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Hopefully, they’ll talk and not bicker

Thursday, Oct 27, 2011

* After yesterday’s somewhat bizarre back and forth between the two staffs, this is somewhat encouraging news

The state Senate has delayed action on a major gambling expansion, but behind-the-scenes efforts are under way.

Senate President John Cullerton’s office says he’ll be at a meeting with Gov. Pat Quinn this morning.

A Senate committee on Wednesday discussed a measure based on Quinn’s requirements for more gambling. He wants five new casinos in Illinois, including one in Chicago, but not slot machines at race tracks.

* Murph ain’t wrong

Sen. Matt Murphy, a Palatine Republican, questioned [Sen. Terry Link] at the earlier hearing, saying Quinn’s suggestions could kill the gambling expansion effort and leave the cash-strapped state without additional revenue more gambling can bring.

He called it a “failure of leadership.”

“That is going to sit right at the foot of the governor,” Murphy said.

More Murph

The original plan was expected to generate $1.5 billion in upfront fees and another $1 billion annually.

Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine, said he found it curious that “the governor who has lamented the lack of revenue would so flippantly turn his back on this revenue.”

* Related…

* Gaming bill held for more work

* Quinn objects to new Senate gambling proposal

* Quinn, Lawmakers in Casino Standoff

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - G. Willickers - Thursday, Oct 27, 11 @ 3:25 am:

    The question Matt Murphy, Terry Link, etc. all fail to answer (which the Gov is admittedly making a ham-handed attempt to raise) is why are we going after “dirty money” (aka, sin money)?

    If the state needs the revenue, stop beating around the bush and just raise the revenue.

    That, or make the painful cuts.

    Instead, Republicans join a cadre of Dems to put thousands of one-armed pickpockets throughout the state.

    To Sen. Murphy: That’s not the type of revenue most “family values” candidates should be supporting.

    At the very least, this renewed debate gives Dave Harris a chance to flip-flop on his flip-flop.

    The very first press release his 2010 campaign published was against a casino at Arlington Park. Harris backed that up by repeating his stance over and over at forums and in news articles.

    Harris voted for it anyway.

    Maybe now he can back on his word again to land where he started.

  2. - Das Man - Thursday, Oct 27, 11 @ 6:12 am:

    According to one of the articles above, it looks like the Illinois Gaming Board also cleans house with another $50 million for additional”staff” in SB 747. No slots at the Chicago Airports is also a nice touch, I wonder why that wouldn’t extend to all airports in Illinois? I also see the Opt-In provision that Quinn wanted (line 16 page 303 of the bill), which in my opinion is a good thing.

    I am not sure that I agree with the thesis “That the Illinois horse racing industry is on the verge of extinction due to fierce competition from fully developed horse racing and gaming operations in other states” (page 39, line 20). As I understand it, the horsemen are already getting money from the casinos, and stand to extort even more if 747 passes.

  3. - Quinn T. Sential - Thursday, Oct 27, 11 @ 6:23 am:

    Hmmm; not sure if my comment was deemed inappropriate or excessively rabid. It definitely wasn’t sock puppetry but perhaps it was just too directly on target.

  4. - Das Man - Thursday, Oct 27, 11 @ 6:44 am:

    @QTS - I read it before deletion - metaphors and rhetoric incorporating violence have no place in public discourse.

  5. - Quinn T. Sential - Thursday, Oct 27, 11 @ 7:23 am:

    The art of sarcasm is sometimes difficult to discern in the written word, but the absence of a sense of humor are far more easily detected.

  6. - Tack - Thursday, Oct 27, 11 @ 9:42 am:

    People will either gamble in Illinois or take their money and gamble in other states. Which do you prefer? As far as restricting gambling, I would ask “did Prohibition stop people from drinking”? Stop listening to religious zealots and get the revenue Illinois needs.

  7. - Da Man - Thursday, Oct 27, 11 @ 10:00 am:

    If something don’t give 40,000 people will be out of work, please help the horse racing industry in Illinois!

  8. - soccermom - Thursday, Oct 27, 11 @ 10:20 am:

    QTS - Yes it are.

  9. - Way Way Down Here - Thursday, Oct 27, 11 @ 10:27 am:

    Soccermon - LOL

  10. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 27, 11 @ 10:28 am:

    Casinos, CME, ComEd — it’s quite a week under the dome.

  11. - downstate hack - Thursday, Oct 27, 11 @ 10:52 am:

    People will either gamble in Illinois or take their money and gamble in other states. Which do you prefer? As far as restricting gambling, I would ask “did Prohibition stop people from drinking”? Stop listening to religious zealots and get the revenue Illinois needs.

    I agree 100% with your comments. In addition for those who want to eliminate or reduce gaming have them start with the most unfair and regressive form “the Illinois Lottery”.

  12. - walkinfool - Thursday, Oct 27, 11 @ 10:53 am:

    So Murphy’s for or against the bill? His greatest political skill is getting quoted criticising others, while taking no stand.

  13. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Oct 27, 11 @ 11:05 am:

    Funny argument to hear from Murphy and everyone else dangling the need for more revenue as a reason to pass the bill.

    Last time I checked, the official position from Murphy and the Republicans was that Illinois doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem.

    Tack -

    Thank you for your forceful argument for legalizing marijuana.

  14. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Oct 27, 11 @ 11:43 am:

    ===it’s quite a week under the dome.===

    Combine this veto session with January’s lame duck session and it’s incredible how much the General Assembly can accomplish when hardly anyone is paying attention.

  15. - Not for Nuttin' - Thursday, Oct 27, 11 @ 12:45 pm:

    Has there been any analysis done on how much revenue the State has lost to ‘third parties’ by not getting legalized video poker going over the last 2 years?

  16. - Mark - Thursday, Oct 27, 11 @ 12:45 pm:

    Das Man, a 2006 lawsuit by the casinos (Empress Casino Joliet, Harrah’s Casino Joliet, Hollywood Casino Aurora, and Elgin Casino) against the State of IL regarding constitutionality of the tax imposed by Public Act 94-804 had prevented the horse racing industry from receiving money from the casinos. That lawsuit was just resolved August 2011. The accumulated money is $140 million and is to be distributed over the next 3 years with a ratio of 60% purses and 40% racetracks. The formula used to calculate the amount of money the casinos turn over to the horse racing industry is 3% of the earnings of the 4 largest casinos, but the legislation didn’t include the 10th casino license that was awarded to Des Plaines Riverboat, so now there’s talks to see if Des Plaines can be added. There is a tug of war between the horse racing industry, governed by the Illinois Racing Board, and the casino industry, governed by the Illinois Gaming Board, in Illinois. The predicament for the Illinois horse racing industry is many other states have enacted legislation to allow slots at racetracks, a combination commonly known as racinos (racing casinos). Racinos allow larger purses, and both gamblers and horses navigate to those higher purses because they can earn more money. Through off track betting (OTB), gamblers can wager from say an IL OTB location on a race in NY. Many good horses have left Illinois to race in those higher purse races in other states. Instead of racinos, Quinn’s proposal is to further subsidize the horse racing industry with casino revenue. We’ll see if the 3% allows for purses high enough to lure back the best horses. Rather than subsidies from casinos the horse race tracks would prefer the ability to have slots at their racetracks. We currently have five horse race tracks in IL and each has separate locations for off track betting (OTB) parlors: Arlington Park in Arlington Heights (4 OTB), Maywood Park in Melrose Park (4 OTB), Balmoral Park in Crete (3 OTB), Hawthorne in Stickney (6 OTB), and Fairmont in Collinsville (near St. Louis - 3 OTB). The closed Quad City Downs track currently operates 5 OTB. We have 10 riverboat casinos in Illinois: Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Hollywood Casino in Aurora, Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino in East Peoria, Empress Casino in Joliet, Harrah’s Casino in Joliet, Casino Queen in East St. Louis, Harrah’s Metropolis, Jumer’s Casino in Rock Island, and Argosy Casino in Alton. Regarding other gambling, the Illinois Video Gaming Act was enacted on July 13, 2009. It legalizes the use of Video Gaming Terminals in liquor licensed establishments including bars, restaurants, truck stops, and certain fraternal and veterans organizations. Before video game terminals are installed the Illinois Gaming Board needs to award a contract to a vendor to install a centralized communications system whose functionality would include ensuring the proper amount of taxes are collected. And of course Illinois has the lottery managed by the Illinois Department of Revenue and the private Northstar Lottery Group.

  17. - Quinn T. Sential - Thursday, Oct 27, 11 @ 1:01 pm:

    @ Soccermom-LOL

    Note to self; do not post to CAPFAX while driving!

  18. - pj - Thursday, Oct 27, 11 @ 2:49 pm:

    If the state does not get a bill passed to bring in more revenue and pushes it off till the spring there will be a strong possiblity of a debt downgrade and it would be more expensive to service our debt

  19. - pj - Thursday, Oct 27, 11 @ 2:51 pm:

    has anybody questioned the gov on the bluhm family contributions to his campaign ? can that be the root of his hatred to horses?

  20. - Original Rambler - Thursday, Oct 27, 11 @ 3:17 pm:

    So long as there are Illinois residents crossing the border to gamble, it makes sense for us to try and capture that revenue for use here. I am personally anti-gambling, but not fervently so. I don’t gamble & an increase in gaming positions won”t get me started.

    Now if they allowed a sports book…

  21. - bigdaddygeo - Thursday, Oct 27, 11 @ 5:52 pm:

    Nuttin’ - Arduin, Laffer Econometrics wrote a report in 2009 that projected 40,000 machines and tax revenues to the state / local of $375 million to $540 million. This was obviously before the new casinos were contemplated. Clearly, it would take a while to ramp up to 40,000 machines.

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