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Most Recent Online Casino News

Jacobs, Blagojevich Disagree on Bill That Would Add Four Casinos

Look out, Las Vegas.

If pending gaming legislation becomes law, Illinois may surpass Nevada as the state government receiving the most tax money from casinos.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich attempted to deflate enthusiasm for gaming expansion Tuesday by rejecting Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s proposal for a land-based casino in the city.

Despite the governor’s objection, the gambling measure is far from dead.

The gambling package’s sponsor, state Sen. Denny Jacobs, D-East Moline, said he hoped to forge ahead with the measure and seek a veto-proof majority.

Gov. Blagojevich adopted populist rhetoric in a Springfield news conference as he took on the legislature and the mayor of his hometown.

“I think the problem is the siren song of gambling solving all of our problems — every form of gambling on every street corner in every part of Illinois,” he said. “All of that money coming in sure is tempting. It makes life easy. Don’t have to say `no’ to a lobbyist or two. Why not? Then you can spend money without any consideration of whether it makes sense or not.”

The governor said allowing a land-based casino in Chicago violates the intent of the Riverboat Gambling Act, since it was passed more than a decade ago to help economically distressed river towns.

Ironically, Sen. Jacobs, who sponsored the original riverboat gaming act, is the sponsor of the latest legislation to which the governor objects.

“He’ll probably be mad today — I’ll tell him tomorrow,” a glib governor said as he anticipated Sen. Jacobs’ reaction during the news conference.

Indeed, the often tart-tongued senator was quick to voice his disapproval.

“I don’t think we should give up on this regardless of what the governor says. He is not the end-all, cure-all,” he said. “This idea that it is `My way or the highway’ doesn’t sit very well with legislators.”

Despite saying he would veto any legislation that called for a Chicago casino, Gov. Blagojevich was less clear about where he stands on adding casinos elsewhere.

The state has nine operating casinos, four of them in Chicago suburbs, but state law bars one from operating in the city.

When he ran for office in 2002, the governor said he opposed gambling expansion. He now has said he’ll consider other gambling proposals if lawmakers first look for other ways to balance the state’s expected $1.7 billion budget deficit.

The governor refused to discuss with reporters the ideas of slot machines at horse racing tracks or allowing new casinos in economically distressed communities such as Rockford, Waukegan or the south Chicago suburbs.

This vagueness clearly irritated some lawmakers.

Read the entire article at: Quad-Cities Online 

2004 Online Casino News Archive

 

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