Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed today a bill to significantly expand state gambling, including creation of a Chicago casino. In his veto statement, Quinn repeatedly referred to the to lack of "ethical standards" in SB1849. For example, the bill does not ban campaign money from gambling interests. Nor does it "ensure clear regulatory oversight" for the Chicago casino. But as PI has reported, Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), the bill sponsor, said he would change the measure to include the governor's desired ethical safeguards.
The Illinois Revenue and Jobs Alliance, a coalition of business and labor groups, claims that the veto is a missed opportunity for Illinois to create 20,000 jobs and generate $200 million each year in new revenue. Quinn's veto statement indirectly addressed this economic argument. "Illinois cannot gamble its way out of our fiscal challenges," Quinn asserted. "Even a casino on every street corner cannot repair the state's $83 billion unfunded pension liability."