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Illinois Strikes Out Again On Gambling Expansion

Gamblers in the state of Illinois have grown quite weary of their state lawmakers when it comes to the casino expansion issue that has been sweeping through the Legislature in recent years. That is why when the most recent session ended on Friday, nobody was surprised to see that once again, lawmakers had failed to bring an acceptable bill to the desk of Governor Pat Quinn.

"This has been going on for almost half a decade now," said frustrated Illinois resident Bruce Frem. "Every session, we hear how they are real close on a deal to bring casinos to Chicago, and every session, it ends the same way, with no agreement in place. It is getting old."

The frustration heard in Frem's words echoed throughout the state this weekend. Residents were wondering many different thoughts as the session closed Friday with no deal.

"They've gone over this stuff year after year," said Mark Broling. "At some point, they should have been able to come to a compromise by now. They get paid to listen to what us residents want, and I feel they have dropped the ball on the gambling issue big time."

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been lobbying for a new casino in Chicago since he took office a few years ago. Emanuel and Quinn have had several public battles over the issue, and have only recently came to the consensus that a new casino would be beneficial to Chicago's economy.

Earlier this year, Quinn for the first time expressed confidence that the Legislature would come up with a bill that would be acceptable to the governor. Quinn has previously vetoed two gambling bills, citing a lack of oversight and too broad gambling expansion as reasons why he vetoed the legislation.

The sticking point to the gambling issue this time around appeared to be the regulations that a Chicago casino would have to abide by.

With the session now over, lawmakers will again begin lobbying amongst themselves to bring a gambling bill to the table next session that will finally make thousands of Illinois residents happy.

"I don't care what they come up with," said Flem, "It just needs to be something. They've spent enough time on this now that they should have put this issue to bed this session."

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