July 30, 2010
To the Honorable Members of the
96th General Assembly
As Governor, I am committed to ensuring that the video gaming industry in our State operates with the utmost integrity. I have always been a proponent of strong ethics reforms and the vigorous enforcement of our laws and I affix my signature to this bill today with the confidence that the Illinois Gaming Board has the necessary tools right now to keep unsavory elements far from the video gaming industry.
My decision today was not made without deep consideration of its impact. After careful deliberation, it is evident to me that there are appropriate safeguards and ample authority in existing law to prevent objectionable operators from conducting video gaming in Illinois. The Gaming Board will be able to continue to deny licenses to those entities who pose a threat to the public interest of the State, present a threat to the security of video gaming, create a risk of unsuitable practices, or operate with unsound business practices. Moreover, the Gaming Board will also retain the ability to adopt appropriate administrative rules to safeguard the integrity of the video gaming industry.
It must also be noted that without the amendments contained in this bill, veterans and fraternal organizations across Illinois will lose their ability to operate machines for amusement purposes at midnight on August 1, 2010.
For years, these machines have been a source of recreation to veterans, their family members, and friends. There are more than 1000 veterans’ posts statewide that serve our communities and many of them have machines for amusement purposes. The sudden elimination of these machines will threaten the survival of scores of worthy veterans’ posts. I do not believe that organizations that serve our veterans should be confronted with having to close their doors.
Therefore, pursuant to Article IV, Section 9(a) of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby approve House Bill 4927, entitled “AN ACT concerning regulation.”