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.