Poll: Should Chicago Have a Casino?

Illinois lawmakers are again looking to expand gambling options in Illinois.


Illinois lawmakers are considering plans to add more casinos as the state continues to grapple with budget woes.

The latest proposals would place casinos in Danville, Rockford and Waukegan. Another proposal would allow for slot machines to be operated at race tracks like Arlington Park, the Alton Daily News reported. The bills are sponsored by Terry Link (D-Waukegan) in the Senate and in the House.

Gov. Pat Quinn has called the legislation to, once again, expand gambling in Illinois "a distraction."

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been pushing for a Chicago casino. A Chicago casino is something that officials in the city long have sought. As far back at 1993, Mayor Daley proposed an $800 million development that would have included five gambling boats on the Chicago River.

Critics of gambling expansion say that the are tremendous societal costs related to gambling addiction. A Chicago casino also could take business away from other area casinos in Illinois. Others point out that Illinois' state budget hasn't improved in the years since riverboat casinos first were approved in 1991 and that casino revenue tends to not keep pace with inflation.

"It's only short term. It's really not good fiscal policy," The Christian Sciene Monitor quoted Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability in May 2011.

Proponents of a Chicago casino argue that a casino in the city would attract tourists and convention goers, drawing money from outside of the state unlike many of the downstate and suburban casinos.

David Greenberg May 21, 2012 at 09:28 PM
If you want your property taxes to go down, then the individual taxing bodies need to learn how to SPEND LESS, DO LESS, OFFER LESS. Focus on the "gotta have's", cut those costs as much as possible, forget the rest. Let the private sector deal with the "nice to haves". A casino isn't going to solve the problem of property taxes. We were sold a similar story when Illinois started the Lottery - it's solve all our educational funding problems, blah blah blah. We've seen how well that's worked out *cough* NOT! *cough*.
David Greenberg May 21, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Gambling isn't immoral per se. Some of the side effects of it may be, but with few exceptions, it's not really the government's business.
David Greenberg May 21, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Bonnie, this is a specious argument and you know it. Killing does not equal gambling - two completely different issues as Matt has said. If someone wants to gamble, let them. If they're harming their family or kids - I think the government should have something to say about it because those persons haven't made the choice to gamble away their lives. But if they're on their own - big whoop. So long as they're not asking for governmental healthcare, food, or assistance - we should stay out of their decision. If some group doesn't agree with that position, then they're perfectly free to create a foundation, and offer assistance to those they consider in need of it - but they can fund that foundation with their own or solicited donations and leave the rest of us out of it.
jim May 21, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Bonnie if gambling isa morality issue. WHY DO CHURCHES DO IT?
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