Latest in gambling bill receives skepticism from Gov. Quinn - – Rockford’s News Leader

Latest in gambling bill receives skepticism from Gov. Quinn


Illinois Governor Pat Quinn finds another reason not to sign a bill, expanding gambling statewide.

This time it's not mobsters or politics, it's the Internet and a move by lawmakers to get the world wide web involved.

Expansion has come close before, now it comes close again.  Governor Quinn expresses his desire to sign an ethical bill.  Lawmakers adjust the newest proposal to match that but maybe they tweaked it too much this time.

"I think it also is becoming more popular in different states so I think it's certainly an option Illinois should look at.  More and more people are doing it online and therefore I think it's an option the state should consider," said Senator Steve Stadelman.

Online gaming.  It's the latest addition to gambling expansion from proposals.  It's also the most recent reason Governor Quinn won't sign a bill, expanding gaming and adding casinos around the state, including one in Rockford.

Currently, two states have passed bills including online gaming in expansion legislature.

"Neither one have put it into place yet.  They've only passed it but it's not up and running yet so we don't know how well it's going to work.  That's something that can certainly be put off for another year," said Senator Dave Syverson.

Local Senator Dave Syverson doesn't think that portion of the proposal will make much difference.  If it does, he's fine with removing it for now to get the bill signed.  A signing, Syverson thinks will happen.

"While the governor is making noise and raising some concerns, behind the scenes he is still supportive and he wants this legislation passed because he knows how important it is to the city of Chicago and also to border communities like Rockford."

After this latest proposal, Quinn is also expressing he wants to wait until pension problems are solved before moving forward with gambling expansion, something both parties seated in Springfield cringe at.

"Pension reform will also help alleviate budget issues but so will a gaming expansion," said Stadelman.

Lawmakers have this week off.  They'll head back to Springfield next week to get back to work on the expansion, the budget and of course pension reform.

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