A bill that would expand gambling to help pay for new schools passed in a House committee today.
The measure, sponsored by Rep. Frank Mautino, a Spring Valley Democrat, would allow establishments where liquor is served, fraternal organizations, veterans' clubs and truck stops to have video gaming machines such as video poker. Many places already have the machines, but they can't legally pay out winnings. If approved, the state would require establishments that offered video poker to be licensed and would legalize betting on the games. The machines also would be taxed, with revenue going toward school construction projects and local governments.
Mautino said he did not make racetracks or off-track betting facilities eligible to operate video poker machines because he wanted to keep the bill simple in hopes of increasing its chances of passage. “For years this bill has been around, and it gets involved in the giant end-of-session bills, which usually collapse under their own weight,” he said.
Here's a break down of some of the numbers associated with the measure:
- 25 percent The percentage of net profits from the video gaming machines that would be taxed.
- 20 percent The amount that would go toward building schools.
- 5 percent The amount that would go to local governments.
- $2 The maximum wager per hand.
- $500 The maximum payout per hand.
- 21 The minimum age to play.
- $5,000 The maximum fine an establishment would pay for allowing someone under 21 to gamble.
- 25 The percent of licensing fees and fines that would go toward treating gambling addiction.
- 75 The percent that would go toward regulating the process.
House Speaker Michael Madigan said last week that he does not want to consider any gaming expansions this session.