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Illinois Gaming Expansion: Jackpot for Diversity

In late June 2019, Governor JB Pritzker signed the gaming expansion bill – allowing for six new casinos, expansion of gambling at racetracks, added video gaming machines, higher taxes and maximum bets on video gaming machines and the legalization of sports betting.

In addition to the 10 existing casinos in Illinois, new casino locations have been approved for Chicago, Danville, Waukegan, Rockford, South Suburbs (Bloom, Bremen, Calumet, Rich, Thornton, or Worth Township), and Williamson County (adjacent to the Big Muddy River).

Arlington and Hawthorne Race Courses are allowed to apply for licensure from the Gaming Board to conduct electronic gaming for the facilities.

At horse racing tracks: the master sports wagering license allows each track to use three of its Off Track Betting locations as sportsbook locations, while allowing the ability to operate one mobile application.

At sports facilities: provides for licensure of up to 7 sports facilities or their designees with a seating capacity of over 17,000 persons.

The Illinois Lottery would be granted a master license that will allow lottery sports wagering terminals in retail locations.

Video gaming has been expanded to allow for additional machines in current locations while maximum bets have doubled and maximum payouts have increased. Gaming operations at Chicago airports has been authorized.

This gaming expansion has been called one of the largest gaming industry expansions in the United States and businesses supporting the gaming industry are excited for the opportunity.

Once the new casinos are developed, it is expected that all the casinos in the State of Illinois will procure close to $1B in goods and services annually. Given the goals and mandates by the Illinois Gaming Commission, this expansion will offer growth opportunities for companies and businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, persons with disabilities and individuals of underserved communities.

Supplier diversity outreach will be necessary for new casino applicants as this is a priority in the Illinois Gaming Board application process. Existing casino businesses will also have to reinvent their approach to focus on meeting supplier diversity goals.

As the gaming industry expands so do opportunities for supplier diversity.

By: Dr. Karen Eng Published : Negocios Now, October 2019.


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