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Emanuel and Quinn Clash on Casino Bill

16 August 2011 by admin

Illinois_2Though there is no law allowing a casino in Chicago, let alone a casino up and running, Mayor Rahm Emanuel seems to be budgeting for casino revenue. That has irked Governor Pat Quinn, who has problems with the gambling expansion legislation.

Governor Quinn let it be known long ago that he was not interested in a “top-heavy” gambling bill. Instead, he wanted one that was specific to a Chicago casino and did not include massive gambling expansion. Instead, the legislature came up with a bill that would create several casinos and add slot parlors to race tracks and airports. The bill has not yet reached Governor Quinn’s desk, but he is already being pressured by Emanuel and others to sign it.

“I would urge the mayor to talk to our gaming board chairman, Judge Aaron Jaffe, because there are serious shortcomings in this law when it comes to honesty and integrity.” Governor Quinn says that the legislation would weaken oversight of the gambling industry, which could make it less safe for the players.

Mayor Emanuel keeps pressuring Quinn to sign the legislation. He says that it is necessary for Chicago to make sure Chicago doesn’t “fall to second place.” Due to severe budget problems, Chicago doesn’t get as much state funding as in the past. Likewise, it is getting less federal funding than it is used to. For that reason, Emanuel says that the city generating its own revenue with a casino is vital.

Emanuel said the city needs a casino because “I’m committed to making sure that the resources that have not been coming from Washington, that have not been coming from Springfield,” are replaced by funds from a Chicago casino and “that we invest in our own future.”

Emanuel has listed the things he plans on using the projected $150 million revenue for, including road and school improvements, CTA stations and more. Governor Quinn said that Emanuel’s “notion that we’re spending the money before the law is passed is putting the cart before the horse.”

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