Reporting Bob Roberts
CHICAGO (CBS) – Don’t bet on slot machines at Chicago’s airports anytime soon, despite the support of the city’s aviation commissioner and O’Hare International Airport’s alderman.
Governor Quinn continues to say “no dice,” and says Chicago is not Las Vegas.
“No other city in America has them, and that’s the bottom line,” Quinn said Friday following a news conference on an unrelated event in Riverside. “No one else wants to greet visitors with slot machines so I don’t think Illinois is going to do that. I’ve said no to that, and the legislature pulled back from that.”
However, Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport has hundreds of slot machines at its terminals.
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Quinn said it’s obvious that even lawmakers believe it to be a bad idea, because lawmakers deleted it from the last gambling bill to be put before him, one that Quinn vetoed.
Nor has he budged on slots at racetracks or the Illinois State Fairgrounds, although he continues to say he is not ruling out gambling expansion completely. As for those who are arriving on or waiting for flights at O’Hare – Quinn said there are plenty of other ways for them to generate revenues.
Chicago Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino, speaking to a City Council subcommittee Thursday, made the suggestion, with the backing of Ald. Mary O’Connor (41st), in whose ward O’Hare is located.
Andolino said gambling would give bored travelers something to do, and noted that 50 percent of those who fly into O’Hare are simply there to catch a connecting flight.