* Illinois Gaming Board Chairman Aaron Jaffe is a former state legislator. He surely knows from his experience that the best way to pass a bill which benefits Chicago is to also insert stuff for Downstate and suburban areas, and vice versa.
While it was unlikely that Illinois Gaming Board Chairman Aaron Jaffe’s idea would take shape before Friday’s end-of-session deadline, similar ethical concerns have been echoed in the governor’s office and came as final negotiations were in the works. The bill calls for casinos in Chicago, Danville, Rockford, Chicago’s south suburbs and Lake County, as well as numerous slot machines. It also sets aside revenues for certain groups.
Jaffe has publicly blasted the proposal - which remained in a House committee Tuesday - because it establishes a separate board to oversee a Chicago casino. He said giving that control to a board of mayoral appointees leaves the door open for corruption. He told The Associated Press that the bill is trying to do too much.
“It’s a Christmas tree bill,” Jaffe told the AP. “You have one political party that is in the governor’s mansion, controlling the Senate, controlling the House. You’re telling me they can’t pass one bill that will give the city of Chicago a casino? That blows my mind.”
* Rep. Bob Rita, the sponsor of the House gaming bill, held a press conference this morning to say basically the same thing I did at the top of this post. From BlueRoomStream.com’s Twitter feed…
Rep Rita says Gaming Board Chairman apparently wants Chicago out of the bill. Rita says that will kill the bill & won’t likely happen.
* I’m also told that one of the things Gov. Quinn and Chairman Jaffe are fighting for behind the scenes is giving the board approval power in case Chicago decides to sell its license. Right now, that approval power rests with the General Assembly.
* And this is from Rep. Rita’s spokesperson…
There is a dispute between the City of Chicago and the Cook County Board over whether some revenues from a Chicago casino should go to Cook County, or whether county revenues should only come from a south suburban casino. Rep. Rita wants that issue worked out in a compromise.
==I think Jaffe has made it obvious he wants no expansion of gaming of any kind. ==
I think Jaffe has consistently made clear, or at least given the impression, that he hates gaming, which I find odd coming from the Chairman of the Gaming Board. He has always been hostile to anything related to gaming.
One tangential gaming issue that a few of us have been interested in is the Advance Deposit Wagering bill (online horse betting). This was legal for a few years before finally sunsetting at the beginning of this year and after months of no movement SB1884 finally passed the House over the weekend and passed out of Senate exec unanimously yesterday.
The bill would reauthorize ADW until it sunsets next January 31. Here’s the odd thing though, they’ve already missed most of the triple crown season and will probably miss the whole thing by the time this gets signed (if it doesn’t get vetoed) and then it sunsets essentially before the big Kentucky Derby prep races start again early next year. The Kentucky Derby is the first weekend in May followed by the Preakness two weeks later and the Belmont three weeks after that. We all know the schedule the GA works on, even if they reauthorize this bill sometime next year it’s likely to happen on the same schedule as this one so they’re basically all taking this online gaming vote to get a partial year (the least financially beneficial part of the year) only to ensure that they miss taxing the big season again next year. I don’t know the actual figures but even a layperson could see that the vast majority of the action takes place between March and June and the GA keeps putting this on a schedule to miss that window. What’s the point of putting your members on an online horse racing wagering bill if you’re not getting the money from it?
“The Gaming Board consists of five members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The Gaming Board administers a regulatory and tax collection system for casino and video gambling in Illinois. The Gaming Board also has comprehensive law enforcement responsibilities associated with casino and video gambling operations in Illinois.
The Board’s staff conducts audit, legal, enforcement, investigative, operational and financial analysis activities to ensure the integrity of riverboat and video gambling in Illinois as mandated by the Acts. The Board ensures the integrity of the gambling operations through the regulatory oversight and the licensing of gaming operations and personnel. The Board’s staff conducts a criminal background and financial investigation of riverboat and video gaming personnel to ensure that an applicant has no felony convictions or criminal history which would make him or her ineligible for licensure.”
I fail to see where shaping legislative policy is part of their mission.
===if they reauthorize this bill sometime next year it’s likely to happen on the same schedule as this one ===
Captain. The horse industry is just kicking the can down the road. There is disagreement among the various interests on how it should be structured. It was agreed to reinstate so that the battle can be fought in the next veto session and concentrate on passing the bigger gaming bill this session. If they come to agreement in veto session it will not have a sunset clause and you will be able to bet the Derby. Or it might lapse again if there is no agreement.
There are other non horse racing considerations in that bill though that were not worked out until later and that caused it to miss the triple crown races.
Rich - Any word from the Governor’s office on this mess?
- Not in the Know - Thursday, May 30, 13 @ 12:25 am:
Allowing Chicago to have their own Gaming Board is a disaster waiting to happen…regardless if they will still have to ‘answer’ to the State’s board, not a good mix with the history of back door deals and corruption. Now I’m not saying the State’s been a saint either, but adding more levels to something that has been working well for over 20 years is a waste of time and energy.
It is time for Mr. Jaffe to resign or to be release from his position. I keep thinking that the Governor will finally come through on this issue and the bill will finally be passed but now I have lost faith in our Governor and the legislature!