Historic gaming expansion package signed into law

The Rockford area will soon see the benefits of a historic gaming expansion package due to legislation sponsored by State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) and signed into law by Governor Pritzker.

“For 15 years, we have been working tirelessly to bring this gaming legislation to fruition and pave the way for a development of a casino in the Rockford area,” said Sen. Syverson, co-sponsor of the bill. “The authorization of casino developments across the state will keep critical entertainment dollars in Illinois, attract visitors and generate millions in new revenue.”

Senate Bill 690 authorizes casinos in Rockford, Lake County, Chicago, suburban South Cook County, Danville, and Carterville. The measure would also allow the phase-in of sports betting, which was recently approved by the US Supreme Court. The gaming package also makes changes to video gaming rules, including allowing all video gaming establishments to install one additional video gaming machine and large truck stops along the interstate to install up to 10 video gaming machines. 

“For more than a decade, I’ve watched as surrounding states have built or proposed casinos, enticing our residents and siphoning critical revenue from Illinois,” said Syverson. “These were critical dollars that should have been kept in state to benefit Illinois and its residents.”

Just last year, over $1.5 billion left Illinois to go to the five surrounding states and their gaming industry.

“By passing gaming expansion, we’ve taken the fundamental first step toward keeping funds in state and generating a new source of revenue for Rockford and Winnebago County,” said Syverson. “This legislation will also mean thousands of new construction positions and full-time jobs across the state after the casinos are opened.”

The gaming expansion proposal is expected to bring in approximately $360 million for Fiscal Year 2020 and $170 million in the recurring years following.

“The revenue generated from gaming will be used to help rebuild the states crumbling infrastructure, making a significant investment in Illinois and our roadways,” said Syverson. “I want to thank the Governor for finally helping us get this important piece of legislation over the finish line.”

Dave Syverson

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