SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois lawmakers are taking a new look at expanded gambling as a way to reduce the state's massive budget deficit.
Lawmakers have talked for years about adding new casinos or putting slot machines at racetracks, but the proposals have always fallen apart. They're getting more serious attention now, with the state facing a roughly $15 billion deficit.
The plan under discussion would add five new casinos -- one in Chicago and four others around the state. Existing casinos would be allowed to expand. Six horse racing tracks would be given permission to install slot machines.
Backers hope this would generate about $1 billion a year, but critics say it would mean more gambling addiction and social problems.