Ill. Senate stops House effort to pass casino bill

Mar 11, 2013 10:16 AM

Despite two vetoes by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, House members continue to push for a casino law that would permit the licensing of as many as five casinos in various parts of the state, including the City of Chicago.

But their efforts were put on hold when the measure reached the Senate. The Senate majority of Democrats first held a closed-door meeting to discuss the measure and then announced that it would delay bringing the bill to the Senate floor for a vote.

Supporters of the bill said they would continue discussions with opponents to see if enough votes can be found to insure passage.

Still, Quinn, also a Democrat, stands in the way of any legislation that would greatly expand gambling in his state. On the two occasions when the casino bills hit his desk, Quinn said such gambling expansion was not in the best interest of the citizens. He also emphasized that any gambling bill should include necessary funding for expanded regulatory requirements.

The current House bill, not unlike the measures that have been vetoed, propose casinos in Chicago, Rockford, Danville, Lake County and another in the southern suburbs of Chicago. Also, the bill authorizes 1,200 new slot machines in Cook County and another 900 outside the area.

One major difference in the current bill, say supporters. The measure calls for the bulk of the money to be allocated toward the state’s Education Assistance Fund, a provision insisted upon by Gov. Quinn.

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