Rep. Rita Announces Legislative Hearings on Illinois Gaming Expansion

Legislator Schedules Hearings to Develop New Legislation for After November Election

CHICAGO – State Rep. Bob Rita will bring together two House committees for legislative hearings aimed at bringing gaming expansion and broad economic opportunity to Illinois.

Rita, D-Blue Island, has been the House Democrats’ point person on gaming issues since spring 2013. He has proposed several bills on gaming expansion, including a large amendment to Senate Bill 7 that combined new casinos, race tracks slot machines and other concepts at the end of the spring legislative session. But the bill did not muster enough support before the session ended May 31.

Rita will now lead two House subcommittees – on Gaming and on Sales and Other Taxes – to have hearings on the measure he presented at the end of the session and other gaming expansion issues such as internet gaming, fantasy sports and sports betting, in hopes of using building a consensus proposal that could be considered in Springfield after the November election. The committees will meet on Wednesday, Aug. 22, at the Bilandic Building in Chicago and on Wednesday, Oct. 3, at the Capitol in Springfield.

“As I have said from the beginning in working on this issue, gaming expansion presents many tremendous opportunities to create revenue, jobs and economic growth in Illinois,” Rita said. “The gaming landscape has changed significantly since I took on this issue five years ago, and I want to use these hearings to understand how those changes present new opportunities for us to put the right package together as we look to meet budget needs and provide a spark for our economy.”

Contact:  Ryan Keith, 217-737-7369 |  [email protected]