Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** Lou Lang an adviser on the Danville casino
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*** UPDATED x1 *** Lou Lang an adviser on the Danville casino

Thursday, Oct 3, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* 2011

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says he is willing to talk about adding a casino in Chicago, but he stated on Friday that he is opposed to a larger expansion of gambling. […]

When asked what he thinks about the prospect of Danville getting a casino, Quinn said Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhauer should not “hold his breath.” Quinn said he doesn’t want the state to be the “Las Vegas of the Midwest.” […]

Skokie Democrat Lou Lang said he plans to introduce a gaming expansion measure next week in the Illinois House of Representatives that includes Danville.

Lang was the chief sponsor of the gaming bill for years, and he made sure Danville was always in the mix. Lang recused himself from the bill’s sponsorship in 2013 because a law firm he had joined represented a suburban town seeking a casino. He said he did no work for that town, however.

* Lang is now a partner in the new casino operating group chosen by Danville

Even though the group is new, together they have more than 100 years of gaming experience.

To start. there is Lou Lang, a former state representative from Skokie. He served for 32 years and was a major advocate for gaming expansion.

Another partner is Scott Syplot, a Chicago gaming attorney who works mostly with Indian tribes.

And Bill Bembenek, who came from San Diego as the former CEO of the Pala Casino Spa & Resort.

“This is about not only revenue, but this is about the future of Danville,” Lang said.


*** UPDATE *** Despite the stories referring to him as a partner in the casino project, I just reached out to Lang and he told me that he’s just an adviser. So, I changed the headline.


  1. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 10:55 am:

    color me shocked

  2. - Not a Superstar - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 10:56 am:

    “Ukraine, China, I would like you to do a favor, though. Can you look into this Danville casino thing?”

  3. - Annonin' - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 10:56 am:

    Interesting development. Danville seemed like the most dubious site, but guessing this group will help make it a reality.

  4. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 10:57 am:

    Wait a second. You’re telling me Lou Lang is profiting from an issue he pushed forever? Color me flabbergasted /s

  5. - Colin O'Scopy - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 10:58 am:

    To quote Lynyrd Skynyrd: “Oooo,ooo, that smell.”

  6. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 11:03 am:

    Lou was unabashed in his pursuit of gaming. He never expressed a moral concern of any kind on gambling. So is anyone surprised?

  7. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 11:04 am:

    Unless he gets shares for free, he is risking his money. I wouldn’t take that risk.

  8. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 11:05 am:

    “Interesting development. Danville seemed like the most dubious site…..”

    Not really, the Danville area for years has been lobbying for a casino. There is an Indiana casino less than an hour away from the border. That Indiana casino has spent years sending buses to Danville pick up points and hauling Illinois residents over to Indiana to spend their money.

  9. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 11:05 am:

    Good old Lou, his door and campaign committee was always open to the gaming lobby when he was a Rep.Then he evolved into a lobbyist himself. Now he’s part owner in a casino. This is just the natural extension of a influence game

  10. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 11:06 am:

    “This is about the future of Danville”

    Most studies on the effect of casinos on their host cities predicts it isn’t.

  11. - Dilbert - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 11:08 am:

    This is nauseating.

  12. - Steve - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 11:10 am:

    Lou saw his opportunities and took them.

  13. - Da Lobsta - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 11:14 am:


  14. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 11:21 am:

    That’s nice. People can pour their money right into the slot machines then into Lang’s pockets. Pure Danville.

  15. - Career Politician 2.0 - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 11:25 am:

    Let’s not forget Bill Black pushed for Danville to get a casino for years- and the votes were never there. Chad Hays advocated for a Danville to get a casino when he was in the GA and the votes were never there. And this year Rep. Marron supported Danville’s push and it finally happened. Danville needs the jobs and investment.

    If you were putting together a team, would you want someone that had 1 year of gaming knowledge, or your you want someone that had 32 years and knew this history of gaming in IL?

    When was the last time Lou was the chief sponsor of gaming- 6yrs ago. If Lou’s ownership in a casino after being out of the GA for one year has ruffled people’s feathers, then where is the concern of a current legislator being the sponsor of a major bill and her spouse being hired by a company that benefited from the legislation?

  16. - dbk - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 11:31 am:

    Since it’s not only about revenue, but “about the future of Danville,” perhaps we will see Lang donating his own share of the profits to good causes throughout the greater Danville area.

    Yeah, uh-huh.

  17. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 11:41 am:

    “If Lou’s ownership in a casino after being out of the GA for one year has ruffled people’s feathers, then where is the concern of a current legislator being the sponsor of a major bill and her spouse being hired by a company that benefited from the legislation?”

    You are correct there is lots of influence peddling. However Lou Lang did it so unabashedly and with such aplomb for 30 plus years, so the visceral reaction from many should come as no surprise.

  18. - RNUG - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 11:41 am:

    While casinos aren’t always net positive benefit for the hosting city, Danville really can use the jobs and money.

    As to Lou being involved, business more or less as usual. If he put his money into it on the same basis as the other investors, I don’t see a big issue. It’s not like anyone hid the desire for a casino there or the attempts to get one there.

  19. - Curious George - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 12:12 pm:

    So was he lobbying for Rivers or himself? Or is Rivers a partner in Danville?

  20. - Annonin' - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 12:40 pm:

    Shucks we were hoping to roll through Dville and have Lou deal a few hands of blackjack. Oh well

  21. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 12:43 pm:

    Lang worked a long time for this. He’s supposed to give it away for nothing? He’s got this thing, and it’s bleeping golden.

  22. - Career Politician 2.0 - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 12:55 pm:

    It was just a few days ago that everyone was so excited for Toi Hutchinson and her new position as the State Pot Czar. She was a sponsor of the legislation that created the position and made adult use legal in Illinois.

    “In her new job, Hutchinson will make a reported $220,000 per year. Now, she pulls in about $68,000 as a state senator and works as an attorney for the Chapman and Cutler law firm, which has offices around the country, including downtown Chicago.”

    So people are happy for someone that pushed for adult use cannabis, took campaign contributions and then became the state czar. Yet, people are outraged by a former legislator that who was the chief gaming sponsor over 6yrs ago becoming an ADVISOR to a casino.

    If the support/outrage is going to be applied, then it needs to be applied constantly. Good for Toi and Good for Lou.

  23. - Chicagonk - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 1:08 pm:

    Being an advisor is better anyway. No real skin in the game.

  24. - Blue Dog Dem - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 1:28 pm:

    Rich. Would it be interested to ask Lou what his compensation is for simply being an advisor?

  25. - Blue Dog Dem - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 1:29 pm:


  26. - Get Real - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 1:33 pm:

    Former Rep. Lang being an adviser is a nothing burger. Truly nothing to see here at all.

    The premature outrage for an incomplete story is always fun.

  27. - Nagidam - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 1:34 pm:

    If you have to go see a doctor do you choose the first year person of the seasoned veteran? Sen. Hutchinson knows the refer business. Rep. Lang knows the gaming business. Someone is paying them for their knowledge. I say good for them and good for their client. Last I checked there is this little capital program counting on the success of gaming and refer taxes will help the State’s /municipal budgets.

  28. - Nagidam - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 1:35 pm:

    Reefer not refer. Sorry I did not start early.

  29. - Career Politician 2.0 - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 2:23 pm:

    @Blue Dog Dem
    =what his compensation is for simply being an advisor=

    Remember the wage equity bill? You can ask what his compensation is, but he doesn’t have to disclose.

  30. - Thomas Paine - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 2:45 pm:

    Every day in America, people take what they have learned and the skills they have mastered and the relationships they have built working for one organization and use them to make more working for another organization.

    Jerry Reinsdorf took his mastery of the tax code as an IRS employee and used it to build a fortune helping companies reduce their tax burdens through real estate leasebacks.

    Did any Republicans complain?

    This is capitalism. So unless someone thinks Lang is in violation of the Ethics act, or has actual evidence that he knowingly used his authority while a lawmaker to specifically benefit the current bidder in a deal that landed him the advisor role, there is no wrongdoing.

    I for one will be much more interested to see what cannabis clients he is advising.

  31. - Commonsense in Illinois - Thursday, Oct 3, 19 @ 4:07 pm:

    So, I wonder if Lou obtain a percentage of ownership for his “advising”?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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