The state of Illinois has bills to pay just like every other state. Much like other states, Illinois is looking to a way for expanded casino gambling to bail out the budget.
On Saturday, major gambling expansion was approved by the state Senate. If approved by the House, the gambling expansion would make the state of Illinois a major player in the casino gambling industry.
A construction program to bring more schools, bridges, and new roads in the state would be the beneficiary of the gambling expansion. In addition to allowing current casinos to expand, the plan also creates two new major advancements in casino gambling.
Slot machines would be allowed at race tracks in the state, and a new casino would also be built in downtown Chicago. The Senate passed the plan overwhelmingly, by a 32-18 vote.
Getting the House to approve the plan will be the hard part. The hope is that the hard economic times will force the House to consider the plan. It will bring much needed jobs and revenue to the state. The construction plans must move forward, but without revenue money from the casinos, it will be nearly impossible.
The Senate was not only looking to improve the state’s casino gambling on Saturday. They also passed a Bill that would privatize the state lottery. Both Bills, HB2651, and HB 1496, now move on to the House.
Payday lending, predatory mortgage loans, overdraft fees, high interest rates, an economy nearing recession, are all issues the Financial Services Committee must hold the banking sectors accountable for at the moment. At the same time the banking institutions must determine what illegal Internet gambling is, block those transactions, thus imposing penalties to customers of theirs. This, to American Banking Association Vice President, Wayne Abernathy, is ridiculous.
Mr. Ted Kitada from Wells Fargo stated in his testimony at the Hearing for the Proposed UIGEA Regulations that his company completes more than 30 million transactions a day and deciphering which of those 30 million transactions would be illegal Internet gambling transactions would be not only cumbersome, but also a major hindrance to the quality of service his company offers its customers.
Each of the banking witnesses at today’s second portion of the Financial Services Committee Hearing agreed that if forced to comply with this law the banking systems would likely block any transaction that may appear illegal, even if, in fact, it was perfectly legal.
Barney Frank pointed out that if a customer’s legal transactions are blocked by their banks or credit card companies, it could have an adverse effect on the competition of American banking systems with the rest of the world’s banking systems. ABA representative, Wayne Abernathy, agreed that enforcing this law could weaken America’s competitive advantages over international banks.
The key to Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL), chairman of the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade and Technology, was not so much whether this all could or could not be efficiently done and enforced, but rather, that the Congress, through the UIGEA, had put the burden of policing the people on banks, when in fact, the government should be policing the banks.