To pay for the construction plan, lawmakers were considering Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s multibillion-dollar proposal to expand gambling and lease of the state lottery.
Included in the mix was the possibility of adding three new casinos, including one in Chicago, one in its suburbs and one in a downstate city.
* Opposition from casinos…
The Illinois Casino Gaming Association opposed both the House and Senate bills, saying they add too much gambling to an already-shrinking market.
* House Speaker Madigan ain’t happy, either…
Madigan reiterated the reason behind lawmakers’ hesitation: “It’s all about trust. It’s all about trust and whether people are prepared to trust Gov. Blagojevich and trust his record of broken promises.”
* Another Lottery shell game?
The state would lease out its rights to upward of 80 percent of the state lottery proceeds for nearly 65 years in exchange for at least $10 billion upfront, with $3 billion set aside for education and $7 billion for construction projects.
So, how much does the lottery bring in annually?
The answer: $600 million. […]
But whoever ends up with the lottery, will likely make at least three times that much over the course of this deal.
80 percent of $600 million is $480 million. Multiply that by the possible length of the lease (65 years) and you get $31.2 billion.
So the state’s giving up $31.2 billion for $10 billion now.