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On 2nd Try, Gambling Bill Gets House Committee OK

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – A huge expansion of legalized gambling in Illinois is headed to the House floor.

The proposal would create licenses for five new riverboat gambling casinos. It would include a gambling boat or land-based casino in Chicago. It also would expand horse racing and add slot machines at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie was approved 8-3 Friday by the Executive Committee. It failed in the same committee Wednesday with only five votes.

Gov. Pat Quinn said earlier Friday he opposes “top-heavy” gambling expansion and frowned on gambling at the fairgrounds.

Lobbyists for existing riverboat casinos oppose the measure because they say the market is saturated and state revenues would drop at current boats.

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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