Quinn Vetoes 2011 Gaming Bill


Gov. Pat Quinn has vetoed a piece of old gambling legislation that would have added five new casinos, including one in Danville, and more slot machines.

This was lawmakers' 2011 attempt, but it didn't go to Quinn's desk until the end of session in January. Quinn had opposed the bill, saying it didn't contain enough ethical protections. He vetoed it Monday.

The legislation (HB 744) proposed more slot machines at existing casinos and allowed horse tracks to have them.  Senate President John Cullerton used a parliamentary move to delay sending it to the governor's desk until January.

Proponents estimated it would bring in $1.6 billion to pay down overdue bills and more than $500 million annually for schools and state-sponsored construction.

In his veto message, Quinn says this version's most "glaring deficiency is the total absence of comprehensive ethical standards."

The measure's sponsor, House Democrat Lou Lang, said legislators embrace adopting tougher regulations.

"The governor's never told us with specificity what it is he wants," he said.  "He alludes to certain things but guesswork isn't going to get it done because every time we guess, he moves the goal line on us."

Lang says gambling negotiations continue.

Quinn vetoed another gambling expansion attempt last August, saying it needed a ban on political contributions from the gambling industry.

Story source: AP