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Almost ex-mayor has even more advice for Springfield and Lightfoot

Thursday, May 16, 2019

* Politico

As lawmakers consider another plan to bring casinos to Chicago and other communities, Mayor RAHM EMANUEL told Playbook he has a suggestion: “Tread carefully.”

The mayor reflected on past attempts to bring a casino to Chicago. In 2011, a newly elected Emanuel was aggressive in supporting casino legislation —only to see it held back when Gov. Pat Quinn indicated he wouldn’t sign it because it didn’t offer enough regulation to protect taxpayers.

In 2013, lawmakers hoping to generate revenue agreed on a new bill with more robust regulations. But Emanuel remembers Quinn calling and asking if Chicago wanted to be part of the legislation. Emanuel said no and Quinn ultimately vetoed the bill.

Why Emanuel pulled back: He says other programs in the city “were starting to work,” he said in a one-on-one interview. Tourism numbers and conventions were on the rise. The economy was growing and the city was having success in attracting digital businesses. “So we walked away from the table,” Emanuel said. “We had it right there and we walked away.”

Now that a Chicago casino has popped up again, Emanuel hopes lawmakers put thought into where it might be located. “If we could put it miles from Indiana,” so people could stop there before heading to an Indiana casino, “I can see value in that,” Emanuel said. “But people [in previous years] were talking about the Loop and Michael Reese Hospital. Those locations have social implications.”

Oh, for crying out loud. Emanuel was asking for a city-owned casino in 2015

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is trying to solve his police and fire pension problem by paying less upfront, taking longer to pay off the debt and getting some of the money to cover what the city owes from a Chicago casino.

* Since Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot will actually be in office when a gaming bill either passes or flames out, I asked her spokesperson for a response…

As Mayor-elect Lightfoot has stated in the past, in thinking about a Chicago casino, it is imperative that the construction of a new casino be used as an economic development tool.

* And this is what Lightfoot told the Sun-Times in January

For more than two decades Chicagoans have routinely traveled to neighboring cities like Rosemont, Elgin, Joliet, Gary and Hammond to gamble. If people in Chicago want to gamble, then they should be able to gamble in Chicago at a city-owned, land-based casino. Casino gambling has now been a reality in Illinois for decades. I know from my work as a lawyer that the Illinois Gaming Board has created a robust regulatory system to combat many of the problems that could arise from casino gambling.

In thinking about a Chicago casino, it is imperative that the construction of a new casino be used as an economic development tool to benefit people and neighborhoods that have been neglected by city government for far too long, including minority and women owned businesses and individuals on the west and south sides. As mayor, I will ensure these groups are involved at every stage of the process, from the design, planning and construction of the casino to its daily operations. Moreover, I will insist that the casino work with Chicago businesses to create a localized supply-chain for goods and services.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - ChicagoVinny - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 1:58 pm:

    Maybe he should join his buddy Rauner in Italy for a few months

  2. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 2:09 pm:

    –In 2013, lawmakers hoping to generate revenue agreed on a new bill with more robust regulations. But Emanuel remembers Quinn calling and asking if Chicago wanted to be part of the legislation. Emanuel said no and Quinn ultimately vetoed the bill.–

    –Oh, for crying out loud. Emanuel was asking for a city-owned casino in 2015…–

    Call me Capt. Renault: I’m shocked, shocked, that Emanuel is lying about why there’s no gambling here.

    Geez, this is the last guy who still won’t leave the party after you’re out of booze, your wife’s gone to bed and you tell him you have to get up early in the morning.

    Take a hint, dude. We can’t miss you if you don’t leave.

  3. - Regular democrat - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 2:10 pm:

    Trying to stay relevant till the very end. Sadly nobody listening good bye and good luck to you.

  4. - Been There - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 2:16 pm:

    ===Emanuel said no and Quinn ultimately vetoed the bill.–===
    Maybe he should have told his lobbyist to not work on the bill. Or told the Chicago legislators that pretty much all voted for it. And cut deals based on that vote.

  5. - A guy - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 2:22 pm:

    Someone send this guy a Judy Collins song…

  6. - Evanston - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 2:29 pm:

    Make it interesting like the Casinos in Vegas. I do not like any of the Casinos around here and only went to most of them once.

    Put a theme in like bringing back Old Chicago (Amusement Park from 1970’s Bolingbrook) or make it like a theme that Vegas doesn’t have yet like Berlin, Budapest, Dublin, Vienna, London, Warsaw, Rome, Athens, Quebec City, Bangkok, Salzburg, Zurich, New Delhi or Tokyo. Mayor-Elect Lightfoot might think of another city not taken yet by Vegas. Make it fun and you will attract more people and make more money. Make it about more then gambling. Make it family friendly. Make it a vacation spot. I would get a hotel room there for a few days if it is fun and I currently live in the city.

  7. - Al - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 2:33 pm:

    There are a thousand tavern operators in Chicago who would love the ability to install 5 one armed bandits. Maybe we could give this great gift to Chicago, since it has solved so many social problems in all other areas of the State.

  8. - Evanston - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 2:37 pm:

    I would bring my whole immediate family if it is family friendly and my kids could enjoy the family friendly atmosphere and it could be fun for children as well as the adults.

    My huge family of siblings would probably bring their kids and we would bring Mother.

    If it is fun, it will make a lot of money. Vegas east would be fun and much better then the lame casinos currently in the Midwest

  9. - Evanston - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 2:38 pm:

    Our Mother, forgot the Our

  10. - Annonin' - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 2:56 pm:

    Someone might to explain to Rahm that the state is not going to airlift a building into the city and start the dice a rolling.

  11. - Bourbon Street - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 3:08 pm:

    Given that he has been yammering away with his opinions these past few weeks on a myriad of topics relating to City governance, perhaps he could share with us a suitable location for a casino within the City limits. “Miles from Indiana” sounds like a bad country & western song.

  12. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 3:09 pm:

    –Maybe we could give this great gift to Chicago, since it has solved so many social problems in all other areas of the State.–

    What “social problems” have you fever-dreamed that slots were supposed to solve? Who claimed them?

    Okay with you the local tavern and VFW hall make a few legal bucks?

  13. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 3:17 pm:

    The poker machines were part of a really weird NIMBY referendum in Forest Park and lost. It was really strange and as if 55% of Forest Parkers thought video gaming was what created Madison Street mayhem. I wonder if something similar would happen in the posh Chicago neighborhoods

  14. - Norb McAndrew - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 4:01 pm:

    Put the casino by McCormick to capture all of the out of towners. There’s already hotels, theaters, sports, museums etc in that area. That’s where it would make money that can then be distributed to communities that need it. The VLT legislation was a crap cake. Keep the gambling centralized at a casino.

  15. - Keyrock - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 4:24 pm:

    Shouldn’t this post have the title “The Man Who Shall Not Be Named”?

  16. - BAP - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 5:29 pm:

    Rahm has been the best mayor Chicago has had in generations. I am hopeful that Lightfoot stays on the current path the City is on as she appears to have so far.

  17. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 6:37 pm:

    “- BAP - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 5:29 pm:“

    Ok Rahm, you have said enough. You can now go to Italy with Rauner

  18. - Veil of Ignorance - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 10:31 pm:

    Nope. Please say no to a regressive tax. Just because it doesn’t show up on the city ledger directly doesn’t mean there isn’t a real cost. Having to travel to Indiana or the suburbs is still very different than jumping the CTA or walking to the casino.

  19. - BAP - Friday, May 17, 19 @ 8:47 am:

    Lol, yeah, you got me I’m Ra Emanuel. Just ignore that chicago has boomed under Rahm with population growth, massive amounts of private development not seen in decades and the strongest job growth in decades.

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