Letter: SB 1738 hides video gambling information from the public


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Posted Online: April 25, 2013, 3:05 pm
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For many years organized crime profited from illegal video gambling machine operations in Illinois. The chairman of the Illinois Gaming Board said it was "almost impossible: to keep the mob out of video gambling. That is why transparency is needed now that the machines are legal.

Currently, monthly Video Gambling reports issued and posted on the Illinois Gaming Board website list the names of establishment, amount of money gambled, amount won, net wagering activity, state and municipality's share of taxes.

SB 1738 prohibits the board from disseminating information relating to video gambling specific to individual locations, and only allows information aggregated based on the municipality or county.

It is important for the public to see how much money is being gambled and lost at each establishment.

Without this transparency, we are concerned money laundering and organized crime will gain a foothold. Riverboat casinos must reveal monthly financial information, and so should video gambling establishments.

Establishments are getting 35 percent of the revenue from video gambling (municipalities get 5 percent), and these funds could pay for security measures. Video gambling establishments need to take responsibility to safeguard the funds in their establishments such as making daily or twice a day deposits, contracting with an armored car for delivery to banks, installing surveillance equipment, or hiring security staff.

Lawmakers should not change the law to prevent the public from knowing how much money is LOST and how much profit video gambling interests are making at each location. We call upon the governor, attorney general and legislators to safeguard the public and oppose SB 1738 to suppress video gambling information.


Anita Bedell,
executive director,
Illinois Church Action
on Alcohol & Addiction Problems

















 



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