State News
6:48 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Il lawmakers hold hearing on gambling

The latest chapter in the long-running effort to expand gambling in Illinois happened Wednesday in Chicago. A handful of lawmakers are hearing from interests on all sides of the issue. 

A full day of hearings began with talk of a casino in Downtown Chicago. Kim Goluska represents a pro-casino coalition that includes the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Federation of Labor.

"Chicago is an incredible prize for the gaming industry. It's an incredible market. Companies that are not expanding elsewhere would certainly want to expand in Chicago," says Goluska.

Goluska says his group favors a location in the heart of downtown where it would be an economic boost to the existing entertainment and shopping district. He floats one hypothetical that has the casino on the top three floors of Macy's, so people have to pass through the old State Street Marshal Field's on the way in and out.

"What we're illustrating there is that this is not about putting neon and glitz on State Street. It's about filling the retail stores with people who have money to spend."

In addition to Chicago, lawmakers are discussing new casinos for the south suburbs, Lake County, Rockford, and Danville.