The sponsors of the gambling expansion bill accuse the governor of ducking them, as well as the real reasons he vetoed the bill Tuesday. “I think the goalposts have been moved so many times that I really don’t know what it is,” says State Sen. Terry Link (D-Waukegan). “The governor has stated many times that he’s got specific issues with the bill, but, of course, he’s never told me what they were – ever!” says State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie).
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Lang added he was “incensed” the governor mentioned possible mob influence as a factor in casinos; Lang says the Illinois Gaming Board does an impeccable job, and that the only potential casino scandal in the state was quickly snuffed out, when Rosemont was denied a license. Both men say Quinn has not spoken to them about the casino bill since the spring session adjourned May 31. Quinn’s veto message says more oversight over the gambling industry is needed, but Lang called Quinn’s list of concerns “vague.”
Lang says he can achieve an override in the fall Veto Session; Link is not sure it can happen that quickly but vows the debate is far from over. The bill would have put slot machines at race tracks and built new casinos in Chicago, the Waukegan area, the south suburbs of Chicago, and in Rockford and Danville.