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Illinois Backs Bill to Let Convicted Felons Work at Casinos

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The state of Illinois has passed a bill that will allow convicted felons to work at casinos. Senate Bill 1462 received bipartisan support and easily passed the Senate and House.

The new laws will allow casinos and the hospitality industry to employ those who have felony convictions as the state seeks new ways of safely and reliably reintegrating felons back into society after they have served their punishment.

While there was some public backlash to the bill, it was widely supported by lawmakers with the Senate passing the bill with a 44-12 vote in March. When it was voted on in the house, it passed by 78-27.

Felons will still need to obtain the appropriate licenses for work, which are issued by the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB). Furthermore, the bill does state that further controls may be necessary and the IGB has been granted powers to review each individual license.

This means that the regulator will be tasked with judging whether an individual may pose a danger to the public or to the integrity of the casino. All that remains is for Gov. JB Pritzker to sign the bill, but his office has not made any comments on the developments.

It is often hard for convicted felons to return to work due to background checks that disqualify them from certain jobs. Other states, including New York, are considering whether they should pass measures similar to Illinois, but so far, no progress has been made. As such, there is bound to be a great deal of focus on the success of the measure in Illinois.

Step Toward the Right Direction

Allowing convicted felons to work at casinos in Illinois is a step toward creating a more inclusive society and providing second chances to individuals who have paid their debt to society. This move can have positive social and economic impacts while also prioritizing public safety and maintaining the integrity of the casino industry through appropriate regulations and oversight.

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