A bid to expand gambling in Illinois appears dead for the spring’s legislative session after the south suburban lawmaker pushing the measure announced Friday he won’t call the bill for a vote.
“The time was not right to build the support needed for the bill to pass the Illinois House and Senate and be signed into law by the governor,” Rep. Bob Rita, D-Blue Island, said in a written statement. “I am disappointed we could not move this issue forward this spring, but I am determined to prepare a bill for consideration in the fall veto session.” […]
He mentioned local squabbles, fear of competition by existing casino owners and the lack of participation in the debate by Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has insisted on tackling pension reform ahead of gambling expansion.
Rita said again Friday that support from Quinn and Emanuel is key to passing a casino bill. The same goes for the horse racing industry and communities that would host a new casino, he said — around Chicago and Downstate.
Gaming expansion requires everybody to be pulling in the same direction at once. That didn’t happen this year, so it died. Same as it ever was.