At Issue #2824 – Gambling

At Issue #2824 – Gambling


[MUSIC]
>>>WELCOME TO “AT ISSUE.”
MY NAME IS H. WAYNE WILSON.
WE ARE GLAD THAT YOU WITH US.
THE NEXT HALF HOUR YOU’LL HEAR
ABOUT GAMBLING IN ILLINOIS.
IT HAS BEEN GROWING AND GROWING
AND GROWING.
WHERE IS THE END? WHO BENEFITS
AND WHO IS BEING HURT BY THE
EXPANSION OF GAMBLING IN THE
STATE OF ILLINOIS?
TO HAVE THAT CONVERSATION, I
WELCOME TO THE TABLE, AS I HAVE
MANY TIMES BEFORE, DAVE LEITCH.
DAVE IS THE STATE REPRESENTATIVE
FROM PEORIA.
HE IS A REPUBLICAN IN HIS LAST
TERM AFTER HOW MANY YEARS?
>>28.
>>28 YEARS.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING WITH
US.
>>THANK YOU.
>>AND TOM SWOIK IS HERE.
TOM IS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF
THE ILLINOIS CASINO GAMING
ASSOCIATION.
THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.
>>YES, SIR.
>>WE PROBABLY SHOULD POINT OUT
PRIOR TO YOUR STINT WITH THE
CASINOS GAMING ASSOCIATION, YOU
WERE ACTUALLY ON THE REGULATORY
BODY.
>>YES.
I WAS MEMBER STAFF WITH ILLINOIS
GAMING BOARD.
>>SO HE COMES WITH TWO
DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES FOR US
WHICH WE APPRECIATE. THANK YOU
SO MUCH.
SO BEFORE WE GET INTO WHERE WE
ARE WITH GAMING RIGHT NOW, MAYBE
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY, TOM,
WOULD BE APPROPRIATE.
>>OKAY.
WELL, I AM NOT SURE EXACTLY WHEN
RACING BEGAN IN ILLINOIS, BUT I
BELIEVE IT HAS BEEN OVER A
HUNDRED YEARS THAT PEOPLE HAVE
BEEN ALLOWED IN THE STATE TO BET
ON RACING.
AND THEN IN 1974, I BELIEVE JULY
OF 1974, THE LOTTERY BILL
PASSED, AND WE STARTED A STATE
LOTTERY.
IN 1990, RIVERBOAT GAMBLING ACT
PASSED, AND THE FIRST CASINO
OPENED IN SEPTEMBER OF 1991.
SINCE THEN, THERE HASN’T BEEN A
WHOLE LOT OF GROWTH.
THERE HAVE BEEN SOME THINGS WITH
CHARITABLE GAMES AND BINGO AND
PULL PADS AND THOSE KIND OF
THINGS.
THERE HAVE BEEN ATTEMPTS AT
INTERNET GAMING WHICH SO FAR
HAVE BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL.
I BELIEVE IN 2010, ‘9 OR ’10,
VIDEO GAMING ACT WAS PASSED AND
FIRST VIDEO MACHINES BECAME
OPERATIONAL IN 2011 TO 2012.
>>AND HE MENTIONED INTERNET.
WHAT ABOUT THIS ONLINE GAMBLING
IN ILLINOIS, EXPERIMENTAL, THREE
YEAR LIMIT THAT EXPIRES AT THE
END OF THIS MONTH, IS THERE
ANYTHING THAT MIGHT SAVE IT FROM
HITTING SUNSET?
>>I AM NOT FAMILIAR WITH THAT
BILL, FRANKLY.
>>BECAUSE MIGHT NOT BE A BILL
THAT I KNOW OF.
>>I AM NOT —
>>IT TERMINATES.
>>IT IS NOT ON MY RADAR SCREEN.
>>MARCH 25.
>>OH, OKAY.
>>ARE YOU NOT BACK IN SESSION
BEFORE THEN?
>>(LAUGHING) WELL, WE ARE BACK
IN SESSION NEXT MONTH.
APRIL.
>>MARCH 25 IS UPON US.
LET’S TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT
VIDEO GAMING BECAUSE THAT’S THE
MOST RECENT ONE.
WHY WAS IT THAT AFTER YEARS AND
YEARS OF DISCUSSION ABOUT
WHETHER THERE SHOULD BE VIDEO
GAMING, WHY DO YOU THINK IT
PASSED?
IT TOOK AWHILE FOR IT TO BE
IMPLEMENTED.
WHAT WAS THE CHANGE?
>>WELL, I THINK IT WOUND UP AS
FUNDING SOURCE IN THE CAPITAL
BILL, CAPITAL PROJECTS BILL.
I MEAN I WAS STUNNED WHEN IT
SHOWED UP IN THERE BECAUSE, FOR
YEARS, VIDEO GAMBLING HAD NOT
BEEN CONSIDERED AN APPROPRIATE
STATE REVENUE SOURCE BECAUSE OF
CONCERNS ABOUT THE MOB IN
CHICAGO RUNNING IT.
ALL OF A SUDDEN, SHOWED UP IN
THE CAPITAL BILL, AND IT HAS
JUST SKYROCKETED EVER SINCE.
>>HOW MUCH VIDEO GAMING EXISTS
IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS?
>>WELL, AS OF THE END OF
FEBRUARY, I BELIEVE THERE IS
LIKE 22,600 PLUS MACHINES IN THE
STATE, 5300 BUSINESSES.
THAT’S EQUIVALENT — CASINOS ARE
LIMITED TO 1200 GAMING POSITIONS
AT EACH CASINO.
SO THAT’S SAME AS HAVING
ADDITIONAL 19 CASINOS AROUND THE
STATE.
IF YOU LOOK AT THE STATISTICS, I
BELIEVE IT IS SOMEWHERE IN THE
NEIGHBORHOOD OF THERE IS A
GAMING POSITION IN ILLINOIS FOR
EVERY 350 TO 400 ADULTS OVER THE
AGE OF 21.
WE HAVE GOT TWICE AS MANY
LICENSED FACILITIES IN ILLINOIS
AS ALL OF NEVADA.
WE HAVE GOT 75% AS MANY GAMES AS
LAS VEGAS STRIP IN ILLINOIS.
>>HAVE WE HIT A SATURATION
POINT?
>>I WOULD THINK SO, AT LEAST
TWO BILLION DOLLARS HAVE BEEN
GENERATED FROM VIDEO GAMING TO
DATE.
AND 30% OF IT IS TAXED, AND FIVE
SIXTHS OF THAT IS DIRECTED TO
THE — TO SUPPORT THE BONDS ON
THE CAPITAL PROJECTS BOND ISSUE,
AND THE REST OF IT GOES TO LOCAL
COMMUNITIES.
AND I THINK, YES, I THINK WE
HAVE HIT SATURATION BECAUSE A
LOT OF THE BOATS ARE LAYING OFF
PEOPLE, NOTABLY HERE AT THE
PARADISE.
AND I THINK A LOT OF THE BOATS
HAVE BEEN ASKING FOR RELIEF FROM
SOME OF THE EXPANSIONS THAT HAVE
OCCURRED.
>>TOM, REPRESENTING THE CASINOS
GAMING ASSOCIATION, YOU
REPRESENT THE RIVER BOATS.
>>YES, SIR.
>>HOW MUCH IMPACT HAS VIDEO
GAMING AND VIDEO GAMING
TERMINALS HAD ON THE RIVER BOATS
IN ILLINOIS?
>>IT IS A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT.
WHAT WE FOUND IS THAT OVER THE
LAST THREE OR FOUR YEARS NOW
THAT’S BEEN IN OPERATION —
ACTUALLY JUST FINISHED THE FULL
FIRST FULL THREE YEARS OF
OPERATION, OUR ADMISSIONS ARE
DOWN A LITTLE OVER THREE MILLION
DURING THAT TIME PERIOD. BUT
WHAT IS EVEN MORE SIGNIFICANT,
AND THE VIDEO GAME NUMBERS
INCREASED AS TIME HAS GONE
ALONG.
WE HAVE DROPPED TWO MILLION IN
ADMISSIONS JUST THIS LAST YEAR.
SO WE WENT FROM ABOUT 14, ALMOST
15 MILLION ADMISSIONS IN YEAR TO
JUST UNDER 13 MILLION.
WHAT THAT MEANS IS THAT THE
RIVER BOATS PAY ADMISSION TAX OF
THREE DOLLARS FOR EVERYBODY THAT
GOES THROUGH THE TURNSTILE.
LOCAL COMMUNITY GETS A DOLLAR OF
THAT.
THE STATE GETS TWO DOLLARS OF
THAT.
A LOT OF PEOPLE SAID THAT IT
JUST DOESN’T MAKE SENSE THAT
PEOPLE ARE NOT GOING TO THE
RIVER BOATS AND DOING — AND ARE
GOING TO THE VIDEO GAMING
PARLORS.
BUT WHEN YOU HAVE 13 AND A HALF
PERCENT DROP THIS ADMISSIONS,
THEY ARE GOING SOME PLACE.
WE ARE NOT CREATING A WHOLE LOT
OF NEW GAMBLERS. SO IT HAD A
SIGNIFICANT IMPACT.
OUR REVENUES ARE DOWN.
SINCE 2007 WAS THE BEST YEAR THE
CASINOS IN ILLINOIS EVER HAD.
AT THAT TIME, WE ONLY HAD NINE.
DES PLAINES RIVER, RIVERBOAT HAD
NOT OPENED YET.
SINCE 2007, OUR REVENUES ARE
DOWN 48.9%.
WE DROPPED ABOUT HALF.
ORIGINAL CAUSE OF THAT WAS
SMOKING BAN IN 2008.
WE WENT DOWN ABOUT 21%,
20.9 PERCENT TO BE EXACT THE.
SINCE THEN WE HAVE DROPPED
ANOTHER 28% AND OVER THE LAST
THREE YEARS SINCE VIDEO, THE
DROPS HAVE INCREASED.
>>LET’S LOOK AT THE SMOKING
BAN.
WE HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT THAT
SMOKING BAN WENT INTO EFFECT IN
’08.
>>YES, THAT’S CORRECT.
>>BUT THE ECONOMY AT THE END OF
’08, THAT WAS THE GREAT
RECESSION.
SO HOW DO YOU MEASURE WHETHER
THE SMOKING BAN HAS IMPACTED OR
NOT WHEN YOU KNOW THE ECONOMY
COLLAPSED?
>>I AM GLAD YOU ASKED THAT
QUESTION BECAUSE I HAVE TRIED TO
EXPLAIN THIS MANY, MANY TIMES AT
THE CAPITOL.
THE ECONOMY REALLY STARTED TO
FALL IN THE LAST QUARTER, LITTLE
BIT IN THE THIRD QUARTER, BUT
MOSTLY LAST QUARTER OF 2008.
OUR REVENUES, AGAIN, WENT DOWN
20.9%.
GAMING REVENUES IN INDIANA WENT
DOWN ABOUT 4%, GAMING REVENUES
IN MISSOURI WENT DOWNY THINK
BETWEEN 3 AND 4%.
GAMING REVENUES IN IOWA ACTUALLY
WENT UP LESS THAN 1%.
THE ONLY OTHER STATE IN THE
NATION THAT HAD A DOUBLE DIGIT
LOSS ON GAMING REVENUES DURING
THAT TIME WAS COLORADO.
THEY WENT DOWN 17.6 OR
8 PERCENT.
THEY ALSO WERE THE ONLY OTHER
STATE IN THE NATION THAT ALSO
IMPLEMENTED A SMOKING BAN ON
JANUARY 1, 2008.
SO THE MOST SIGNIFICANT THING
THAT YEAR, EVEN THOUGH THE
ECONOMY STARTED TO FAIL WAS THE
SMOKING BAN WENT INTO EFFECT.
AFTER 2008, REVENUES STILL
CONTINUED TO DECREASE, OBVIOUSLY
A LOT SLOWER RATE THAN ALMOST
21% DURING THE YEAR.
IT IS VERY CLEAR THAT THAT’S
EXACTLY WHAT HAD THE IMPACT.
WHAT WE FOUND WAS THAT TWO
THINGS HAPPENED: PEOPLE WENT
TO OTHER STATES THAT HAD
SMOKING, AND MISSOURI, IOWA AND
INDIANA STILL HAVE SMOKING IN
THE CASINOS.
OTHER THING IS THAT PEOPLE WERE
SPENDING LESS TIME GAMBLING.
THEY WOULD GO IN IF THEY WON A
JACKPOT, THEY WOULD WAIT FOR THE
PAYOUT.
THEY WOULD SAY “HEY, YOU KNOW, I
AM GOING TO WIN, AND I AM GOING
TO LEAVE.”
SECOND THING IS THEY WOULD GO
HAVE A CIGARETTE.
IF THEY WERE THERE FOR THREE
HOURS, THEY MAY SPEND 30 MINUTES
OF IT SMOKING.
THERE IS A HIGH CORRELATION
BETWEEN SMOKERS AND GAMBLING FOR
SOME REASON.
DO YOU RECALL ANY CONVERSATION
ON THE HOUSE FLOOR OR AMONGST
YOUR FELLOW REPRESENTATIVES
REGARDING THE IMPACT THAT THE
SMOKING BAN MADE?
>>I DID.
THERE WAS A VERY BIG QUESTION ON
THE PART OF MANY OF US OVER
WHETHER THE SMOKING BILL EVEN
APPLIED TO CASINOS.
FUNDAMENTALLY, THE SMOKING BILL
BAN BILL HAS BEEN GENERALLY
RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF THE MOST
POORLY WRITTEN BILLS THAT WAS
EVER ADOPTED IN THE GENERAL
ASSEMBLY.
THAT’S KIND OF INSIDE BASEBALL.
BUT THAT BILL HAD ALL KINDS OF
FLAWS AND CONTRADICTIONS WITHIN
IT WHICH MADE IT VERY CONFUSING
UNTO ITSELF.
SO THE ATTEMPTS TO IMPLEMENT THE
BILL WERE ALSO VERY CONFUSING,
AND THE RULE MAKING FOR IT WAS
VERY CONTROVERSIAL AS A
CONSEQUENCE, AND THE WHOLE —
THE WHOLE MATTER WAS QUITE A BIG
MESS.
BUT I RECALL MANY OF US WERE
VERY SURPRISED THAT THE BILL
EXTENDED TO CASINOS BECAUSE —
AND SUBSEQUENTLY THERE WERE
EFFORTS TO REVERSE THAT.
BUT WERE NOT SUCCESSFUL.
I DON’T THINK THE PEOPLE AT THE
TIME WHO VOTED FOR THE BILL
THOUGHT THEY WERE APPLYING THE
BILL TO CASINOS.
>>WHEN THE VIDEO GAMING WAS
PASSED, WAS THERE EVER A
DISCUSSION ABOUT THE IMPACT IT
WOULD HAVE ON THE LOTTERY OR THE
RIVER BOATS?
>>I DON’T RECALL VERY MUCH.
I THINK IT ALL HAPPENED SO
QUICKLY.
I THINK THE PACKAGE TO FUND THE
BOND BILL WHICH INCLUDED THE
VIDEO GAMING PIECE GOT PUT
TOGETHER VERY QUICKLY AND WAS
PASSED RELATIVELY QUICKLY, AND
THERE REALLY WAS VERY LITTLE
DISCUSSION ABOUT EACH OF THE
REVENUE SOURCES TO PAYOFF THE
BOND.
THAT’S THE WAY I RECALL IT.
I MEAN IT WENT THROUGH VERY, IN
A VERY SPEEDY FASHION.
AND I DON’T BELIEVE IT DID HAVE
ANYWHERE NEAR THE ATTENTION OR
DEBATE OR DISCUSSION OF THE
IMPLICATIONS FOR PASSING THE
VIDEO GAMBLING PEACE OF THAT.
BUT IT MOVED VERY QUICKLY.
TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS, NO, I
DON’T THINK THERE WAS ANY REALLY
SIGNIFICANT DISCUSSION ON
MATTER.
TOM MAY BE AWARE OF SOMETHING
DIFFERENT, BUT THAT’S, FROM MY
PERSPECTIVE. I NEVER ENCOUNTERED
IT.
>>I THINK YOU ARE RIGHT.
I THINK IT MOVED SO QUICKLY THAT
WE HAD A LOT OF LEGISLATION
BEING INTRODUCED THAT YEAR FOR
GAMING EXPANSION IN VARIOUS
AREAS, AND WE WERE CONCENTRATING
A LOT ON THOSE AREAS.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE WERE
ABLE TO AT LEAST GET INTO THE
VIDEO GAMING ACT WAS LIMITATION
OF FIVE MACHINES PER
ESTABLISHMENT.
I BELIEVE THE ORIGINAL BILL, I
AM NOT SURE THERE WAS ANYTHING
IN THEREABOUT A LIMIT.
SO WE LOOKED A THE WHAT OUR
STATES WERE DOING AND SAW
BASICALLY THEY HAD MINI CASINOS
POPPING UP. WE GOT
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FIVE.
>>I’D LIKE BOTH OF YOU TO
ADDRESS THIS ISSUE, BUT THE
QUESTION IS HAVE WE HIT A
SATURATION POINT WITH GAMBLING,
AND, YET, WE SEE THAT BOB RITA
INTRODUCED TWO SEPARATE BILLS,
ONE WOULD ALLOW A CASINO IN
CHICAGO, AND THE SECOND SEPARATE
BILL WOULD ALLOW A CASINO IN
CHICAGO, AND FOUR OTHER CASINOS,
PLUS SLOTS AT HORSE RACING
TRACKS.
>>I WILL SAVE THE QUESTION OF
WHAT IS THE CHANCE OF THAT
PASSING FOR THE REPRESENTATIVE,
BUT HOW DO YOU VIEW, AS
REPRESENTING THE RIVER BOATS,
WHAT IS YOUR VIEW OF THAT BILL?
>>YOU KNOW, IT IS INTERESTING.
>>RIVER BOATS?
>>ABSOLUTELY.
ABSOLUTELY.
IT IS INTERESTING BECAUSE THREE,
FOUR YEARS AGO WHEN LARGE GAMING
EXPANSIONS BILLS WERE
INTRODUCED, AND A COUPLE PASSED
AND LATER VETOED BY THE
GOVERNOR, WE WERE OPPOSED TO THE
OVERALL LARGE EXPANSION MOSTLY
BECAUSE IT WAS GOING TO PUT
SLOTS AT RACETRACKS.
THERE ARE FIVE OPERATING
RACETRACKS IN THE STATE OF
ILLINOIS.
THERE IS ONE THAT HASN’T BEEN
OPERATIONAL FOR A LONG TIME, BUT
EVEN GOING TO PUT SLOT MACHINES
THERE.
THE PROBLEM WE HAD WITH IT,
EVERY ONE OF THOSE RACETRACKS
WAS IN TEN OR 15 MINUTES OF
EXISTING CASINO.
IT WASN’T — SOME STATES HAVE
GONE TO CASINOS, BUT THEY HAVE
CREATED A RACINO IN AN AREA
WHERE THEY HAD A PLAN.
THERE IS A CASINO HERE, AND WAY
OVER HERE THERE WAS A RACINO.
BUT THEY WEREN’T OVERLAPPING.
YOU WE WERE OPPOSED BECAUSE OF
THE RACINO ISSUE. WE THOUGHT
THERE MIGHT BE ROOM FOR SOME
ADDITIONAL RIVER BOATS IN PARTS
OF THE STATE THAT HAD A MARKET
FOR THOSE.
THAT ALL CHANGED THREE YEARS AGO
WHEN VIDEO GAMING CAME ON. NOW
YOU HAVE 22,000, ALMOST 24,000
WHICH WOULD BE LIKE 20 NEW
CASINOS IN THE STATE THAT
CHANGED THE WHOLE DYNAMICS OF
GAMING IN ILLINOIS.
WE BELIEVE THAT THE MARKET IS
SATURATED.
THE TWO SPECIFIC BILLS THAT YOU
ARE TALKING ABOUT, WE HAVE GOT A
LOT OF PROBLEMS WITH BECAUSE WE
INDICATED A LITTLE BIT EARLIER
ALL OF THE RIVERBOAT GAMBLING
TAXES GO TO THREE PLACES.
THEY GO — SOME GO BACK TO LOCAL
COMMUNITIES THAT HAVE THE
RIVERBOAT.
SOME GOES TO THE OPERATION OF
THE GAMING BOARD.
AND THE BALANCE GOES TO
EDUCATION.
THE WAY THESE BILLS ARE WRITTEN,
BASICALLY CHICAGO IS A WINNER.
STATE IS THE LOSER.
IT IS BECAUSE OF THE CALCULATION
ON HOW THE REVENUES ARE DIVIDED
BETWEEN THE CITY OF CHICAGO AND
THE STATE.
SO AND EVERY SCENARIO WE COULD
PLAY OUT USING THE STATE COGFA,
COMMISSION ON GOVERNMENT AND
FORECASTING, AND DEPENDING HOW
MUCH IT COST TO BUILD THE
CASINO, 900 MILLION, STATE
ISSUED BONDS, THE REVENUES, BULK
OF THE REVENUES WILL GO TO THE
CITY OF CHICAGO.
EVERY SCENARIO THE STATE OF
ILLINOIS ACTUALLY LOSES REVENUES
BECAUSE OF THE SET ASIDES AND
EVERYTHING ELSE, AND EDUCATION
EVEN LOSES MORE.
FOR EXAMPLE, IN THE CHICAGO ONLY
BILL, STATE WOULD LOSE
21.6 MILLION AT A $250 MILLION
PRICE FOR THE COST OF THE
CASINO.
EDUCATION WOULD LOSE
70.5 MILLION BECAUSE MONEY THE
STATE GETS HAS TO BE PUT INTO
OTHER AREAS.
SO WE BELIEVE — AND WE BELIEVE
THE MARKET IS TOTALLY SATURATED.
>>LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT.
CITY OF CHICAGO OWNED A CASINO
IN CHICAGO?
>>UNDER THE CURRENT — UNDER
SOME BILLS THAT WAS THE CASE.
IN THIS CASE, THE CITY OF
CHICAGO WOULD BUY THE LAND,
WOULD BUILD THE CASINOS, TURN IT
OVER TO THE ILLINOIS GAMING
BOARD SO ACTUALLY THE STATE
WOULD OWN THE CASINOS.
BUT THE SPLIT OF REVENUES IS
SUCH THAT CITY OF CHICAGO GETS
MAJORITY OF THE REVENUES.
THAT WOULD POSITION THE STATE AS
COMPETING WITH HARRAH’S AND
OTHERS IN THE SUBURBS.
>>IN ADDITION, IT ALSO HAS THE
STATE REGULATING ITS OWN CASINO.
>>AND ONE OTHER POINT, I
APPRECIATE THE TERMINOLOGY I
HADN’T HEARD BEFORE, CASINO,
VERSUS RACINO SLOTS AT
RACETRACKS.
>>YES.
>>THE RITA BILLS.
>>WELL, WE SEE THESE BILLS
EVERY YEAR.
AND FOR MANY YEARS, THE MAYOR OF
THE CITY EITHER DOES OR DOES NOT
WANT A CASINO.
SO IT IS KIND OF AND OFF AGAIN
PROPOSITION.
APPARENTLY THESE BILLS ARE BEING
POSITIONED IN THE EVENT MAYOR
EMMANUEL DECIDES HE WANTS A
CASINO TO PAY FOR SOME OF THE
CHICAGO SCHOOL PENSION AND OTHER
PROBLEMS THAT HE HAS THERE.
AS I MAY HAVE MENTIONED PRIOR TO
THE SHOW, IT IS ALWAYS BEEN KIND
OF AN ANNUAL RITE OF SPRING FOR
ALL THE GAMBLING BILLS TO SHOW
UP.
I ALWAYS KNOW IT IS NEAR THE END
OF SESSION BECAUSE THERE WILL BE
A BIG GAMBLING BILL SHOW UP, AND
EVERYBODY WHO IS PART OF THE
GAMING INDUSTRY WILL HAVE A BIG
FIGHT AND THEN NOTHING WILL
HAPPEN.
SO WE WILL HAVE TO FIND OUT WHAT
IS GOING TO HAPPEN AGAIN THIS
YEAR OR NOT.
>>WE WILL PROBABLY FIND OUT
RIGHT TOWARD THE END OF THE
SESSION.
>>YEAH, AS I MENTIONED, A RITE
OF SPRING. I ALWAYS KNOW WHEN
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION IS
DRAWING TO AN END BECAUSE
(LAUGHING) BIG GAMBLING BILL
WILL COME UP.
IT WILL BE A BIG FIGHT, AND THEN
IT WILL FALL APART.
SO WE WILL HAVE TO SEE.
>>BECAUSE MONEY IS INVOLVED —
>>WELL THE RACETRACKS WANT THE
SLOTS.
THE BOATS DON’T WANT THEM TO
HAVE IT.
THERE ARE DIFFERENT RACETRACK
AND OTHER OWNERS WHO HAVE
COMPETING INTERESTS.
I MEAN IT BECOMES VERY
COMPLICATED BECAUSE THERE ARE A
LOT OF DIFFERENT GAMING
INTERESTS CONCERNED ABOUT THE
BILL AND WHO IS GOING TO BE HURT
AND WHO WON’T.
>>MIGHT THIS PLAY INTO THE —
WILL WE HAVE A BUDGET OR NOT
HAVE A BUDGET?
>>NO, I THINK THAT WILL BE A
SEPARATE — THAT’S A SEPARATE
PROBLEM.
>>A PROBLEM WOULD BE AN
UNDERSTATEMENT.
>>INSOLVENCY IS WHERE WE ARE.
SO WE WILL SEE IF WE CAN WORK
OUR WAY.
WE WILL SAVE THAT FOR ANOTHER
TIME.
STAY WITH THE GAMBLING ISSUE.
MR. OSTROWSKI AT THE ILLINOIS
GAMING BOARD SAID WE HAVE HIT
THE SATURATION POINT.
DO YOU SHARE THAT VIEWPOINT?
>>ABSOLUTELY, WE ARE SEEING,
AGAIN, I TALKED ABOUT THE
ADMISSION NUMBERS GOING DOWN TWO
MILLION A YEAR NOW.
WE ARE NOT CREATING NEW
GAMBLERS.
WE MAY HAVE SOME PEOPLE NOW AT
THE VIDEO GAMING TERMINALS THAT
WOULDN’T HAVE COME TO PEORIA OR
GONE TO EAST ST. LOUIS OR JOLIET
TO GAMBLE, BUT THEY ARE SO
CONVENIENT NOW, AND THEY ARE
BEING MARKETED SO WELL.
THEY DON’T HAVE ANY RESTRICTIONS
ON THEIR MARKETING LIKE THE
CASINOS HAVE IT.
IT IS ANOTHER ONE OF OUR ISSUES
WITH THOSE.
WE HAVE SEEN SINCE 2011 AND
VIDEO GAMING BEGAN, WE HAVE SEEN
A DECREASE — WE HAVE GONE FROM
LITTLE OVER 7800 EMPLOYEES.
WE ARE DOWN TO ABOUT 7,000 NOW.
>>THAT’S ALL TEN —
>>ALL TEN RIVER BOATS.
WE ARE DOWN 11 PERCENT.
WE HAVE LOST ACTUALLY 843 JOBS
SINCE VIDEO GAMING BEGAN. OUR
MARKETING MONIES ARE REDUCED.
YOU ARE SEEING CASINOS CUTTING
BACK ON THEIR HOURS.
THE LOCAL COMMUNITIES WHERE THE
CASINOS WERE LOCATED, WE HAVE
DONE A STUDY WHERE WE HAVE TAKEN
THE ACTUAL REVENUES THAT ARE
GENERATED BY VIDEO GAMING IN THE
WHOLE COUNTY WHERE A CASINO IS
LOCATED AND COMPARED THE LOCAL
MONEY THAT THAT COUNTY IS
GETTING TO THE AMOUNT OF MONEY
THAT THE LOCAL COMMUNITY LIKE
EAST PEORIA WAS GETTING BEFORE
VIDEO GAMING, THE LOCAL SHARE,
AND EVERY ONE THOSE HAVE OF THE
LOCAL COMMUNITIES HAVE ENDED UP
LOSING REVENUE COMPARED TO WHAT
THEY WERE GETTING THREE YEARS
AGO.
>>I HAVE TO ASSUME, AND TOM
MENTIONED THE WORD “CONVENIENT.”
I HAVE TO ASSUME CONVENIENCE IS
PART OF THE SUCCESS OF VIDEO
GAMING TERMINALS.
>>IT IS.
BUT IT ALSO MAKES ME WONDER
ABOUT THE EVENTUALITY OF
INTERNET GAMBLING, THAT YOU
ALLUDED TO A MINUTE AGO.
I MEAN CERTAINLY THOSE ARE VERY
POPULAR VENUES, ARE VERY
CONTROVERSIAL, AND THAT AS WELL
AS–
>>WITH FAN DUEL AND THINGS OF
THAT NATURE.
THOSE ARE VERY CONTROVERSIAL
AROUND THE COUNTRY.
AND SEEING THE END OF IT.
>>WE ARE WATCHING THAT VOTE,
THAT LEGISLATION, AND WHAT IS
HAPPENING WITH THE FANTASY
SPORTS PRETTY CLOSELY BECAUSE
THERE IS POTENTIAL THAT YOU CAN
BET ON ALMOST ANYTHING.
THE WAY THEY ARE SET UP AND
UNLESS THE LEGISLATION IS
WRITTEN VERY STRONGLY AND VERY
TIGHTLY, YOU COULD BET ON HIGH
SCHOOL SPORTING EVENTS.
MY GRANDSON IS NINE YEARS OLD
AND PLAYS ON A BASKETBALL TEAM.
TECHNICALLY, I COULD BET ON HE
AND SOME OF THE GAMES HE IS
INVOLVED IN.
>>I HAVE TO ASK THE QUESTION,
DO YOU?
>>NO! (LAUGHING)
>>I WANT TO MAKE SURE.
>>BUT HE IS WINNER!
SO ONE OF THINGS WE ARE AT LEAST
TRYING TO TALK ABOUT IS THAT
THERE ARE A LOT OF LOOPHOLES IN
THE VIDEO GAMING AC, I DON’T
KNOW IT YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT
THOSE OR NOT.
>>PROBABLY RUN OUT OF TIME
BEFORE WE GET THERE.
>>BUT WE ARE HOPING THAT THE
FANTASY SPORTS BETTING BECOMES
LEGAL IN ILLINOIS, THAT IT IS
MORE TIGHTLY CONTROLLED THAN
WHAT WE HAVE SEEN.
I WANT TO TALK ABOUT UNEXPECTED
CONSEQUENCES. DID THE
LEGISLATURE ANTICIPATE THE — I
DON’T KNOW THAT EXPLOSION IS THE
RIGHT TERM, BUT WE SEE THESE
CASSA’S AND DOLLY’S PLACES, AND
PLACES LIKE THAT, USUALLY A
FEMALE NAME, BETTY’S PLACE.
DID YOU ANTICIPATE SOMETHING
LIKE THAT HAPPENING?
>>NO, AS WE TALKED BEFORE, THIS
CAME UP SO QUICKLY, I DON’T
THINK THERE WAS ANY — ANYTHING
RESEMBLING ANALYSIS OR THOUGHT
BEHIND THE INCLUSION OF THE
VIDEO GAMING REVENUE SOURCE INTO
A BOND ISSUE.
ESPECIALLY SINCE SO MANY OF US
NEVER THOUGHT THAT WOULD EVER
SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY.
ALL OF A SUDDEN IT WAS THERE,
AND I DON’T BELIEVE ANYONE WAS
PAYING ANY ATTENTION AT ALL TO
THE CONSEQUENCES, LET ALONE THE
UP EXPECTED CONSEQUENCES OF THAT
MEASURE.
>>SO WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT THE
RITA BILLS, TWO DIFFERENT BILLS.
AND YOU HAVE MADE REFERENCE TO
YOU’D LIKE TO SEE SOME CHANGES.
IS THERE A SINGLE ONE CHANGE
THAT YOU THINK WOULD BE
APPROPRIATE FOR THE STATE?
>>IN RITA’S BILL THIS.
>>NO, IN GENERAL, WHAT WOULD
YOU LIKE TO SEE AS REPRESENTING
THE CASINOS?
>>WELL —
>>I KNOW YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE
TDDD.
>>BROTHERHOOD AND APPLE PIE!
(LAUGHING) I THINK IF NOTHING
ELSE, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT
WE’D LIKE TO SEE IS A MORE
STABLE ENVIRONMENT FOR OUR
GAMING INTEREST IN ILLINOIS WHEN
THE TAX RATE NEARLY EVERY YEAR
IS ADDRESSED, MAY GO UP, GONE UP
AS HIGH AS 70%, WHETHER THERE IS
MORE EXPANSION OF GAMING EVERY
YEAR, IT IS NOT A VERY STABLE
ENVIRONMENT FOR THESE CASINO
BUSINESSES TO OPERATE IN BECAUSE
YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT IS GOING TO
HAPPEN.
WITH THAT, I BET YOU DIDN’T EVER
DREAM WE WOULD RUN OUT OF TIME
SO QUICKLY TALKING ABOUT
GAMBLING.
SAVE OUR BETTING FOR JUST THAT.
REALLY QUICKLY, WANT TO SAY
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING ON
THE PROGRAM.
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR SERVICE
IN THE LEGISLATURE AS YOU RETIRE
THIS COMING JANUARY.
>>THANKS, H.
>>THANK YOU TO DAVE LEITCH,
REPRESENTATIVE FROM THE CITY OF
PEORIA, REPUBLICAN, AND THANK
YOU TO TOM SWOIK WHO IS THE
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE
ILLINOIS CASINO GAMING
ASSOCIATION. AND WE WILL BE BACK
NEXT TIME WITH A DISCUSSION WITH
RETIRING BONNIE NOBLE AFTER 43
YEARS AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OR
BEING ON THE BOARD. BONNIE WILL
REFLECT ON THOSE FOUR DECADES ON
THE NEXT “AT ISSUE.”
[MUSIC]

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