News

Renewed Push for More Casinos

Renewed Push for More Casinos

Photo: Associated Press

A new gambling proposal may pit cities against counties.

A bill introduced by State Rep. Bob Rita (D-Blue Island) (pictured) offers two options: a state-owned casino in Chicago, or building five casinos in Chicago, its south suburbs, and Lake, Winnebago, and Vermillion counties. Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey wants that narrowed down to cities within those counties like his.

“That opens up a whole new can of worms that frankly, politically, I think would make it more difficult, not easier, to get the legislation through,” Morrissey said.

But Illinois Gaming Board attorney Caleb Melamed says from the board’s perspective, too much local control over a casino site isn’t the best option.

“They’re all county-wide and we supported that before. We think that’s better, because that’s competitively bid,” Melamed said.

The bill would also allow gambling at certain Illinois race tracks, though not at Fairmount Park in Collinsville. Horsemen would also be guaranteed a share of casino revenues.

The proposal for five casinos is alongside a separate proposal — for one casino, in Chicago. Business groups say it would boost business and tourism, but others are worried about the potential for corruption.

The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and others say a downtown casino would complement tourist attractions and shopping.

The Chicago Crime Commission wants protections against corruption.

A Chicago location hasn’t been decided, but urban planners say possibilities are the Congress Hotel, the top floors of a Macy’s and the James R. Thompson Center, a state building.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Logan County Rejects Windfarm Plan

wind turbine

Logan County Board rejected proposal for southern part of the county.

in Local

Smoking not Cheap in Illinois in Many Ways

smoking1

It's expensive to smoke in Illinois; not just cost per pack but in other ways.

in Local

Rauner Shares Vision for Illinois — and Introduces First Pets

Illinois Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner greets Henry Kinion, right, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, in Springfield, Ill. The Republican stopped in Springfield Friday on a six-city tour to thank supporters after his victory Tuesday over Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

Governor Rauner is getting settled in to the Mansion in Springfield and introduced Stella and Pumpkin, the family pets, which are both blonde labs.

in Local

Illinois State Police to Hand Cold Case over to Forensics Group

Zywiki

Forensic group to take look at unsolved 1992 Zywicki killing.

in Local

“Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks Remembered

Ernie Banks

Banks remembered as ambassador of baseball and Chicago.