Video Gambling Hasn’t Helped Illinois

By Richard Nelson


February 1, 2019

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Expanded gambling is often proposed as a solution to fix a state's budget deficit. This has been the case for Kentucky. For years we've been told that if we'd legalize casino gambling, tax them and just like magic, a new and easy revenue source appears. Not so fast.  According to  a new report by ProPublica about the promises made to Illinois' politicians by the gambling lobby, it appears the casino proponents overpromised and underdelivered. ProPublica's report is called  “The Bad Bet: How Illinois Bet on Video Gambling and Lost.”  It analyzes six years of data, and "found that far from helping to pull the state out of its financial tailspin, the legalization of video gambling instead accelerated it and saddled Illinois with new, unfunded regulatory and social costs." 


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Director, Commonwealth Policy Center