Lawmakers say still hope for gambling expansion

Nov 30, 2012 7:52 AM

With time running out in the fall veto session, the sponsors of legislation to add five new casinos in Illinois said Thursday their focus has shifted to reaching a deal by early January, and they remain hopeful it will happen.

Sen. Terry Link, D-Lincolnshire, said there was “a very good chance” a gambling expansion bill would come together before new lawmakers take office Jan. 9. He said House Speaker Michael Madigan is now involved in negotiations, and he expects Gov. Pat Quinn — who vetoed a gambling bill this summer — to be at the table as well.

But Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, who sponsored the vetoed legislation, was less optimistic about Quinn’s role, saying the governor has so far been unwilling to sit down and work out a compromise. That has Lang questioning whether Quinn actually wants a deal by Jan. 9, as he has said.

“If his goal is to get a gaming bill accomplished, you’d think he’d be meeting with us,” Lang said.

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