Governor Quinn Vetoes Bill To Combat Organized Crime

Governor Pat Quinn vetoed legislation on Tuesday that would have brought a new casino to Chicago. In addition, the bill that Quinn turned away would have been a gateway to the type of gambling taking place in Nevada, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and other large gaming states.

The reason for the veto had little to do with gambling expansion, as Quinn has previously stated he would be in favor of expansion if it was done without giving organized crime a way to infiltrate the new system. The latest bill passed by lawmakers did not meet Quinn’s standards in that area.

“The bill that was on my desk was woefully deficient when it came to protecting integrity and honesty and regulation of gambling in our state,” said Governor Quinn.

Proponents of the bill, including representative Lou Lang, the sponsor of the legislation, believe that Quinn is posturing when the governor states he is in favor of gambling expansion.

“The bottom line is he doesn’t want to sign a gaming bill,” said Lang. “If he had language to propose, he would have proposed it.”

Part of the frustration of gaming proponents is Quinn’s insistence that he would be for a gaming bill on a smaller scale. Senate President John Cullerton stayed a bill last year that lawmakers had passed, knowing that if the bill went to Quinn’s desk, it would be vetoed. For months after the stay, Cullerton and other lawmakers attempted to gain insight from the governor on how to craft a new bill.

That advice did not come until earlier this year when Quinn gave legislators a vague overview of a bill he would sign. Lang and other representatives thought they had met the requirements, but Quinn claims they did not go far enough to curb organized crime.

“We’re not going to have loopholes for mobsters in Illinois,” said Quinn.

Lang will now attempt to have the bill passed in the House and Senate with a number of votes to override the veto. That vote is expected to take place later this year.

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