SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CN) – Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed a bill that would have expanded statewide gambling, including a casino in Chicago and slot machines at horse tracks.
Quinn said the bill, which proposed adding four new riverboat casinos, lacked regulatory oversight.
Supporters claimed the bill would have brought up to $1 billion annually to the state and created 100,000 jobs.
Opponents claimed the expansion would saturate the market, and raised concerns about the social cost.
The most glaring omission from the bill “is the absence of strict ethical standards and comprehensive regulatory oversight,” Quinn said in a statement. “Illinois should never settle for a gaming bill that includes loopholes for mobsters.”
Quinn said he does not oppose gambling in principal, but is sensitive to having ethical oversight, given the state’s history.
“Everybody should be concerned about ethics in our state. We have two governors, my predecessors, both in jail,” Quinn told The Associated Press. “That’s a pretty darn important issue for our state, to have integrity at all times in every part of government, and that includes regulating casinos. It must be airtight when it comes to protecting the public.”
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