JOLIET, Ill. (CBS) — State lawmakers could attempt to override Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of legislation to expand casino gambling in Illinois during their two-week veto session that started Thursday, but one city that already has a casino says enough is enough.
WBBM Newsradio’s Terry Keshner reports Joliet Mayor Tom Giarrante said other towns want to ride his city’s coattails after seeing that casino gambling has been a success over the past two decades
“Now that the other cities see that it does bring in revenue, they all want a piece of the action,” he said.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Terry Keshner Reports
But Giarrante said he believes adding more casinos to the state would only take revenue away from existing riverboats.
“We believe there’s only so much money out there, and all they’re doing is spreading it out,” he said.
Giarrante said Joliet could lose millions in revenue if another casino opens nearby.
“They’re talking about a casino to the east of us, between here and Indiana, and if that is located too close to Joliet, we figure we stand to lose about $5 million a year,” he said.
He said gaming revenue is not the solution to every problem.
“We need to go out and court other businesses to bring jobs, and industry, and money to our city,” he said.
As for cities that would ask why Joliet is entitled to a casino, and they’re not, Giarrante said, “I would say to them, you know, Joliet took the initiative back when, when no one knew how they were going to go over.”
The casino expansion legislation Quinn has vetoed would allow five new casinos in Illinois, with licenses designated for Chicago, the southern suburbs, Rockford, Danville and Park City. It would also allow slot machines at horse racing tracks.