Illinois Senate passes gambling expansion

December 2, 2010

By City Room

(Photo by Joe Balynas via Flickr)
A casino located in Joliet, Illinois

Chicago is on its way to getting a new casino. The Illinois Senate narrowly passed a major gambling expansion proposal Wednesday. The bill would create five casinos around Illinois, including one in Chicago.

Supporters, like state Sen. Terry Link, D-Waukegan, said he hopes the new casinos will bring an extra billion dollars a year to the state.

"But we got a huge deficit in the state of Illinois," Link said. "We got huge problems in the state of Illinois. So you don't look at little things to fix it,  you look at big things to fix it."

Under the bill, the state's nine current casinos could also expand. And horse race tracks would be permitted to add slot machines. The gambling expansion bill still needs approval from the House of Representatives, which won't likely come up for a vote until January. Gov. Pat Quinn has been critical of the legislation, but wouldn't say if he would veto the measure.