Both sides voice opinions at gambling hearing

|
Photo - This Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 photo shows Illinois state Rep. Robert Rita, D-Blue Island, speaking to lawmakers during a House Committee hearing on gambling at the state Capitol in Springfield, Ill. Rita believes his latest bid to expand Illinois gambling may finally bear fruit now that the state's thorny pension crisis has been resolved to the satisfaction of the governor who twice spiked measures that would have added casinos. Rita is to launch his quest Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, with a planned meeting at East St. Louis' Casino Queen, where he was to seek input from the region's casinos, a horse track and local officials. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
This Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 photo shows Illinois state Rep. Robert Rita, D-Blue Island, speaking to lawmakers during a House Committee hearing on gambling at the state Capitol in Springfield, Ill. Rita believes his latest bid to expand Illinois gambling may finally bear fruit now that the state's thorny pension crisis has been resolved to the satisfaction of the governor who twice spiked measures that would have added casinos. Rita is to launch his quest Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, with a planned meeting at East St. Louis' Casino Queen, where he was to seek input from the region's casinos, a horse track and local officials. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
News,Business

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — The message from East St. Louis officials and the operators of the Casino Queen was clear: Any new gambling would harm existing business and the city's bottom line.

State Rep. Robert Rita held public hearing Tuesday night to obtain feedback on a gambling expansion measure he hopes will finally gain Gov. Pat Quinn's approval.

The new measure from Rita, a Democrat from Blue Island, calls for five new casinos plus slot machines in places such as a nearby southwestern Illinois horse track.

Quinn has twice vetoed such measures.

Opponents of the bill argued more gambling could cost the Casino Queen business in an already-saturated market and siphon tax money.

But officials with nearby Fairmount Park racetrack said the struggling industry could use a boost in the form of slot machines.

View article comments Leave a comment