The sponsor of the last gambling expansion bill isn’t convinced the newest effort will work. State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) has been a longtime backer of building more casinos in Illinois, though his efforts never made it past the governor’s desk. The new push is led by State Rep. Bob Rita (D-Blue Island), but Lang thinks the plan may be too focused on one part of the state.
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“I have some concerns that it’s a little too Chicago-heavy, and I think downstaters might not be predisposed to vote for that kind of bill,” Lang said. “But I trust Rep. Rita, he’s an excellent legislator, and his goal is to provide gaming.” Lang says he won’t have an active role with the bill because of the perceived conflict of interest that led him to drop off as a sponsor of a similar bill last year.
The bill offers two options for expanded gambling: one that would create five new casinos around the state, and another that would authorize only a state-owned casino in Chicago.