Chicago City Council backs casino expansion

September 8, 2011

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The Chicago City Council is backing a casino and wants the additional revenue to pump money into local rickety infrastructure.

The Black and Hispanic Caucuses successfully pushed a measure through the full City Council on Wednesday. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, an ardent supporter of gaming expansion, said the casino revenue would go toward renovating up to 25 schools, rebuilding CTA “L” tracks and replacing miles of leaky city water mains.

Alderman Will Burns of the 4th Ward says council members want the money for repairs.

“Right now, there’s a real question about whether there’s going to be the resources available to fix the infrastructure that people depend on us to repair. And we need the revenue. That’s the bottom line. I think that’s why the resolution earned the support it did today,” Burns said.

The City Council resolution is not binding, but aldermen say they hope the vote will bolster Emanuel’s position.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has not signed a bill that would bring a casino to Chicago.