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Campaign Contributions Of The Gambling Industry
“Gambling has more of a history of corruption than any other industry.”
-U.S. Sen. Paul Simon (D-IL), testifying before the National Gambling Impact Study Commission in 1997
In 2011, the industry pushed legislation that would have more than tripled the amount of legalized gambling in Illinois. A bill passed in May 2012, SB 1849, is also very ambitious, proposing the creation of five new casinos. Despite calls from Governor Pat Quinn, by Common Cause Illinois, and by other good government groups the bill did not include a ban on campaign contributions from gambling interests. Several states have such a ban in place, including the gambling meccas of New Jersey and Louisiana. If Illinois is to become one of the most gambling-dense states in the country, it should at least adopt some of the safeguards other states have used to guard against the appearance of corruption and undue influence that comes with legislators being asked to regulate an industry Sen. Paul Simon famously described as having “more of a history of corruption than any other industry.”
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