Video gambling still stalled for now

SPRINGFIELD — If Quinn signs off on the huge gambling proposal approved by the Senate Tuesday, the Illinois Gaming Board will get the task of regulating the new system and handling the licenses for new casinos and slot machines at race tracks.

But the board already is working full throttle on getting a video gambling plan that was approved two years ago off the ground.

With that in mind, the new gambling expansion plan has provisions aimed at speeding up the last gambling expansion by allowing the gaming board to issue temporary provisional licenses for video gambling in bars and clubs.

Gaming board spokesman Gene O’Shea said the board has yet to issue applications for bars across the state that would be licensed to operate video gambling machines. The board still is working on investigations of applicants for licenses to distribute and manufacture the machines, O’Shea said. After that, they can move onto the bars themselves.

That means there’s still some time before you’ll see any video gambling machines in bars.

“We still haven’t seen any action on it,” said Sen. Terry Link, a Waukegan Democrat. “That’s been my concern.”

Thus, the provision in the new gambling plan that would give the gaming board authority to speed up the process and do the thorough background checks later.

O’Shea said he can’t comment on the pending legislation.

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