Claiming the bill did not have enough oversight to prevent organised crime involvement, Quinn said yesterday, “We’re not going to have loopholes for mobster in Illinois. The bill that was on my desk was woefully deficient when it came to protecting integrity and honesty and regulation of gambling in our state.”
The bill [SB1849], which was approved by Legislature earlier this year, included a city-owned Chicago casino that could have facilitated 4,000 gamblers at once. It would have added riverboat casinos in Rockford, Danville and in two suburbs. It also included an expansion of slot machines including at horseracing tracks.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was also disgruntled by the governor’s decision, saying that Chicago loses $20 million a month and jobs to casinos in neighbouring Indiana. Supporters claim the bill could have brought in as much as $1 billion annually, boosted tourism and created up to 100,000 jobs in Illinois.