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HomeBusinessBedell: Tell Illinois Legislators to reject more bad bets

Bedell: Tell Illinois Legislators to reject more bad bets



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By Anita Bedell –

Governor Pritzker wants the Illinois General Assembly to immediately legalize Internet and Sports Gambling. 

The last time Legislators moved quickly to pass a massive expansion of gambling,  the State began borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars against the anticipated revenue, according to ProPublica ‘s investigative report, How Illinois Bet on Video Gambling and LostIt took eight years before the State collected the minimum amount expected from video gambling, and was $1.3 Billion short of what lawmakers expected.

Almost 31,000 video gambling machines are now operating in 6,800 neighborhood establishments.  Municipalities have enacted moratoriums, banned or limited video gambling parlors, and increased fees to pay for costs. 

Legalizing Internet and Sports Gambling will expand gambling in homes and on mobile devices and cell phones.  Access to sporting events worldwide 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, makes gambling just a touch away and fuels gambling addiction. 

Underage gambling could also increase.  There are 25,000 children aged 11-16 who are pathological gamblers in the United Kingdom, where Internet and sports gambling is legal.  One 13 year old boy used his phone to take a picture of his Dad’s company credit card and set up an account to gamble in a matter of minutes.

More than one-fifth of 18-24 year olds in the UK are gambling at work.    About 15% of the men who are gambling have set up 5 gambling accounts.  Recently, a 20 year old man withdrew over $2,500 every few minutes from PayPal and lost over $195,000 gambling in one night.

People check their cell phones frequently throughout the day, and gambling apps entice them to gamble.    Gambling companies target young people with free spins, free sports bets for trying casino games, and multiple “nudges” to bet.

Gambling is an unstable source of revenue.  Tell Legislators to reject more bad bets!

Anita Bedell is Executive Director of Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems


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  1. Dangle a shiny object in front of their eyes (like “anticipated revenue”) and see common sense, logic, and past history fly out the window.
    The sad part is: when the day of reckoning comes, most of the legislators who passed this stuff will be dead, or out of office and moved out of Illinois.

  2. Thanks Anita!
    Governor Pritzker does not want to address the root cause of their financial problems: A pension system run amok ($130 billion in the red) that caters to the unions. Instead they turn to gambling expansion, legalization of pot, more borrowing and who knows what next. Legalizing prostitution?
    Very soon in Illinois you will be able to smoke a joint while you play the slots just so Illinois can take their cut of the profit, while families get ruined in the process. On their way how from the casino or video gambling cafe some will kill some innocent poor soul on the road because they are driving impaired. Some will put their innocent family severely in debt. Some will steal or extort from their employer or friends. Some will commit suicide. Society will all pay the price.