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

Illinois Gets CDC Grant to Combat Drug Overdoses

CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named Illinois as one of 16 recipients in a program called "Prescription Drug Overdoses: Prevention for States."

in Local

IDOT Says Budget Impasse Should Not Affect Winter Road Cleanup

idot

Blankenhorn says the budget battle hasn’t had much of an impact on the agency yet, as the appropriation for ongoing construction projects was signed by the governor.

in Local

Farmers Give Reasons for Optimism at Farm Progress Show

farmprogressshow2013

National Corn Growers Association attributes positive farming outlook to decent crops and more people entering farming.

in Local

County Election Office Open Extended Hours for Special Election Early Voting

vote here

Sangamon County Election Office also open Sunday and Labor Day Monday.

in Local

AFSCME: Time to Go Back to the Negotiating Table

afscme

Rauner has said he wouldn't lock out state workers even as contract negotiations continue, but AFSCME spokesperson Anders Lindall doesn't buy it.