Senators And Regulators Clash Over Casino Plan

Apr 11, 2013

Members of the Illinois Senate sparred with gambling regulators this week over a plan to put a casino in Chicago. What started as policy disagreements turned into personal attacks.

Illinois Senator Terry Link

Chicago's casino would have a feature that Gaming Board officials say is unique in America: the city would own it.

Construction and management decisions would be made by a special "authority" -- like the ones that run White Sox park, Navy Pier and McCormick Place.

Gaming Board officials say that doesn't give them enough power to keep organized crime out of the construction process -- which they say has happened in the past.

Gaming Board Chairman Aaron Jaffee says the sponsor of the gambling bill should have consulted the board on the proposal. That did not sit well with Senator Terry Link, D-Waukegan.

LINK: "So my job, from now on -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- every time I introduce a bill, I should go to the departments that it might affect and see if I got their divine intervention and OK?"

JAFFE: "Well if you had done what you should do, we wouldn't be having this meeting today."

LINK: "If you did what you should've, you should've come and saw me when I introduced the first bill."

There was no vote on gambling expansion at the hearing. That's not expected until later this spring.

Illinois Public Radio's Brian Mackey contributed to this report