Bally’s gets potential increase in labor pool with passage of Illinois bill

The Illinois House of Representatives voted in agreement to pass SB 1462 Thursday night, expanding the potential labor pool of employees in the state’s hospitality industry to include those with felony convictions. .

The bill passed the Senate in March by a 44-12 vote and included an amendment that would make potential employees with felony convictions eligible to receive a professional license from the Illinois Gaming Board for non-gaming positions. in casinos. The amendment also gives the IGB discretion to review each potential licensee and “deny a professional license to anyone whose background poses a threat to the public interests of the state or to the safety and security of the state.” ‘integrity of games’.

The bill, sponsored in the House by Rep. Kam Buckner — whose district includes Chicago and who ran unsuccessfully for mayor this year — was introduced in the lower house on Wednesday and passed the gaming committee by a vote of 13 to 3 after it was noted unions and the IGB were in favor of the bill. After a small debate on the floor on Thursday, the approval vote broke 78-27 in favor of passing.

Bally is looking to hit the ground

The passage of SB 1462 comes three weeks after Bally’s posted its job openings for up to 700 positions at its temporary Medinah Temple casino in Chicago’s River North neighborhood and its proposed $1.7 billion permanent site. dollars at the Tribune publishing plant near River West. Bally’s, which applied as the city’s preferred operator last August, is still awaiting a ‘preliminary suitability’ decision from the IGB, which would then put it on track to obtain an operating permit. temporary.

Bally hopes to open the Medina temple in the summer, but this is subject to the IGB’s approval schedule. The state agency approved vendor licenses for the site in February.

The next scheduled IGB meeting is June 15th. Bally’s will also have a license renewal for its Quad Cities casino that will be submitted for board approval at this meeting.

The city projected that a downtown casino would generate $200 million in annual tax revenue, which would go towards its underfunded police and fire pensions. In its presentation to the city, Bally’s projected it could reach $192 million in annual tax revenue by the sixth year of full maturity.

Photo: Getty Images


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