Illinois taxpayers have been conditioned to believe that gambling is a convenient and limitless font of tax revenue just waiting to be tapped. But figures from the General Assembly's Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability show that state revenue from the state's 10 casinos has been in steep decline since 2005.
Maybe death, pleasure, security, and risk are the products of this region. The risk: One day driving down the Strip about a decade ago, I realized that every hotel tower, every fountain, and every chandelier was largely paid for by losing bets. I understood for the first time what gambling really means.
There is a fundamental difference between the privacy of banking accounts and hiding beneficial ownership in order to commit crimes. The benefits of tracking organized crime, terrorism financing and tax evasion far outweigh the risks to privacy and secrecy of accounts, which is already adequately protected by rule of law nations.