Ill. Senate moves on video poker, Internet lottery
The state Senate voted to legalize video poker, boost liquor taxes and allow lottery wagering over the Internet to help support a $26 billion statewide construction package, according a report in the Chicago Sun-Times.
"The gridlock we've been going through for six years has ended," Senate President John Cullerton was quoted in the Sun-Times article.
After being approved by a 47-12 vote in the Senate, the legislation next moves onto the House then to Gov. Pat Quinn. If passed, video poker will be available in bars, restaurants, veterans halls and truck stops and be taxed at a 30 percent rate, raising $375 million annually, according to estimates. The Illinois Gaming Board will oversee the machines.
The proposed package includes a pilot program for the state's lottery that would establish in 2010 lottery wagering over the Internet. Management of the lottery would be turned over to a private firm.
Some $15 billion will go for road projects and $3 billion for school construction. Higher education, parks and museums also will get funds.