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Gambling Supporters Propose Casino In Thompson Center

Jay Levine Jay Levine
Jay Levine is the chief correspondent for CBS 2 Chicago. He joined...
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(CBS) — Its known for being too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter, but some gambling supporters have proposed to put a casino in the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce proposed the idea during a state hearing on a state hearing on casinos.

The Thompson Center was just one of the iconic sites proposed by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. The others included the top three floors of the old Marshall Fields, now Macy’s Chicago Loop Flagship and Block 37, the home of CBS 2, where further development plans are stalled.

“You don’t want to put it somewhere its hidden. You put it somewhere is is going to a showcase,” said Kim Goluska of the Chicago Chamber of Commerce.

Committee Chairman Bob Rita listened to all those suggestions, but a casino in the Thompson Center?

“I don’t see that, but who knows,” said Rita.

“The State of Illinois Building looks almost identical to the Montreal Casino,” said Goluska. “I think aesthetically it could be terrific.”

“The State of Illinois Building if you look at it looks almost identical to the Montreal Casino,” said Goluska. “I think aesthetically it would be terrific.”

A more serious question is whether Rita can come up with a bill for a Chicago casino that Governor Pat Quinn will sign.

“He made a statement a few weeks ago he likes the direction we’re going in,” said Rita.

Some consider a casino owned by Chicago a non-starter and others who’ve always opposed gambling expansion say the city and state running a casino is even worse.

“When the city and the state become the house, they’re no longer protecting the people,” said Dr. Phil BLackwell of the United Methodist Church.

Former Illinois governor Jim Thompson told Levine that the proposal was a flight of fancy.