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Emanuel Pushes For Chicago Casino Legislation As Deadline Looms

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Mayor Rahm Emanuel (Credit: CBS)

dellimore250 Craig Dellimore
Craig Dellimore, political editor for WBBM, joined the station in 1983...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — Gov. Pat Quinn has until Tuesday of next week to decide whether he will sign, reject or alter legislation expanding gambling in Illinois – and allowing a casino in Chicago.

And as WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has some encouraging words on the matter.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

Mayor Emanuel has said it before. If Chicago were to be able to open a casino, he wouldn’t use the revenue just to help balance the budget. He says it would be used to improve public schools.

Emanuel also told reporters Thursday that he believes the odds of getting a casino are good, despite Governor Quinn’s concerns about the gambling bill.

“I understand the governor’s concerns. He and I talked, and I’m respectful. He has some issues, and I respect that,” Emanuel said. “We’ve been working through – not me, but the City of Chicago and the state have been working through this. We’re closer than we’ve ever been. We will work through these issues – I’m confident. In short, order, we will get through the issues that are necessary so we can do the type of investments in our kids, and the type of job creation, we need to do.”

Right now, Emanuel says. Chicagoans are spending their gaming dollars in Northwest Indiana, which is reaping the benefits.

In addition to the land-based Chicago casino, the bill also calls for casinos would also be casinos in Danville, Park City, Rockford and an undecided location in the south suburbs. Each would have 1,600 gambling positions.

Illinois’ 10 existing casinos could also expand under the bill.

Tuesday is the deadline, and the governor can veto the bill outright, sign it, or suggest changes. If he does nothing, the bill automatically becomes law.

Both houses of the Illinois General Assembly passed a similar bill last year, but never sent it to Gov. Pat Quinn, knowing he would veto it.

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