax revenue at stake.