The governor says he’s not refusing to negotiate on gambling expansion. Gov. Pat Quinn is simply driving a hard bargain, threatening to veto an expansion plan that calls for five new casinos, plus slot machines at race tracks, the Chicago airports and the state fairgrounds, and telling lawmakers they have only one option.
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“They can send me the bill they passed on May 31. I’ll be happy to veto out all the bad things in that bill, and there are many defects in it, and then I will put in the appropriate integrity safeguards and scale back the gambling casinos, and we can go forward,” he said. Quinn says he’s OK with the new casinos, but not with the additional slot machine locations, and he wants more rigorous regulation. The bill has not been officially submitted to the governor. The new casinos would be located in Chicago, Danville, Rockford, the Waukegan area, and in an unspecified location in the South Suburbs of Chicago. Gambling advocates in Springfield – specifically State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) – have complained the governor isn’t negotiating and doesn’t care if the whole thing fails. Quinn says he’s not for gambling just to have gambling, and lawmakers should follow the “framework” that he articulated. The second half of the fall Veto Session runs Nov. 8-10.