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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Looking for 71 Votes

In Illinois, it seems politicians are realizing they need a bill which is veto-proof from Governor Quinn.  The lastest version of the gaming bill in the House drops slot machines from the State Fairgrounds, but dictates financing to make necessary capital repairs without slot machines.  The one problem is the legislation does not have a fundng mechanism for the repairs in it. 

The legislation calls for 7,000 less gambling positions (25% less than originally planned for).  This means any casino or existing casino would not be able to add as many seats. However, realizing they need the 71 votes, the legislation does and will include slots at the racetracks to get the votes needed from downstate politicians.  So, it appears racetracks will not be jettisoned to get the bill passed in Illinois.  The fate of expanded gambling and slots at racetracks are tied together.

In the meanwhile, New York racetracks have been pushing to expand their racinos to include table games as done in Delaware and Pennsylvania.  With Governor Cuomo also in favor for this expansion of gambling, it seems like it is not a question of if, but when.  Many feel this will be the action which will force New Jersey to put a casino at the Meadowlands.

Scarborough Downs is not moving.  The referendums for additional casinos in the state including the casino in Biddeford where Scarborough Downs was planning to move to were defeated in yesterdays elections.  While defeatd at the polls, those in favor of expanding gambling in Maine vow to be back.

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