The Chicago Tribune reported Sunday that the overwhelming majority of Illinois legislators who voted for a narrowly-approved casino expansion bill, which would double the number of casinos throughout the state, have received political contributions totaling about $812,000 from the gaming industry since the beginning of 2010.
Going back a full decade, the Tribune reports that, based on campaign fundraising data, the industry has contributed just less than $10 million to Illinois politicians. Among the biggest recipients of gaming cash over the past 18 months months were, reportedly, Senate President John Cullerton ($122,200), House Republican Leader Tom Cross ($75,034) and House Speaker Michael Madigan ($54,400).
Illinois Gaming Board chairman Aaron Jaffe, who last week called the bill “409 pages of garbage” among other things, told the Tribune that Illinois should ban certain gambling interests from making political contributions. Other states, including New Jersey, Indiana and Pennsylvania, have similar bans already in place.