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Former Legislator Black Urges Governor to Support Danville Casino

A retired state legislator from Danville says Governor Pat Quinn would send a strange message if he approved a casino for Chicago and nowhere else.

During a Wednesday morning press conference, the governor described the gambling legislation passed by lawmakers as 'top heavy', but that he planned to listen to the people before deciding whether to sign or veto the bill. Quinn says he could envision a casino in Chicago if it's properly done.

Former Republican House member and current Danville Alderman Bill Black says he understands all the moral arguments against gaming, but favors a riverboat casino after seeing the economic benefit for cities like Metropolis and Joliet.

And Black says it's unrealistic to believe his city should focus solely on industry and agriculture.

"You can't just sit back and say 'I only want to attract a certain kind of job," said Black, "And I'm not going to lift a finger to bring in any other kind of job. So I realize it's controversial, I realize there's a downside, I realize that some people unfortunately will get themselves in trouble by gambling, but they do that now."

Black says he can't turn his back on a plan to bring in $300-million in private investment, along with construction jobs and 800 permanent positions when a casino is up and running. Black says he's written Governor Quinn, urging him to support it.

"I just said 'take a long look at it governor, because this is something that might pump enough money into Danville where we can help finance some of our own infrastructure projects," said Black. 'I know it's not a panacea, and I know it will not solve all our problems for the next 20 years."

The former legislator says he warmed the idea of a Danville casino in his later years in the legislature, citing improved security measures at riverboat casinos as well as better infrastructure for the facilities.

Categories: Economics, Government, Politics