Casino Expansion Bill Hits Roadblock In House

SPRINGFIELD (CBS) — A Illinois House committee has failed to pass a major expansion of legalized gambling.

The proposal would including five new casinos, including a new Chicago casino, and slot machines at airports and racetracks.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Lou Lang, says expansion is needed because Illinois residents are traveling to Indiana to spend their money to gamble and be entertained.

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“We would not allow this to happen to any other business where thousands of people leave our state to spend money in other states,” Lang said.

He said expansion would generate over a billion dollars that could be used to pay the state’s debts.

Tom Swoik, the executive director of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association, says existing casinos are already struggling and more gambling would just saturate the market.

He said Illinois casinos have lost a third of their revenue over three years.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel backs a city-owned casino, but Gov. Pat Quinn doesn’t support a large gambling expansion.

  • Tony

    What possible reason could keep these morons from passing this bill? I really hate Illinois.

    • Buffy

      I totally agree. Why go to Hammond or Joliet or Elgin when you can stay in the city and go to Casino and help your own state. This is crazy. I have seen Chicago politicians in Hammond playing in Casinos there. This is nuts not to have the money come into your own state. Chicago is trying to become sainthoods. Not possible.

      • not-bothered-by-this

        Buffy, you need to brush up on your geography – Joliet and Elgin are in the state of Illinois. If you go to a casino in those towns, you are helping Illinois.

  • loves_Black_Jack_but_Always_Loses

    Casino operators in Hammond are paying those people to block the expansion. Isnt it obvious…..IL…the godamn corrupt state

  • David

    Tony…they are Democrats…meaning nothing they do is smart.

    • loves_Black_Jack_but_Always_Loses

      And Sarah Palin is is super smart

  • TR

    All of those dollars going up in smoke, maybe some other revisions also need to be made.

    • Ruby

      All of those dollars can be spent on other business in the Illinois consumer economy, instead of going to the gambling industry.

  • RichR

    I don’t believe that the IL pols are passing up an obvious chance for them to “wet their beaks” or maybe that’s part of the problem and they’re waiting for their payoffs.

  • john

    The Chicago Mafia is praying for expansion of gambling… that is their expertise and they will profit from it. The best bet is- how many Chicago Aldermen will end up in prison due to corruption involving “legal” gambling. Only time will tell.

  • ian

    Let’s not create any new jobs or generate highly needed revenue, and not allow new entertainment venues for the citizens and visitors of Illinois.

    I don’t get it.

    Why dont these people understand that in order to be relevant, Casinos today incorporate much more than slot machines into their business models? Think restaurants, meeting space, conventions, retail, exhibits and live shows. All of which will generate revenue for the state. Instead, let’s borrow 8 billion and pay 860 million in interest over the next 7 years to pay our current past due bills. Great plan IL Dems.

    Oh, and where are we going to get the money to pay off the proposed new debt and at the same time stay current on this years bills? What about the years following? Borrow again? This is no way to govern. Springfield Dems and Repubs, you should be ashamed and embarrassed for the way you have mishandled the responsibility the people of IL have bestowed upon you. Start thinking of ways to fix the crisis and stop kicking the problem down the road for other people to fix in the future.

  • Jim

    The 2 armed bandits have blocked the 1 arm bandits! They must be holding out for a better kickback deal. This would be good for the state, but when do IL politicians do anything good for the taxpayers of the state?

  • antigambler

    Illinois had nine casinos while getting into its current financial mess. Number ten is opening in a couple months. So, the answer to all of Illinois’ problems is to open even more casinos? I don’t think so!

    Einstein said that the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. There is some insane thinking going on here.

    Congratulations to our legislators for realizing that more gambling cannot solve any problems. It only creates more problems.

  • dan

    Anti, A great deal of people cross over into Indiana or run up to Milwaukee and spend money there. The casino in Des Plaines will help that slow a bit but there is a great deal of people South and Southwest of downtown that will still go to Indiana unless they have a choice to go downtown.

    It’s all about keeping revenue in Illinois as opposed to other states. Will it solve all the problems? No! Will it help ease the pressure? Yes!

    Needs to get done so do it you worthless politicians

    • Ruby

      Who would want to go to a casino in Hammond, Indiana when they can go to the new classy casino in suburban Desplaines which is opening this summer? Joliet and Elgin will also lose business to the new casino in Desplaines, but at least it will stay in Illinois.

      Give the Desplaines casino a chance to prove it can keep business in Illinois just as the new casino in Rock Island, Illinois has done. In fact Iowa is losing business to the new Rock Island casino. Take that Iowa!

    • Jimminie

      Ease the pressure? What rock are you under?
      Ciggarettes are chaeper in Indiana; many people import them here
      Liquor is cheaper out of Cook county control? Etc.
      Are any of these being addressed? NO Why should they
      The Chicago sheep cry and let business as usual happen!
      Don’t blame the [politicians for the lack of involvement of the population!
      The aldermen voted themselves a 6.6% raise – then turned around
      and voting to shut down programs that do not put money into their pockets and
      the sheep are quiet!!!!!!

  • cosmo

    There should be at least 3 casinos proposed for chicago alone. This has been a long time comung, so we are playing catchup.
    They couldn’t come to terms on how to split tha pie under Daley, so ‘let’s get ‘er done.” There’s no stopping this thing, they need to stop draggin’ their feet.

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