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ILLINOIS FIRES UP CASINO CONTROVERSY

Jul 8, 2001 8:27 PM

The battle to keep a proposed $400 million Illinois riverboat casino alive has sparked accusations of ties to the mob.

The Illinois Gaming Board ruled four months ago to revoke a gambling license held by a consortium of politically-connected investors, who had started building a Las Vegas-style casino in suburban Rosemont near O'Hare International Airport.

Illinois Republican Gov. George H. Ryan ignited the controversy by replacing two of the four board members who had voted against the project. Casino opponents accused Ryan of creating a "worst-case scenario" that organized crime could overturn the Gaming Board decision.