Senate OKs Casino For Chicago, Slot Machines At Airports, Racetracks

UPDATED 06/01/11 1:13 a.m.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — The Illinois Senate Tuesday narrowly passed and sent to Gov. Pat Quinn legislation that would authorize a casino for Chicago, put slot machines at racetracks and the city’s airports and add casinos in the suburbs.

The 30-27 vote represents the biggest expansion of gambling in the state since the General Assembly voted to authorize 10 casinos in 1990 and could end nearly a decade of stymied legislative efforts to add more casinos. CBS 2’s Mike Parker has the story.

“This is gonna be jobs. It’s gonna be helping to be paying off the bills in the state of Illinois,” said Sen. Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills), the bill’s chief Senate sponsor. “It’s gonna be an economic boon for the state of Illinois. We need it.”

Quinn has not made his intentions clear on whether he will sign the legislation, though he has said he would oppose a “top-heavy” gambling package and is known to have questioned putting slot machines at racetracks.

But the vote represents a clear victory for new Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who helped turn the legislative tide in favor of the casino expansion package through a series of personal phones calls to rank-and-file lawmakers.

Opponents argued the added wagering opportunities created under the legislation would bankrupt Illinoisans with gambling addictions and take aim at those who can least afford to squander their payroll or Social Security checks.

“What you don’t see in the bill are the buses picking up the elderly and disabled and hauling them like cattle to the boats and casinos,” said Sen. Tim Bivens (R-Dixon).

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report

  • Bill S.

    Okay, Joliet … here’s what everyone of us residents needs to do: Grab your shorts, pull them down, pick up a can of Vaseline and let the pols do it to us all night and into the early morning hours.

    • Eddie Murphy

      Better yet, use some butter.

  • Bill S.

    I actually think the smell of buttered popcorn would emanate from all this a**fluckin’ we are getting from Springfield.

  • E.A.

    it won’t take rahm and his goons long to start getting their hands in it
    any body remember,” protection money” it’ll be back with the new mayor, same as the old mayor

  • julius martinez

    I guess this is a good time for the real thugs and gangsters of this society posing as businessmen and women. As a former compulsive gambler that lost my house, my job and my family to Casinos in Joliet and Hammond I truly feel sorry for the people of Chicagoland and the out of town visitors that will be coming here for vacations, conventions etc. The State and the City of Chicago is going for the throat now that Rahm “takes no prisoners” Emmanuel is now in charge. It’s a sad day…but its nothing new in the history of the world…

    • Frank

      @julius, I have no sympathy for you. Gambling is good entertainment for most of us. The revenue is much needed. This is a good day, more entertainment is always welcome.

  • James

    Gubna QuickPick gonna put a Joker Poker machine in the lobby of da Gubna’s Mansion?

  • Pkes

    Nobody makes people gamble.

  • Daryl Novick

    What good is the $$ if they keep squandering it!

  • Quinn Calls Gambling Expansion Bill ‘Excessive’ « CBS Chicago

    […] The state Senate voted 30-27 Tuesday in favor of the gambling expansion plan, which would be the lar… […]

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