Committee Okays Measure to End Illinois Casino Gambling

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A House committee voted eight to one for Rep. John Bradley's measure to permanently dock the state's nine riverboats because of the damaging social costs associated with them.

But the southern Illinois Democrat and his allies acknowledge the bill faces a steep uphill battle as it heads to the full House.

Bradley contends the casinos encourage Illinoisans to lose billions of dollars each year, and eliminating them would boost the local and state economies.

But casino owners contend they provide more than 8,000 jobs and pay more than $700 million in state taxes each year, an important part of the state budget.

A casino lobbyist predicts there will be a battle over Bradley's idea and measures to expand gambling this spring.