Ill. Gov. Rauner Wants to Take Closer Look at Gaming Industry

John Gregory / Illinois Radio Network

ILLINOIS (IRN) – It sounds like Gov. Bruce Rauner might be warming up to the idea of expanded gambling in Illinois.

Rauner says he doesn’t like to gamble, but he also recognizes the state is losing money to casinos in neighboring states.

While Rauner isn’t definitively stating he would sign expanded gaming legislation, he’s not dismissing the idea either.

“We’ve been disorganized in our approach to gambling and gaming,” Rauner says. “We’ve sort of done it ad hoc and sort of in a case-by-case basis. I’d like to take a strategic assessment of the gaming industry in partnership with the General Assembly.”

Rauner’s position is crucial because expanded gambling has had enough support to pass twice through the General Assembly in recent years, only for the bills to be vetoed by former Gov. Pat Quinn.

One of the stronger proponents of adding more casinos in Illinois, state Rep. Lou Lang, says Rauner will need extra gambling revenue to fulfill some of his campaign promises.

“He certainly will want to look to opportunities to create revenue and jobs that don’t require taxation, and gaming would be one of those areas,” Lang says.

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