Saturday, June 01, 2013

Gaming talks fall apart on final day of session

By Meredith Colias 

Efforts to pass gambling legislation fell apart as the Illinois House adjourned its spring session.

Blue Island Democratic Rep. Robert Rita told reporters earlier in the week he hoped to have a bill by the last day of the session, but that did not pan out. He said more time for compromise will “be worth it if we can have a greater dialogue.”  Rita did introduce an amendment that he said he hoped would start a conversation about issues such as the tax structure for casinos and racetracks with slot machines, where revenue from gaming would go and the regulation of a proposed Chicago casino.

Senate sponsor Sen. Terry Link, a Democrat from Waukegan, said Rita was still learning the issue and may have tweaked the bill too much. “It was a ridiculous amendment in my mind,” Link said. “We should be working the agreements that we had with people.”

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