Casino in Chicago? Will it have an awesome pool?

May 31, 2011

The first big gambling house in Chicago since the late 19th century may be the first big initiative of the Emanuel administration. But the big question remains: Will a Chicago casino have a kick-ass pool?

The IL House approved a huge expansion of gaming and casinos in Illinois. They have paved the way for casinos in Chicago and it goes to the IL Senate today. If it doesn't pass today, then the extra session will need more Republican votes and the casino probably won't happen. It's essentially the show 24, but instead of counter terrorism, it's downstate politics.

This is Emanuel's wheelhouse, getting legislators to flip their votes and endorse something he wants. Books have been written on this very subject! It's kind of exciting, but at the same time, kind of perplexing. Why now?  As a Chicagoan, I've heard every argument about how casinos will hurt the city. Crime, debt, quality of life will suffer. Not to mention that I've heard that we might still have the mob in Chicago. And does the city have any way of controlling that? Our legislative bodies and mayors have never been able to make a casino happen in Chicago. So Rahm Emanuel is either a brilliant politician who can accomplish anything or a brilliant politician who just walked into a trap.

And better yet, didn't Des Plaines win the last coveted casino license recently? They are about to open a casino that is the closest to downtown Chicago. You know, to attract the Chicago gambling crowd. Good luck with that.

This is going to be a great story to follow. Anyone who has lived in Chicago for the past two decades understands how important this story could be (at least for newspapers).

B story: Blago is back on the stand today. Something tells me that copycat autograph seekers will try and get him to sign assorted citrus.

C story: Ooooh, the ink isn't even dry on redistricting Illinois' congressional map and the fight for the new 11th district is on. Adam Kinzinger won the district back in 2010, defeating incumbent Debbie Halvorson. Now, the new map features more Dems and Bill Foster, who lost the 14th to Randy Hultgren in the 2010 mid term elections, is now eligible to run in the 11th. So it's on. Already.

Weather: Seriously, it's now summer.

Sports: Now that we have no Bulls, no Blackhawks and no Bears, all focus shifts to baseball. And what do we have? Is it me Cubs fans, or is this team one of the most unremarkable ball clubs in recent memory? Who's the star, again? I know contracts have put a stranglehold on the front office, but this team seems to lack design. What is the deal? Quade seems lifeless and the team is now without their star (?) Alfonso Soriano, who joins Marlon Byrd on the injury report. And today, the Sun-Times wonders about the Cubs' backup plan. Say what you will about the underachieving White Sox, but at least you see the potential of this team getting red hot. I'm not sure you feel that in Wrigleyville.

Kicker: I've had this happen. Not in Greek, but I have had this happen: