Illinois Governor vetoes gambling expansion in the state

Governor Pat QuinnAfter examining the bill to expand gambling in Illinois the governor, Pat Quinn decided recently after almost two months not to sign it. The bill would have paved the way for a new land based casino in the city of Chicago and for four river boat casinos at various locations. The bill would also have allowed the ten casinos which already operate in Illinois to expand and have permitted slot machines at horse racing tracks.
The Chicago city casino would have had the capacity for 4 000 gamblers and each river boat casino could have accommodated over 1 500 players.While governor, Pat Quinn is not against gambling as such, he refused to sign the proposed bill citing ethical and social reasons among others. The probability of the involvement of organised crime in gambling in Illinois is another concern and the governor wanted any possible loopholes closed to prevent even the possibility of this happening.
He also wants to ban any future political donations from the gambling industry. Among other objections was the lessening of aid to public services in particular to education which was always a part of previous gambling expansions. A major stumbling block was also the fact that the proposed city owned casino would not have been subject to the same regulation by the Illinois Gaming Board as other casinos within the state. Similar concerns were raised in relation the online gambling within the state.The Illinois Legislature approved a plan to expand gambling in the state last year but since there was a very strong possibility at the time that governor Quinn would veto it, it was not sent to him. The lawmakers will reconsider the bill in the autumn and some supporters claim that the plan may be able to proceed without the governor’s veto. When the bill was approved several months ago by the legislature only a few votes more would have been needed to have overridden the veto.

Those who support the bill to expand gambling in Illinois are disappointed by the governor’s veto as they claim the passing of the bill could have brought up to a billion dollars per year to the state and have prevented Illinois gamblers spending their money in casinos in neighbouring states. The Mayor of Chicago supported a city casino. The development of a casino could have increased tourism and created about 100 000 jobs in Illinois.

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