Illinois lawmakers say no gaming compromise in the works
By Bob Okon firstname.lastname@example.org October 27, 2011 2:12PM
Updated: November 29, 2011 8:21AM
Gaming expansion remains in limbo.
A fight with Gov. Pat Quinn over how gambling should be expanded in Illinois was not on the state Legislature’s to-do list in Springfield this week, said state Sen. A.J. Wilhelmi, D-Joliet.
And, it’s not clear whether the Legislature will take up gaming when it meets again for another short session that starts Nov. 8.
“There’s a chance that nothing happens,” Wilhelmi said Wednesday.
Nothing has happened since the Legislature approved a gaming package that included a new casino in Chicago, five others around Illinois, slot machines at horse race tracks and more.
The governor’s dislike for the bill was so apparent that the Legislature never even sent it to Quinn for approval or rejection.
Then, Quinn put out his own gaming package this month, leaving out slot machines at race tracks and other new gaming proposed by the Legislature. But Quinn favors a new casino in Chicago and five other locations, including south suburban Cook County.
Wilhelmi and Joliet officials oppose the south suburban casino, saying it will take away business from the two casinos in Joliet. But Quinn’s support for a south suburban casino may not matter if the Legislature doesn’t move on a proposal for gambling expansion
Wilhelmi said Democrats left a Senate caucus meeting Wednesday unwilling to deal with gaming this week and uncertain whether they will tackle the matter in November.
“We’re not exactly sure, and that’s because this is such a complicated piece of legislation,” Wilhelmi said.
A spokeswoman for House Republican Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego, said any proposal would come from the Senate