Illinois bar owners buy into video poker plan -

Illinois bar owners buy into video poker plan

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois bar owners say state lawmakers did the right thing by agreeing to legalize video poker. They say many bars and taverns wouldn't survive without the machines.

The Legislature voted to legalize video poker to help finance a $29 billion public works program, and the bill now awaits Gov. Pat Quinn's signature.

Gambling opponents say it would remove one of the obstacles between would-be video poker players and financial ruin.

But the Illinois Association of Police Chiefs is supporting the plan. They say it makes no sense to criminalize small-time gambling that's even been found at VFW halls. If caught, players face a fine and possibly jail time.

Six other states already allow video poker outside casinos.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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