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Emanuel: City Desperately Needs Cash From Casino

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Mayor Rahm Emanuel (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he and Gov. Pat Quinn should be able to work out their differences over legislation that would clear the way for a casino in Chicago, among other places.

As WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, the mayor says the funds that would be generated from the casino are desperately needed.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports


“This is an investment we need to make in our own city’s future. We have an opportunity now with the Chicago casino, which the city of Chicago residents favor,” Emanuel said, “and I told you, I wasn’t like an enthusiast about it, but I cannot continue to have Hammond, Indiana, get $20 million a month while our infrastructure is crumbling.”

He said the Chicago casino could be brought about “in a good way, and everybody is for that, and we will work it out, because it’s not an either-or choice.”

The bill approved by the Illinois House and Senate would allow for a new casino in Chicago and several others statewide, as well as slot machines at racetracks and at O’Hare and Midway international airports. But the bill has yet to come across Quinn’s desk.

But Quinn told CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine on Thursday that the bill contains too much gambling and not enough oversight.

“I want to make sure we have strong protection in Chicago just like every other place in Illinois, so people don’t get fleeced,” Quinn said.

Emanuel said casinos have had proper oversight, but Quinn said he was not going to rush to a decision.

“We’re not going to rush to judgment,” he said. “They did it with the parking meters in Chicago, and we’ve come to regret it.”

Quinn can neither sign nor veto the gambling expansion legislation until it hits his desk, which can’t happen until Senate President John Cullerton releases a legislative hold he’s placed on the bill.

That won’t happen anytime soon because legislative leaders know Quinn won’t sign it as is, so lawmakers have been trying to craft so-called a “trailer bill” that would address Quinn’s concerns about regulation of expanded casino gambling.

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