News

Renewed Push for More Casinos

Renewed Push for More Casinos

Photo: Associated Press

A new gambling proposal may pit cities against counties.

A bill introduced by State Rep. Bob Rita (D-Blue Island) (pictured) offers two options: a state-owned casino in Chicago, or building five casinos in Chicago, its south suburbs, and Lake, Winnebago, and Vermillion counties. Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey wants that narrowed down to cities within those counties like his.

“That opens up a whole new can of worms that frankly, politically, I think would make it more difficult, not easier, to get the legislation through,” Morrissey said.

But Illinois Gaming Board attorney Caleb Melamed says from the board’s perspective, too much local control over a casino site isn’t the best option.

“They’re all county-wide and we supported that before. We think that’s better, because that’s competitively bid,” Melamed said.

The bill would also allow gambling at certain Illinois race tracks, though not at Fairmount Park in Collinsville. Horsemen would also be guaranteed a share of casino revenues.

The proposal for five casinos is alongside a separate proposal — for one casino, in Chicago. Business groups say it would boost business and tourism, but others are worried about the potential for corruption.

The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and others say a downtown casino would complement tourist attractions and shopping.

The Chicago Crime Commission wants protections against corruption.

A Chicago location hasn’t been decided, but urban planners say possibilities are the Congress Hotel, the top floors of a Macy’s and the James R. Thompson Center, a state building.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

‘The Lion King’ makes history

lionking

"The Lion King" is the top ticket of all time.

in Entertainment

‘Fashion Police’ to go on without Joan Rivers

Joan-Rivers2

Bosses at the E! network have confirmed they plan to revive the series in January.

in Entertainment

Samuel L. Jackson plans Christmas charity single

samueljackson

The "Pulp Fiction" star is rounding up his celebrity friends to raise money for the cancer charity One For The Boys.

in Entertainment, Sports

Shaq sings Bon Jovi song at crowded college bar

shaq

WATCH: The basketball legend jumped on stage at an LSU-area bar to belt out a Bon Jovi classic.

in Entertainment

Rihanna, Kardashian among latest victims of photo hackers

rihanna

Gabrielle Union, Meagan Good, and Hayden Panettiere are reportedly also among the latest celebrities to have shots posted online.