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Preckwinkle Considers Gambling Tax: Report

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Cook County's board president has another idea up her sleeve to help close a widening budget gap.

    Following rumors of a so-called "violence tax," Toni Preckwinkle is now thinking about a tax on gambling, specifically slots and video poker machines, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

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    Preckwinkle reportedly has considered levying a tax of $800 on every video slot machine in the county.

    Considering there are about 1,000 slot machines at Rivers Casino alone, her idea could net a substantial amount of cash. But taxing video poker machines could be more of a gamble, considering they aren't allowed in Chicago, and about 100 towns and cities voted against them.

    The machines were approved in 2009 as a way to pay for a $31 billion statewide construction program. Video poker debuted last week at bars and truck stops where municipalities allowed them. Gambling officials estimated the state could see as many as 75,000 machines within a year, according to the Associated Press.

    Rivers Casino management told the Sun-Times it wouldn't comment on the possible gambling tax until it saw the proposal.

    Details are expected Thursday when Preckwinkle unveils her proposed 2013 budget.

    Other ideas that reportedly could pop up in her budget include a tax on guns and ammunition and a lease on the top two floors of the County Building in Chicago's Loop for what she estimates could net at least $1 million a year for 10 years.