Let's hear it for the video gamblers of Southwestern Illinois. Thanks to their willingness to step up to the newly licensed video gambling machines and lose $1.06 million in April, Illinois and local governments are profiting.
Our seven-county area collected $53,421 in taxes. Statewide, Illinois collected $5 million in just one month. Woohoo!
The gamblers are in effect a volunteer army of taxpayers, ready to sacrifice and tax themselves so that the rest of us don't have to pay more. Even better news, state officials think there is the potential to have six times as many video gambling machines as now exist, which could mean six times the voluntary tax revenue.
We opposed video gambling's expansion, but at least there's a silver lining, right?
We just hope these volunteers don't suffer too much collateral damage. You know, having their kids go without food or shelter because all their money is being used for the cause.