SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN/KMOX) -Gambling expansion could come up as early as today (Tuesday) as lawmakers get back to work in Springfield during the second half of the Veto Session.
State Rep. Michael Zalewski (D-Chicago) says his understanding is that a gambling package that includes slot machines at race tracks will be called in the Senate for a vote. “I think it’s pretty clear that it takes 60 and 30 to get anything passed in those two chambers and you need a coalition of south suburban legislators, west suburban legislators, Chicago legislators and Downstate legislators and there’s like maybe three or four bills that can do that, three or four issues, and on gaming you need all of those components,” Zalewski said. Lawmakers would need additional votes in order to pass the bill with a veto-proof majority, to prevent the governor from tossing the whole thing out.
Gov. Pat Quinn is opposed to slot machines at tracks, saying it equates to too much gambling. “A casino like the south suburbs will find that they’ve got competition from casino race tracks that will cause harm to both of them,” Quinn said. “So I think you need to have a prudent approach and if they follow that then I think it’ll be a lot better.”
Quinn has also pushed for additional oversight, especially if a Chicago casino becomes a reality. Zalewski says as far as he knows, tight regulation pushed by Quinn would be included in any expansion bill that is introduced.
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