Commission: Gambling Expansion Will Draw Organized Crime

CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) — The Chicago Crime Commission is warning Gov. Pat Quinn that if he signs the gambling expansion legislation now on his desk, organized crime will be involved.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports, Crime Commission chairman J.R. Davis says it is beyond his comprehension that the Illinois House and Senate both passed the bill, which he calls “dangerous.”

“Federal prosecutors,” he says, “should plan for a constant stream of federal corruption indictments against government officials, gambling operators and members of the Crime Syndicate.”

Davis notes that the bill creates the Chicago Casino Development Authority, separate from the Illinois Gaming board, which, he says, is known for its integrity.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports

He adds that the move essentially puts Chicago gaming in untested and most likely politically-connected hands.

“With an apparent complete disregard for public safety, the Illinois legislature passed this bill without any budget provisions to increase the number of investigators necessary to begin policing this gaming expansion behemoth,” Davis said in a news release.

Overall, the Crime commission said, the gambling expansion will make Chicago “the Las Vegas of the Midwest.”

Quinn has expressed similar concerns about the proposal himself.

“It’s excessive. It’s top-heavy. It’s too much,” Quinn said Wednesday.

The gambling expansion plan includes authorization for casinos within the Chicago city limits and in the southern suburbs, Lake County, Rockford and Danville. It would also allow slot machines to be installed at racetracks, and at O’Hare and Midway international airports.

Quinn does seem to be open to the idea of a Chicago casino, a plan that has been championed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Concerns about organized crime getting involved with casinos in Illinois are nothing new. In 1999, the state’s Gaming Board decided to award the notorious Emerald Casino a license in Rosemont six years earlier, over objections that some investors had ties to organized crime.

A revocation hearing dragged out for years afterward, but ultimately, Emerald Casino’s license was revoked by a new Gaming Board. The casino was never built.

If the Chicago casino goes ahead, it could go along the lakefront at the what many believe to be the most casino-ready location, though the operators of McCormick Place would like to keep conventions and a casino separated by a couple of miles.

It could also anchor the long overdue-renovation of the Congress Hotel, a great location scarred by labor strife for years.

But others believe a site farther from downtown, along the south lakefront, would both intercept Indiana-bound gamblers, while being far enough away not to compete with Chicago restaurants and other attractions.

Possible operators include MGM, Harrah’s and Wynn, but also a consortium of local hotel owners.

  • tom Sharp

    NEWS FLASH: The State Legislature itself “draws organized crime”!!!!!

  • Edward O

    The only Organised Crime we have here are the politicians.Especially the citizen of israel that is the Mayor of Chicago.This should get interesting soon!

  • whiplash

    What’s the mater Mr Quinn, are you affraid you might get out corrupted

    • Jim

      That’s not very likely…Quinn is the Godfather of Illinois Corruption!

  • William Jenkins

    “Gambling draws organized crime”. Duh.

  • William Jenkins

    What’s next? “Gambling draws gamblers?”

  • Gerald Spencer

    There isn’t such a thing as “The Chicago Crime Commission.” They want to make it sound like they are an official part of the city government but they are a right winged religious organization.

  • sean

    the boss of the chicago outfit just retired,that right king richard m.daley aka shortshanks the mob runs this city already!

  • ChicagoCitizen

    You people hated Daley, you hate Immanuel, you hate Quinn, is there anyone that could take office that you approve of? I doubt it, I think all of you just get off on hating politicians, regardless of who they are. You haters will never be satisfied.

    • tom Sharp

      Hey Chicago Citizen: We hate you too because nitwits like you keep voting for and re-electing the crooks and morons that have fed their friends and family at the public trough, bankrupted the city and state, and stuck it’s citizens with the highest taxes in the country. Get real!

  • Survey: Most Illinois Residents Oppose Gambling Expansion « CBS Chicago

    […] The Chicago Crime Commission has also taken its own position against gambling expansion. Earlier this month, Davis called the bill “dangerous,” and warned that federal prosecutors “should plan for a constant stream of federal corruption indictments against government officials, gambling operators and members of the Crime Syndicate.” […]

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