A hearing at the Casino Queen in East Saint Louis Tuesday will kick off an Illinois lawmaker’s renewed efforts to expand gambling in the state.
Rep. Bob Rita of Blue Island is reviving a proposal to increase state tax revenues by allowing five new casinos in Illinois, in northern and central Illinois, and add slot machines at horse racing tracks and Chicago airports.
Rita says he’s following up on a promise he made to conduct regional hearings after the proposal he shouldered last year stalled.
Illinois legislators are scheduled to go back to Springfield this week to tackle any bills the governor vetoed this year.
Of the major legislation the governor vetoed - one big issue that's had all sorts of trouble getting support is gambling expansion. The measure Governor Pat Quinn vetoed would allow for several new casinos in the state - including one in Chicago. But Quinn has said the bill is flawed - with, quote, "loopholes for mobsters" - but a sponsor of the measure says he's close to having enough votes to override the governor's opposition.
A new report shows that Illinois' fledgling video gambling industry brought in more than $346,000 in revenue for the state in October.
The Illinois Gaming Board's monthly report shows that the state's October take came from nearly $18 million in wagers at 714 machines across Illinois. Local governments where the gambling is offered got nearly $70,000.
UPDATE: As of 9:25 a.m., Quinn has vetoed this bill. Gov. Pat Quinn isn't giving any hints about what he'll do with a gambling bill that Illinois lawmakers sent to his desk. Today is the deadline for Quinn to take action on legislation that would establish five new casinos in the state. It would also allow slot machines at horse racing tracks.
Republican Congressman Todd Akin is highlighting his Christian faith while asking for help in reviving his Senate campaign. A fundraising appeal sent Wednesday by Akin notes he has asked both God and voters for forgiveness for comments that women's bodies have a way of avoiding pregnancy in cases of rape.
Good morning. Here are your starting headlines today:
Valley Park mayor resigns
The embattled mayor of Valley Park has resigned. Nathan Grellner stepped down as the top official in the St. Louis County town on Thursday, submitting a written letter of resignation. Grellner has been under fire for questionable spending with a city credit card, for missing nearly every meeting since February, and for his arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence in a neighboring town in June.