SPRINGFIELD — Illinois casinos and race tracks will have to intercept and garnish gambling winnings from parents who owe child support under legislation approved Monday by Gov. Pat Quinn.
The new law, designed to chip away at a $3 billion backlog of unpaid child support, would force the casinos and horse tracks to turn over the proceeds to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.
The money would then be distributed to the parent who is owed.
It is the latest step by the state to crack down on “deadbeat” parents. The state already can withhold driver’s services, fishing and hunting licenses and professional licenses.
The new law would require the gambling establishments to post signs notifying gamblers that their winnings will be taken if they are behind in their payments.
The casinos and tracks can use an existing database of deadbeat parents to track whether payments should be subtracted from winnings.
The sponsor of the legislation, state Sen. Darin LaHood, R-Dunlap, estimates the state could collect as much as $1 million in its first year.
Quinn signed the measure without comment. It took effect immediately.
The legislation is House Bill 2843.