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Topinka Throws in Support For Chicago Casino

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Topinka Throws in Support For Chicago Casino
Topinka Throws in Support For Chicago Casino

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Another political supporter appears to have jumped on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's bandwagon in favor of a casino in Chicago.

State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka said Sunday she's in favor of a casino within city limits and wants to see it pushed through before the legislative session ends May 31.

“This is about putting people to work, attracting visitors and conventions to our signature city, and bringing in dollars for the state,” Topinka said in a statement. “With just more than a week until the end of spring session, time is of the essence. It is time to move forward with plans for a casino in the city of Chicago.”

The prospect of a casino in the city has gained momentum since Emanuel reaffirmed his support of the idea on Wednesday. With the city’s budget deficit lingering around $600 million, Emanuel hopes a casino would return money to Chicago that's flowing into neighboring states.

“We have a casino in Chicago," he said. "It just happens to be in Hammond, Indiana. And we’re losing that revenue.”

State Rep. Lou Lang said he plans to introduce a House bill that could include five new Illinois casinos -- one in Chicago -- and more slots at horse race tracks. A bill proposed by Lang last year passed in the Senate but was never called to final action in the House.

Other representatives want to get in on gambling fever too. The mayor of Danville has expressed that he wants a casino in his own town, but in order for a bill to be signed by Gov. Pat Quinn, it would need to be limited.

Quinn said he would respond to Danville’s request for a casino with “I would tell him not to hold his breath,” according to Capitol Fax.

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