Rockford Casino Could Get Caught Up In Larger Battle

May 28, 2015

Illinois would get five new casinos under Sen. Terry Link's latest proposal. They'd go to Chicago, Danville, Rockford, Lake County and the south suburbs. It could also add so-called "satellite" casinos in places like Decatur.

Credit flickr user Ian Murphy "Solar Casino Night (3)" (CC BY 2.0)

As with previous proposals, horse race tracks would get be able to get slot machines.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has been open to new casinos. But he's upset that Democrats are killing off his pro-business agenda. Link acknowledges, his effort could get trapped in that feud.

"I would hope that all of us look at something in a bigger picture instead of trying to hold things back because of different times of agendas; there's quite a few agendas down here as we all know. I think we should look at what's a positive thing for the state of Illinois," Rauner said.

Link - a Waukegan Democrat - says his goal is to help as many people as possible - by creating jobs, raising money for the state, and creating a revenue source Chicago will use to help pay off pension debt.

Despite a push to also allow table games at race tracks, Link says that's not going to be part of the deal.