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IL Says Casino Queen Can't Stay Open 24 Hours

By AP/KWMU

Chicago, ILl. – The Illinois Gaming Board has rejected a request by the Casino Queen to stay open 24 hours.

Currently, the Casino Queen is open 22 hours. Illinois law allows 24-hour gambling, but the board must approve changes in hours.

Casino Queen director Michael Gaughan said the casino "is about two feet of water away from temporary closing" and wanted expanded gambling hours to compete with Missouri casinos, which are open all day.

"We are about two generations behind now," he said. "We are doing our best to stay proactive in this market today."

Jeannette Tamayo, interim board administrator, said the Gaming Board did not have enough staff members to supply agents at the casino if it were open 24 hours.

"We barely have enough staffing right now," she said.

Board Chairman Elzie Higginbottom told Casino Queen officials that the board had received numerous letters and phone calls opposed to 24-hour gambling.

Four other casino owners have reduced hours of operation to cut costs after Gov. Rod Blagojevich got approval from lawmakers to take 70 percent of revenue over $250 million from the most profitable boats and smaller increases for less profitable boats.

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