Emanuel: Chicago casino would bring jobs, revenue for infrastructure

August 16, 2011

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is coming out in support of the first ever Chicago casino. He told reporters Tuesday a casino would create thousands of jobs and would improve the city's infrastructure.

"To compete against Shanghai, to compete against Paris, to compete against Hong Kong, to compete against L.A., Chicago has to rebuild it's infrastructure and put its people to work," Emanuel said. "The reason I was for a casino is I am committed that all the resources, not a portion, everything that comes from a casino will go into job creation and keeping Chicago economically competitive."

There's only one obstacle: the casino has yet to be approved by the state. Illinois lawmakers passed a comprehensive gambling bill in May that includes the first-ever Chicago casino, but it has yet to reach Gov. Pat Quinn's desk.

Quinn told reporters today Emanuel was "putting the cart before the horse" by planning ways to spend money before the law was even passed. Quinn has spoken against the bill before, saying he is concerned about the integrity of the bill and that it does not contain enough protection for the people of Illinois. He encouraged Mayor Emanuel to meet with gaming board chairman Aaron Jaffe, who has also spoken out against parts of the bill, before making a final opinion on it.