Illinois is betting a big part of its financial future on hopes of becoming the gambling capital of the Midwest. As that unfolds, keep an eye on what neighboring states are doing, which will present a major challenge to the state’s lofty revenue expectations.
At the top of the list is a proposed monster — a $400 million casino-resort in Beloit, Wisconsin, just across the border north of Rockford. It’s not a sure thing yet, but the Indian tribe sponsoring it is optimistic and moving ahead with little concern about what Illinois is doing.
The Bellevile News-Democrat last month published a nice summary of other, aggressive steps to expand gambling already underway in neighboring states.
We showed you the numbers earlier on how Illinois gambling is already approaching saturation and cannibalizing its own revenue. A guest article in the Chicago Tribune spelled out why Illinois is making a bad bet based on experience in other states. ProPublica did the same earlier.
Take the under.
-Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints.