Gaming regulators in the US state of Illinois are set to make a decision on whether casinos can stay open around the clock.
Currently, casinos shut but for very brief periods. For instance, Casino Queen in East St Louis opens its doors at 8am and closes at 6am. Tom Swoik, who represents a handful of Illinois’ 10 riverboats, says the rule change could generate extra income for the casinos - and by extension the state - at a time when revenues are down.
“If people can play video gaming at truck stops 24 hours a day, why can’t they do the same at casinos?” asked Swoik.
Anti-gambling activist Anita Bedell says it’s a way for casinos to take advantage of sleep-deprived gamblers who aren’t thinking clearly. “It’s a dangerous thing and the casinos in Illinois do not need to go to 24-hour gambling. What they need to do is stop the 24-hour gambling at truck stops, because those are local people who are gambling all night,” Bedell said.