New Casino Finally Approved In Southern Illinois
Anyone who has watched the most recent season of Ozark probably has a good idea of how difficult it is to get a new casino approved anywhere in the United States. Generally, states only allow a certain number of casinos to operate within their borders (wouldn’t want to increase the level of debauchery too much, else the church will start trying to tear you down). Anyway, officials have announced a new casino will be built at the Walker’s Bluff Winery in Carterville.
The move was made by the Williamson County Board.
Construction is expected to begin as soon as possible — but that might include at least a year of waiting. They can’t get underway until the Illinois Gaming Board approves the casino as well. And who knows if that will even happen.
Cynde and David Bunch have been trying to get a license to build a casino for a while. It was only this year that Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed off on a bill that would allow industries reliant on gambling to grow and expand a little more. He and other officials believe that Walker’s Bluff Winery represents the opportunity for substantial economic growth in the region — and that’s something sorely needed in Southern Illinois.
There are at least five other new casinos in the works — but that isn’t all. Illinois also recently legalized gambling involving sports, which means everyone can start placing bets on their favorite teams.
All these changes stem from SB 690, which was sponsored by Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek). It was passed in a 46-10 vote.
Apparently Link has been at this for a while: “I’ve only been doing this for 20 years to get this done, and it’s a little emotional,” he said.
According to estimates, the initiative will boost revenue in the state by a whopping $12 billion over six years.
Link said, “This key piece of legislation really is going to make an economic difference of keeping our dollars home….thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in construction across the state.”
Governor Pritzker said, “Legalized sports betting and expanding gaming will create jobs up and down the state…where communities hungry for employment will see 10,000 new jobs…Gaming expansions in this state have been attempted and failed for years. Today is a win for the whole state.”