Convicted Felons Now Eligible for Employment at Illinois Casinos

Posted on: August 12, 2023, 03:55h. 

Last updated on: August 12, 2023, 03:55h.

Illinois Casinos Benefit from Expanded Job Market Due to New Legislation

Illinois casinos felon JB Pritzker
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signs a bill in August 2023. Pritzker last week signed a statute that allows certain convicted felons to work inside casino workers, but not in gaming capacities. (Image: AP)

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has signed new legislation that lifts the state’s ban on convicted felons working at commercial casinos. This move expands the pool of potential employees for the state’s casinos.

The new law, known as Senate Bill 1462, was authored by state Senator Robert Peters and state Representative Kam Buckner, in collaboration with the hospitality and gaming union Unite Here Local 1. It allows felons with certain convictions to apply for non-gaming positions at Illinois’ state-licensed casinos.

Under the new law, felons will be eligible for positions such as housekeepers, waitstaff, chefs and cooks, bartenders, bellmen, porters, and dishwashers. However, they will not be able to work in gaming roles such as table game dealers or slot attendants.

Governor JB Pritzker expressed his support for the new law, stating, “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.”

The new law does not explicitly exclude individuals with violent felony convictions from participating in the program. Instead, the Illinois Gaming Board will evaluate various factors when determining eligibility for a license required to work at a regulated establishment.

These factors include the length of time since the felony conviction, the number of convictions, the severity of the crime and its impact on safety and security, the circumstances surrounding the conviction, the age at the time of conviction, and any evidence of rehabilitation efforts.

Before the new law was signed, the Illinois Gaming Board disqualified individuals with criminal felony offenses based on nine criteria. However, with the passage of Senate Bill 1462, the board will now assess the aforementioned factors.

The new law is expected to help Illinois casinos address their ongoing struggle to find qualified employees. Karen Kent, President of Unite Here Local 1, stated, “Our union has worked hard to ensure that hospitality workers at Illinois casinos can have a path to good jobs. Today, we’re giving people hope for a second chance.”

Supporters of the law believe that it not only expands the hiring pool for casinos but also reduces the likelihood of reoffending among felons.

State Senator Robert Peters stated, “Allowing workers to perform jobs in the casinos that do not involve gaming decreases the likelihood that they will backslide and wind up back in prison.”

Source link

Leave a Comment