Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation on Aug. 11 which will allow individuals with certain felony convictions the opportunity to apply for non-gaming positions at Illinois casinos, largely in the hospitality industry.
The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) worked cooperatively with UNITE HERE Local 1 and Senate Bill 1462’s sponsors sate Sen. Robert Peters and state Rep. Kam Buckner to draft the bill.
“Here in the Land of Lincoln, we believe that people deserve second chances — and that includes the formerly incarcerated and those who have been convicted of a felony,” Pritzker said. “As we transform our justice system away from incarceration and towards rehabilitation, we are creating opportunities for Illinoisans who’ve made mistakes to secure gainful employment and build better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities.”
Currently under state law, people who have a felony conviction are ineligible to work at a casino in both gaming and non-gaming positions. SB 1462 removes automatic disqualification for non-gaming positions and allows the IGB to consider individual facts and circumstances about past criminal convictions when making a licensing decision for casino occupational license applicants.
The jobs affected by SB 1462 are for non-gaming positions such as restaurant staff, maintenance and housekeeping.
The IGB will consider the following factors when determining an applicant’s eligibility for licensure including:
- Length of time since the conviction occurred.
- Number of convictions that appear on the conviction record.
- Nature and severity of the conviction and its relationship to the safety and security of others and/or the integrity of gaming.
- The facts or circumstances surrounding the conviction.
- The age of the employee at the time of the conviction.
- Any evidence of rehabilitation efforts.
The IGB serves as the state regulatory and law enforcement agency responsible for overseeing all licensed casino gambling, video gaming, and sports wagering to ensure the integrity and safety of Illinois gaming while generating revenue for the state and gaming host communities. Illinois is presently home to 13 casinos, more than 8,400 licensed video gaming establishments, and nine sportsbooks.
A casino is currently under construction in Homewood and East Hazel Crest. The Wind Creek Casino is expected to open late next year.