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Major Gambling Expansion Vetoed in Illinois

Rich Egger

Governor Pat Quinn is hearing both praise and criticism for his decision to veto a large gambling  package.

Lawmakers who pushed the gaming plan said he has been  unwilling to work with them. But Quinn is also getting a few pats on the back.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel is one of the detractors. He planned to keep pushing to have a  casino built in the city.

The proposal Quinn dismissed would also have allowed casinos to be built in Danville, Park City, Rockford, and at an undetermined spot in Chicago's south suburbs.

Supporters said the gambling expansion would provide much more income for the state, but Anita Bedell of the group Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems said the money would not be worth the  consequences.

“The more available and accessible that gambling becomes, it increases the number of gambling addicts,” Bedell said.

Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno said she agrees with Quinn's assessment that the measure had too many regulatory and ethics loop-holes.

“You know frankly, I think we're better off  to go back to the drawing board. This model has been run up the flag-poll how many times?” Radogno asked.

Still, those in  support of the gambling expansion say they'll keep fighting to pass it.  They will likely try to drum up enough votes to override the governor's veto come this fall.

“If it needs adjustments we can do that, but the bottom line is, this is a bill that will provide  over $1 billion a year to pay our bills and do a lot  for our economy,” said Democratic State Representative Lou Lang.

Thanks to Illinois Public Radio

Rich is TSPR's News Director.