State Rep Says Gambling Bill Must Pass This Week

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — If a gambling bill is going to come to a vote, it has to happen this week, according to the architect of the latest incarnation of legislation to expand gambling in Illinois.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, the new gambling bill includes a casino within the Chicago city limits, as well as new casinos in Lake County, the southern suburbs, Danville and Rockford.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

It also includes a provision for slot machines at racetracks, which Gov. Pat Quinn opposes, but which the racing industry says it needs to survive.

State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) is behind the legislation, and he hopes he can garner enough votes to override a veto from Quinn, who has said repeatedly that he does not want slots at the tracks.

Seventy-one votes are required to ensure an override of a gubernatorial veto.

“I think that was a glaring oversight, an appalling mistake, and a direct slap in the face to downstate legislators who are trying to keep jobs in the agribusiness community in Illinois,” Lang said.

The new legislation fixes some regulatory issues the governor had with the expansion bill that passed in the spring, but was never sent to the governor over a veto threat.

It also cuts down the total number of allowable gambling positions at new and existing casinos from 2,000 to 1,600, with 4,000 still allowed in Chicago.

The bill does not allow slot machines at O’Hare and Midway international airports or at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, as the old bill did.

The measure passed out of a legislative committee on Tuesday by a vote of 8-2.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has made a strong push for a Chicago casino, said he has high hopes for the compromise.

“This recent legislation that was just introduced, I think, achieves an honest compromise,” Emanuel said.

  • dan

    I bet you $100 that this will pass-it will be engineered so Quinn can say”I tried to stop it but they overode my veto”

    The casino in Park City stinks of an insider backroom deal-they already have the specific location owned by a specific person picked out-THAT SHOULD BE UNDONE-It reminds me of the Emerald Casino scam in Rosemont

  • Ruby22

    The Illinois Better Government Associaton, the chairman of the Illinois Gaming Board, and the Chicago Crime Commission are opposed to this massive gambling expansion bill. Governor Quinn is right to listen to the people who know that it will be impossible to keep out the crime and corruption that this much gamblijng expansion will bring..

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