Illinois gambling regulators fear a controversial video poker bill, which was approved 81-26 Wednesday, will allow the operators of illegal machines to stay in business throughout the state.
The measure, which expands on the General Assembly’s legalization of video gambling in bars and restaurants last year, now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn for final approval.
The legislation seeks to curtail the Illinois Gaming Board’s power to deny licenses. The legislation would require a felony conviction on gambling charges before the gaming board could deny a license to operate video gambling machines in Illinois. The gaming board’s chairman, Aaron Jaffe, has criticized the measure as a “disaster” for gambling enforcement in Illinois.