Quinn: "I'm not going to sign what they're peddling" on gambling expansion bill

Nov 22, 2011

Reporting from WBEZ's Jennifer Brandel used in this report.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says he won't sign any gambling expansion bill that doesn't meet his framework.

The gambling expansion bill was narrowly defeated by state legislators a couple weeks ago. Next week, lawmakers are back in session and may try yet again to advance it. Quinn says they shouldn't bother if it still includes slot machines at race tracks .

"The gambling enthusiasts - frankly, if they come back and have the same proposal as before, they'll get the same result as before," Quinn said. "I'm not going to sign what they're peddling. It's bad for Illinois."

The Governor is also calling out lawmakers who have claimed the bill could raise up to a billion dollars a year in state revenue.

An outside firm Quinn commissioned to study the bill says it would actually generate far less -- roughly $160 million a year.

"Some of the people exaggerating the amounts in Springfield need to be brought to their senses and brought to reality," Quinn said.

The study also reports slot machines at race tracks would over-saturate the market, and drag down revenue at a proposed Chicago casino.