May 31, 2023 2 min read


Illinois Passes Bill to Let Felons Work at Casinos

Illinois believes that everyone deserves a second chance and a new bill now seeks to make it easier for convicted felons to get back to work – including at casinos

The measure enjoys bipartisan backing with the Senate and House okaying the passage of Senate Bill 1462 with minimum opposition. Thanks to this document, casinos and the hospitality industry will be able to employ people who have felony convictions, as the state’s strategy to both expand the hiring pool in general and also to ensure that this target group can be integrated safely and reliably back into society.

Minimum Opposition from Members of the House and Senate

Understandably, some members of the public have grumbled against the decision, but lawmakers managed to demonstrate that voting on floors was overwhelmingly in support of the bill. Senate passed the bill with a 44-12 vote in favor in March.

Of course, convicted felons still need to go about securing a job based on the established order. A similar success story was written in the House where a floor vote saw 78 votes in favor against 27 lawmakers opposing the bill altogether.

Applicants would still need to obtain the necessary licenses for one, which are issued by the Illinois Gaming Board. The bill does acquiesce that further controls may be necessary to ensure that everything is in order. Therefore, the regulator has been granted additional powers to review each license as it sees fit.

Essentially, the watchdog will try to determine whether a specific employee could pose a danger to public security or the integrity of the gambling facilities. The bill is now going to most likely to be signed by Gov. JB Pritzker whose office has not commented on the developments. The change in hiring attitude is not necessarily prompted by goodwill among lawmakers, but there are certainly ethical implications as well.

Getting Workers in Casinos Could Be Hard

Convicted felons often find it hard to get back to work, because background checks immediately disqualify them from a range of jobs. New York, another casino state, has recently debated whether it should expand its hiring pool by including convicted felons as well, but no progress has been made over the past months.

In any event, Illinois could serve as a good success story and example of why letting felons to work at casinos may have a meaningful impact on the hiring pool of an industry that is struggling to find enough helping hands while also serving as a strong moral imperative for the country as well.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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