Ward Room
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State Senate OKs Refined Gambling Expansion Bill

Lawmakers have twice approved similar plans, but Gov. Pat Quinn rejected them

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    The Illinois Senate has approved a refined gambling expansion plan adding five new casinos including one in Chicago.

    Senators voted 32-20 Wednesday to OK the bill -- SB1739 -- shortly after a key committee approved it.

    Lawmakers have twice approved similar plans, but Gov. Pat Quinn rejected them. He said he wanted more ethical safeguards.

    In response, lawmakers added a ban on political contributions. The most recent proposal also addresses the Illinois Gaming Board's concerns over control of a Chicago casino. The legislation now says that the state board has regulatory control over the Chicago casino. Day-to-day operations fall to a city board that the mayor appoints.

    The legislation adds casinos in Danville, Rockford, Chicago's south suburbs and Lake County. It allows slot machines at Chicago's airports and racetracks.