IL House votes to abolish riverboat gambling
Aiming at an industry that is "broke," House Democrats voted overwhelmingly Thursday to abolish casino gambling -- a move that could end talk of gambling expansion and bolster the political fortunes of socially conservative, Downstate Democrats.What can Sen. Jacobs think of this attempt to wipe out the industry his father was largely responsible for creating in the state?
The surprise development came on a busy legislative day that also featured a defeat for Gov. Blagojevich on gun legislation, but victory for him with final passage of his children's health insurance plan.
The plan to dismantle the state's casino industry passed the House 67-42. It likely will be blocked by the Senate, where Senate President Emil Jones (D-Chicago), an ardent supporter of new casinos, branded the proposal "irresponsible."
House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), who played a key role in allowing a House vote, said riverboat gambling as an Illinois institution is "broke" and needs retooling.
"A small group of people became millionaires because of Illinois riverboat gaming, but the people of Illinois have never received a fair return in exchange for these monopolies," Madigan said. "I think we should go back to the drawing board and start over."