Illinois Court Ruling Upholds State’s New Video Gaming Act

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In a 7-0 decision, the Illinois Supreme Court recently upheld legislation that will allow video gaming in the state for the first time. Earlier this month, the court ruled in favor of the Illinois legislature’s 2009 omnibus bill for funding capital projects that included the Video Gaming Act. The legislation had been challenged by Chicago Blackhawks owner and liquor distributor Rockwell Wirtz as violating the Illinois constitution’s “single subject” clause — a constitutional provision intended to prevent logrolling, or the attachment of unpopular measures to popular legislation in order to get the unpopular measures passed.

Wirtz contended that the legislation’s many facets – from raising taxes on candy and liquor, to establishing video gaming, to funding studies on public lotteries – were not sufficiently related to one another as required by the single subject rule. But taking note of the government’s perspective that the omnibus bill’s provisions were all tied to raising money for capital projects, Illinois’ highest court held that there was a “natural and logical connection to the subject capital projects” and that “the subject may be as broad as the Legislature chooses.”

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