Chicago may get First Casino

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Despite being the United States’ third largest city, Chicago, Illinois has yet to see a casino within their city limits. However, all of this could change because the Illinois House of Representatives passed a vote that will bring legalized gambling to the Windy City. When the ballots were counted, 65 representatives voted in favor of the casino, while 50 reps voted against the measure.

A big reason why the vote passed is because it had the full support of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. In fact, he has petitioned both the Illinois House of Representatives and State Senate to vote in favor of the bill as quickly as possible. He also commented about the bill through the media by saying, “A Chicago casino will spur local economic growth and provide jobs to Chicagoans, both needed to get our city moving again.”

The Illinois State Senate is expected to follow suit and vote the bill in just like the House. Senator Terry Link alluded to this by saying, “I don’t think the state’s going to turn down an extra billion dollars a year in annual revenue, plus putting a lot of people to work.” He also spoke of how the Senate has passed a different version of the bill before, and it’s likely they’ll repeat history later this week.

Governor Pat Quinn is the final piece of the puzzle, and Link thinks that Quinn will “take a long hard look at this.” Of course, the Governor has also stated in the past that he has mixed feelings about legal gambling in Chicago.

As far as the details of the bill go, the plan is to bring slot machines to Chicago’s airports, one casino to Chicago and four additional casinos throughout Illinois. Once the casinos are in place, they’re expected to earn between $500 million to $1 billion in annual revenue for the state.

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