Government
2:57 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Quinn vetoes gambling bill

Legislation to expand gambling the General Assembly approved nearly two years ago is finally dead. As IPR's Amanda Vinicky reports, Governor Pat Quinn vetoed a measure that would have given Illinois five new casinos.

Governor Pat Quinn
Governor Pat Quinn

When Governor Quinn gives his annual budget address later this week, he's expected to highlight Illinois' plethora financial problems. Which is what frustrates supporters of gambling expansion, who say more casinos would be like hitting the jackpot.

This is the second time Quinn rejected legislation that would give Chicago, Rockford, Danville and two other locations casinos.  It would also have put slot machines at horse racetracks.

In his veto message, Quinn says this version's most "glaring deficiency is the total absence of comprehensive ethical standards."

The measures sponsor, House Democrat Lou Lang, says legislators embrace adopting tougher regulations.

"The governor's never told us with specificity what it is he wants.  He alludes to certain things but guesswork isn't going to get it done because every time we guess, he moves the goal line on us," says Lang.

Lang says gambling negotiations continue. But they're always dicey, and any new proposal will have to get through a brand new General Assembly.

Quinn's veto message also hints that he won't approve more casinos unless lawmakers first reduce the state's pension costs.